DVD 107 mins IMDB 7.6
Suitable for 18 years and over
Get Carter [1971]
Warner Bros. (18/03/1971)
In Collection

Seen It:
Crime, Drama, Thriller
UK  /  English

Michael Caine Jack Carter
Ian Hendry Eric
Britt Ekland Anna
John Osborne (II)
Tony Beckley Peter
George Sewell Con
Geraldine Moffat Glenda
Dorothy White (II)
Rosemarie Dunham Edna
Petra Markham Doreen
John Osborne Kinnear
Dorothy White Margaret

Director Mike Hodges
Producer Michael Klinger; Michael Caine
Writer Ted Lewis; Mike Hodges

Released in 1971 (the same year Straw Dogs and A Clockwork Orange hit the screens, which must make 71 the annus mirabilis for violent films set in Britain), Get Carter opens with gangsters leering over pornographic slides and ends on a filthy, slag-stained beach in Newcastle. It's a low-down and dirty movie from beginning to end, and possibly the grittiest and best film of its kind to come out of Britain. The granddaddy of Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels and all its ilk, director Mike Hodges' Get Carter offers revenge tragedy swinging-60s style, all nicotine-stained cinematography, shabby locations and the kind of killer catchphrases Vinnie Jones would die for ("You're a big man, but you're in bad shape. With me, it's a full-time job. Now behave yourself", says Michael Caine's deadpan anti-hero Carter before inflicting a few choice punches on Brian Mosley, aka Coronation Street's Alf Roberts, to name but one example from Hodges and Ted Lewis' exquisitely laconic script).

Presenting the dark horse in his family of loveable Cockney geezer roles (Alfie, The Italian Job), Michael Caine plays the title role of Jack Carter, a man so hard he barely registers a flicker of regret watching a woman he's just had sex with plunge to her death. After taking the train up to Newcastle as the credits roll and Roy Budd's chunky bass-heavy theme tune plays, Carter returns to his hometown to attend his brother's funeral and investigate the circumstances of his death. Not that he's all that sentimental about family: he shaves nonchalantly over the open coffin, and shows affection to his niece Doreen (Petra Markham) by cramming a few notes in her hand and telling her to "be good and don't trust boys". Gradually, Carter unravels the skein of drugs, pornography and corruption tangled around his brother's death, which brings him up against supremely oleaginous kingpin Kinnear (played by the author of Look Back in Anger John Osborne) among others. A remake starring Sylvester Stallone is in the offing, but quite frankly it will be a 30-degree (Celsius) Christmas night in Newcastle before Hollywood could ever make something as assured, raw and immortal as this. --Leslie Felperin

Edition Details
Barcode 7321900654005
Region 2
Release Date 04/07/2005
Screen Ratio 1.85:1
Subtitles English
Audio Tracks English PCM Mono
Nr of Disks/Tapes 1
Personal Details
Links Amazon UK