Saturday, October 6, 2012

Mini movie review: The Long Good Friday

Here's a non-Third Annual Friend Mouse Speaks Scarelicious October Movie Series movie for you, one of Mr. Mouse's requests: The Long Good Friday.  For the record: he decided he wanted to watch it after seeing Helen Mirren on a rerun of the BBC's Top Gear.  It's a British gangster flick circa 1980, starring Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren, Brick Top and Hatchet Harry from Guy Ritchie's British gangster flicks, plus an incredibly young-looking Pierce Brosnan, and while the music, clothing and decor are extremely dated, it's a good movie (if a little hard to follow).

Bob Hoskins is Harold, the head of the London gangsters, looking to legitimize himself with a real estate deal.  He's got cops and local politicians on his payroll, helping him secure his deal; he's lining up the American Mafia to help with cash flow.  The IRA gets involved, however, and starts chipping away at his organization: stabbing a confidante, blowing up his mother's car while she's at church, setting off bombs in restaurants.  Harold has to figure out who's after him - and stop them - before the Americans get cold feet and pull out of the deal.

There is a lot going on in this movie and it took some post-viewing internet research before Mr. Mouse and I figured out exactly what happened (and we're still not clear on one point).  The violence and language is incredibly tame for a British gangster movie by today's standards.  This was Hoskins's breakout role and he's quite good; Helen Mirren is his smart and gorgeous girlfriend Victoria, and she works just as hard as he does to try to resolve the conflict swirling around them.  I'd be hard-pressed to give The Long Good Friday a grade, though, because while I enjoyed it and found it held my attention, I was frustrated by so often not knowing who the players were and just what they were doing.

1 comment:

  1. It's one of my favorites. You don't get a whiff of Eddie Valiant from Hoskins. :) I remember trying FOREVER to get Home Vision Video to get a copy of this for me. I don't think they ever did.
    I think all the confusion during the movie helps put us in Harold's head. He doesn't have a clue what's going on until the very end either. I also love the lower class British accents going on. Everyone doesn't sound like they walked off a Masterpiece Theater set.