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Drama - Gangland

Get Carter (1971)

Duration1h 52m
RatingsUK: 18, USA: R, Denmark: 15
Source of storyA 1970 novel “Jack’s Return Home” by Ted Lewis
DirectorMike Hodges
Writers/ScriptMike Hodges
StarringMichael Caine, Ian Hendry, Britt Ekland, John Osborne, George Sewell, Geraldine Moffat, Petre Markham, Alun Armstrong, Bernard Hepton, Terence Rigby,
RatingsIMDb: 7.3/10 by 34,861 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 87% by 38 reviewers. Review2view: 6.5/10.

Summary: After the death of his brother in Newcastle, London villain Jack Carter returns to his home city to run down the assassins, despite being discouraged by his bosses down in the Smoke. He quickly discovers who the main players in the city are, but is threatened by local mobsters that he should leave and is offered money to do so. His bosses also send two enforcers from London to sort him out, but he is more than a match for them. As he gets closer to the murderer, he becomes involved with Glenda, a porn actress, and when in bed with her witnesses a porno film, featuring his brother’s teenage daughter, and Margaret a young woman who was his brother’s mistress. With this information he gets his brothers 12 bore shotgun and goes on the rampage.

Content: Needless to say, the compilers of the IMDb parental guide saw more than I did, but anyway there was a lot of female nudity and some sex with “thrusting”, as well as whatever was visible in the porno film, seen mostly in a  mirror. There is a scene where Glenda is driving a Sunbeam Alpine handling the gear lever sexily, while the scene cuts to she and Carter having sex. Carter goes into typical Geordie pubs, not talking to people. The London enforcers turn up in a red Jaguar 3.8, and are not very successful in dealing with him. In the third act there is a lot of quite unpleasant violence as the Newcastle villains, including those involved in the porno are dealt with.

A View: It is 2023, and really Get Carter has not stood the test of time, regardless of its place in movie history and all the other films which have apparently taken their cues from this outing. While Michael Caine is suitably threatening and enigmatic, the rest of the cast are just a bit comic, particularly the London enforcers, who at one point engage him in an unrealistic shoot out on the Wallsend ferry. So I suppose it is a watch for those interested in movie history, but maybe not for anyone else. Environmentalists would be distressed by the scene where a conveyor system was tipping coal residues into the North Sea. Yes, it really existed.

Michael Caine has an extraordinary filmography and I have reviewed many of his films on this site. Three of his early films still worth a view are: The Quiet American, The Italian Job and one of my all time favourites The Man Who Would Be King.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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