Communicator (communicator) wrote,
Communicator
communicator

I don't want to get rough, do I?

An article in the Guardian about the fortieth anniversary of my favourite film: Get Carter.

Carter is one of those films of which almost every line is famous - well, famous among those who love it, like some people are with Rocky Horror or Star Wars. It has the quality of Significance: that everything in it, and everything said, is freighted with meaning, like in Tarantino.

'Oi! In a thin glass!'

The actual story is simple: Michael Caine (as Carter) is a London gangster, extremely cold and inward, who comes to Tyneside to investigate his brother's death. For the first half of the film he is controlled and quiet, and then he sees a porn film featuring his daughter/niece and from then on he goes on a psychotic killing rampage, culminating in his own meaningless death. As well as the people, the city itself is a major character in the film. The bleak post-war wasteland. I lived in Darlington in the 1970s and it was something like.

It's a hugely influential film. I think most modern British gangster films (a huge genre) owe it a first or second hand debt. Life on Mars was heavily influenced by it, as was Our Friends in the North, and the Red Riding trilogy.

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