The Long Good Friday

As we’re coming up to Easter it seems a good time to mention to younger readers that they need to see The Long Good Friday. The film is quite simply one of the best UK gangster films ever made.

Bob Hoskins turns in the performance of a lifetime as London gang boss Harold Shand. There are shed load of other memorable performances and the soundtrack is a treat.  Of course, I can’t blog about this film without mentioning Helen Mirren who is at the height of her sexiness as Harold’s moll/wife.

Other notable appearances include a very young Peirce Brosnan and Roy Allon, who was one of the UK’s greatest stuntmen – he does a bit of acting towards the end of the film combined with stunt work.

The film is dated, this is London in the early 80s and the cars and clothes reflect this, as do the attitudes to race, drugs and politics. The film actually does politics very well, (it should do, as the screenwriter eventually became a politician).

This is essential viewing for UK film fans and sits alongside Get Carter, Mona Lisa and Brighton Rock as the best of British crime cinema.

You also see need to see the end of the film, one of the great last shots in cinema history and stunning bit of acting from Hoskins.

So, 24 films to go…

Matthew Cooper has written for Emmerdale, Eastenders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs. He was winner of the first ever Lloyds Bank Channel Four Film Challenge and the Oscar Moore Screenplay Prize. His first short film starred a then unknown Ewan McGregor and was picked up by Channel Four when Matthew was 19 years old. He’s been a script writer for hire, filmmaker for hire and script consultant for over 20 years.