The Long Good Friday


Action / Crime / Drama / Mystery / Thriller

Plot summary

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Top cast

Helen Mirren Photo
Helen Mirren as Victoria
Pierce Brosnan Photo
Pierce Brosnan as 1st Irishman
Bob Hoskins Photo
Bob Hoskins as Harold Shand
1.84 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 54 min
P/S 2 / 20

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by preppy-310 / 10

Excellent gangster film

A British ganglord (Bob Hoskins) finds his empire crumbling after 10 years of peace...and just as he's about to make a very lucarative deal with the U.S. Mafia. Bombs go off in his businesses, friends and members of the gang are brutally killed...who is doing it, and why?

Great British film...completely ignored here when it was released in 1980. The British accents ARE hard to follow at times but I was able to keep up with the plot. Also this film is not for everybody--there are some pretty frequent bursts of graphic violence--VERY graphic! I pride myself on being able to sit through a lot but these scenes even had me cringing! Still, it well worth catching--it has a very intricate script with good dialogue. And all the acting is great. Hoskins is just perfect in the lead--you see the confusion, pain, fear and anger in him as his world starts to crumble apart. Also Helen Mirren is excellent as his mistress. Calm, sexy, controlled and VERY intelligent--she's just great. And the final shot of the eyes is chilling. Great electronic music score too. And it's fun to see Pierce Brosnan so young (28) and sexy in an early role.

A really great gangster film which deserves to be rediscovered. My one complaint (and this is minor) is that it goes on a bit too long--it could have been tightened a little. Still, a great film. A must see for crime film fans.

Reviewed by hitchcockthelegend9 / 10

It's not about safety, it's about honour.

It's the early 1980s, it's Good Friday, and Harold Shand is waiting to entertain some powerful American muscle. He hopes to get them to help fund his dockside development, but someone is murdering his men, and although Harold has a good idea who is responsible, he isn't quite prepared for the events that follow.

Plot wise, The Long Good Friday is a lesson in under taxing the audience, simplicity in structure and forgoing thunder in the name of telling a solid story. The Long Good Friday is a British gangster picture that owes more to the Paul Muni and Edward G Robinson pictures from the golden age than something like "The Godfather". Where the characters are men of the street, working class villains who literally could be living around the corner from us, their respective antics giving them a reputation as infamous stars to be feared - and grudgingly admired.

What many modern day film lovers may not be aware of is that "The Long Good Friday" had its release delayed, held back a year as Margaret Thatcher and her merry men frothed at the mouth due to the film's portrayal of the Irish Rebublican Army. This was at a time when the Irish troubles were reaching new and terrifying heights, and here in this film, the government sensed a fall out that could have sent wrong message shock waves across the British Isles. This is one of the chief reasons that lifts the pic high above many of its contemporaries, it may be a simple story, but it's not merely about two gangs striving for power on one manor!.

Barrie Keeffe's script positively bristles with a hard bastard edge, some of the set pieces play out as true Brirtish greats, once viewed they are not to be forgotten. Some of the dialogue has an air of timeless bravado about it, delivered with cockney brashness from Bob Hoskins' Harold Shand. Hoskins is on fire, seemingly revelling in the role and fusing menace with a genuine sense of earthiness, one moment Harold is the bloke you want to have a pint of beer with, the next he's one step from rage induced retribution. Helen Mirren is fabulous as Harold's wife, Victoria, loyal and unerringly calm in the face of the madness unfolding, while the supporting cast are also highly effective, with a cameo from Pierce Brosnan that is icy cold in making a point.

Perhaps now it feels like it's only of its time, and it may well be that it's only British viewers of a certain age that can readily embrace the all encompassing thread of gangland London at risk from insurgents? But I will be damned should I ever choose to love this film less with each passing year, for to me it only just stops shy of being a British masterpiece, bristling with realism at a troubled time, and cheesing off Margaret Thatcher in the process, hell it works for me, always. 9/10

Reviewed by Witchfinder-General-6669 / 10

Breathtaking British Gangland Thriller

The Gangster film is certainly a genre that has brought forth more than a few great films, and John MacKenzie's breathtaking British Gangland Thriller "The Long Good Friday" (1980) must be one of the grittiest, exciting, most outstandingly acted and greatest specimen of all-time. In one of the most charismatic criminal performances ever, the great Bob Hoskins plays Harold Shand, a rich and powerful London crime boss, who is about to make a lucrative deal with the American mafia, when he and his associates are suddenly victims to brutal attacks by phantom enemies starting on Good Friday. Harold is desperate to find out who is behind the mysterious and bloody attacks and take action, without scaring away his new business partners.

"The Long Good Friday" has everything one might wish for in a Gangland thriller, and more. Bob Hoskins delivers one of the most charismatic performances I have ever seen in the role of gangster Harold Shand. Harold isn't the typical, laid back mob boss à la Don Corleone, but a former poor Cockney kid, who fought his way to the top; an irascible bulldog always ready to explode into uncontrolled violent outbursts. And while he is certainly a very dark protagonist, one can't help but have some sympathy for the tough guy with the mean Cockney accent. Equally great is Helen Mirren, in the role of Harold's smart and efficient wife Victoria. Mirren's Victoria is more than your usual gun moll; ravishing and sexy, cunning and utterly supportive of her husband's businesses, Victoria is both Harold's lover and dearest associate. There is no doubt that Bob Hoskins and Helen Mirren are two of Britain's finest actors, and their performances here are utterly brilliant. In spite of the fact that Hoskins' Harold Shand must be one of the most charismatic Gangster characters in motion picture history, the film (unlike many mafia/gangster films) does never glorify gangsterism. On the contrary, it shows gangland life at its ugliest.

The film is extremely violent, at times, and the violent outbursts are always unrestrained and ugly, uncompromising and sometimes painful to look at. The entire film is uncompromising from start to finish, an incredibly gritty and (probably) very realistic experience, which simply cannot be missed by a lover of cult cinema. Hoskins and Mirren alone are pure brilliance, and the cast includes many other notable appearances. P.H. Moriarty shines as Harold's scary-looking right-hand man 'Razors', Eddie Constantine plays an American mob boss, and the young Pierce Brosnan appears as a silent Irish hit-man. The film is greatly photographed in London locations, and Francis Monkman's brilliant score is incredibly imposing and unforgettable.

The film has been advertised as 'the toughest gangster movie ever made' (quote on the German DVD cover),which I cannot say it is (this title would doubtlessly go to either one of the many Italian 70s gangster flicks, or to one of the countless brutal Japanese Yakuza films). However, "The Long Good Friday" is a truly gritty and tough-minded one, and one of the best there is. "The Long Good Friday" is a Gangster film as they should be: gritty, violent and uncompromising, incredibly stylish without being glorifying, brutal and sometimes disturbing; a masterpiece. At the moment, they are making an American re-make, which of course is going to be total crap. This original British classic is nothing short of brilliance and has to be seen by everyone interested in gritty cinema.

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