The Long Good Friday

By the early 80s the British film industry was profitably turning away from the David Lean-Carol Reed “tradition of quality” to find new life in grittier styles and subjects. This transposition of an American gangster tragedy (complete with Christological references) to London's West End doesn't quite have an American drive and assurance, yet the film is fascinating for the culture gaps it opens. Bob Hoskins gives a growly, charismatic performance as the kingpin brought low by phantom forces over the course of an Easter weekend, and there's a political theme that asserts itself with nicely rising force. With Helen Mirren and Dave King; directed by John Mackenzie (1980).

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