Uploaded on Oct 24, 2010
My analysis of the 1971 British cult crime thriller Get Carter. Carter takes the ferry across the Tyne back to Wallsend on the northern bank where he had left the car he had taken from Glenda.
Get Carter is a 1971 British crime film directed by Mike Hodges and starring Michael Caine as Jack Carter, a gangster who sets out to avenge the death of his brother in a series of unrelenting and brutal killings played out against the grim background of derelict urban housing in the city of Newcastle upon Tyne. The film was based on Ted Lewis' 1969 novel Jack's Return Home, itself inspired by the real life one-armed bandit murder in the north east of England.
The film was Hodges' first as a director; he also wrote the script. The production went from novel to finished film in eight months, with location shooting in Newcastle and Gateshead lasting 40 days. It was produced by Michael Klinger and released by MGM. Get Carter was also Alun Armstrong's screen debut.
In 1999, Get Carter was ranked 16th on the BFI Top 100 British films of the 20th century; five years later, a survey of British film critics in Total Film magazine chose it as the greatest British film of all time. Get Carter was remade in 2000 under the same title, with Sylvester Stallone starring as Jack Carter, while Caine appears in a supporting role. This remake was not well received by critics.
Initial critical reception was poor, especially in the United Kingdom: "soulless and nastily erotic...virtuoso viciousness", "sado-masochistic fantasy", and "one would rather wash one's mouth out with soap than recommend it". The American film critic Pauline Kael, however, was a fan of the film, admiring its "calculated soullessness". A minor hit at the time, the film has become progressively rehabilitated via subsequent showings on television; with its harsh realism, quotable dialogue and incidental detail, it is now considered among the best British gangster films ever made. In 2004, the magazine Total Film claimed it to be the greatest British movie in any genre.
There are two slightly different versions of this film. In the opening scene of the original version Gerald Fletcher warns Carter that the Newcastle gangs "won't take kindly to someone from The Smoke poking his bugle in". This was later redubbed for American release in a less pronounced Cockney accent (not by Terence Rigby) with "won't take kindly to someone from London poking his nose in", as tape previews in the US had revealed that many Americans did not understand what "The Smoke" and "bugle" meant in this context. "Smoke" is slang for London, in reference to its reputation as a foggy city, while "bugle" is slang for nose. The line "I smell trouble, boy" is also edited out.
Places from the film not shown here but still standing in October 2010:
Dryderdale Hall, near Wolsinghamd - current up for sale at GBP1.6m
Newcastle's West Road Crematorium
Oxford Galleries in Newcastle - I should have filmed this as it is very easy to get to!
Post Office in Hebburn
I state that Cliff Brumby's house in northern Durham is still standing. However it was knocked down to redevelop the site.
Michael Caine as Jack Carter
John Osborne as Cyril Kinnear
Ian Hendry as Eric Paice
Bryan Mosley as Cliff Brumby
George Sewell as Con McCarty
Tony Beckley as Peter the Dutchman
Glynn Edwards as Albert Swift
Terence Rigby as Gerald Fletcher
Godfrey Quigley as a work colleague of Frank Carter's
Alun Armstrong as Keith
Bernard Hepton as Thorpe
Petra Markham as Doreen
Geraldine Moffat as Glenda
Dorothy White as Margaret
Rosemarie Dunham as Edna Garfoot
Britt Ekland as Anna
John Bindon as Sid Fletcher
Kevin Brennan as Harry
Ben Aris as Architect
John Hussey as Architect
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