If you are a lover of gangster films, you might have treated yourself to Martin Scorsese movies from time to time. The film buffs regard Scorsese as a godfather of gangster flicks. The filmmaker has an uncanny ability to keep the audience glued to their seats. However, he has tough competition from the British film industry, which has shelled out a series of crime dramas that are no way less than the best from Hollywood.
The gangster narrative in British films has covered various genres. It includes crime capers, real-life dramas, or thrillers revolving around pivotal characters. The filmmakers have depicted the gruesome affairs of the most deadly and notorious gangs of the United Kingdom with conviction. Here are some of the best British gangster films to fill your weekend bucket list.
The 1947 gangster flick is an adaptation of the novel with the same name, written by Graham Greene. It was one of those early gangster movies to have made to the silver screen. The plot revolves around Pinkie, a gang leader, who aims to kill a reporter whom he thinks is the reason for his gang member’s death.
He leaves no stone unturned to get to him. Brighton Rock was well-received by the audience in Britain. The performance of Richard Attenborough as Pinkie floored almost everyone who saw him on screen. The character’s unstoppable brutality unsettled the audience’s psyche, and that is where the flick stands out.
The Italian Job
The Italian Job came out in 1969 and is still one of the classical gangsters flicks ever churned out. The Peter Collinson film had Michael Caine playing the role of Charlie Croker. Charlie is a thief who gets out of jail and plans to rob a gold shipment in Turin by conjuring up a traffic jam.
The Italian Job has all the elements of a fine comedic crime flick and is a masterpiece. The car chase scene and the nail-biting climax will be etched in your memory forever. And it would stay with you for days after watching the film.
The Mike Hodges film is full of gritty realism. Michael Caine stars in this sark revenge thriller as Jack Carter, a gangster based in London, who sets out on a mission to avenge his brother’s death which happens under mysterious circumstances.
Get Carter hit the theaters in 1971 and was a massive hit. The fans still quote every line that Michael’s Carter mouthed in his cockney accent, and that goes on to prove that Get Carter made a lasting impression on the minds of those who watched the flick.
Lock, Stock, And Two Smoking Barrels
The crime caper set against a dirty background of London reinstated the genre in the latter half of the 90s decade. The story focuses on four friends who get in trouble when they make a mess of themselves in a card game. The duo lands in debts and has the local crime lord hot on their heels.
All the sequences where the characters collide with debt collectors, weed-growers, and thugs while they try paying half a million pounds ooze perfection. Lock, Stock, And Two Smoking Barrels will always be famous for its excellent cast, dark comedy, and dialogues. The film also saw Guy Ritchie’s foray into the genre of gangster movies.
Legend is a gangster flick without which your bucket list would be incomplete. Ronnie and Reggie Kray are the central characters of this 2015 flick. They form the most infamous criminal duo of London. However, not many know that Ronnie and Reggie were an inspiration for numerous crime stories in real and reel life.
Richard Burton, who portrayed the character of Vic Daikin in Villain, derived his inspiration from Ronnie. In fact, he even visiting him in prison to get the character and mannerisms right. The notoriety of the twin brothers has led them to be the subject of numerous gangster films. But probably none of them have been able to depict them so well as Legend did. Tom Hardy played both roles.
Now that you have your bucket list full, get your popcorn ready and sit down to treat yourself with these absolute classics. As a lover of gangster flicks, you surely are going to have a whale of a time.