UK, 2000 (MIFF 2001, Now! Britain)
Director: John Irvin
Billy 'Shiner' Simpson has pinned his career and a great deal of money on a world title boxing match between his golden-boy son and a visiting US fighter. Billy has struggled as a second rate promoter all his life, and engaged in none too kosher activities, in order to get a shot at becoming a local hero. All hope seems lost when a terrifying turn of events leaves one of the boxers dead, well after he has left the ring. Paranoia, rage and revenge boil over in London's East End as Billy attempts to flush out an assassin before a police net can close in around him. "Michael Caine brings real pathos to the ruthless small-time showman with big-time aspirations. Billy is a man with no real class buts lots of chutzpah who may be crippled by unrealistic ambitions."— Variety
Martin Landau is suitably slimy as the opposing US manager, dripping with sarcasm, piling on the insults, making no secret of the fact that he considers Billy's fight a fiasco A modern British underworld masterwork.