The Long Good Friday – 4K UHD BLU-RAY

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The Long Good Friday - Bob Hoskins on top form in a classic film

There’s a true story that on the release of The Long Good Friday several elderly churchgoers went to the cinema on opening night believing it to be a film about Easter and were quickly shocked to find that it was a brutal gangster film that wholly earned its X certificate  (the equivalent of todays 18 certificate) with Bob Hoskins in a star making role.

The film followed Harold Shand (Bob Hoskins), a businessman with great ambitions. Spotting the development potential of London’s derelict Docklands area years before the Thatcher government, he tries to broker a deal with his American counterpart (Eddie Constantine) that will make them both millions. But who is killing Harold’s other associates and blowing up his businesses – and why?

Shot in 1979 the film was released in March 1981 in an era where Margaret Thatcher was now Prime Minster having swept to victory and an era of capitalism was starting with the emergence of the yuppie and a Greed is Good culture set against a background of high unemployment. Written by the late Barrie Keefe whose previous scripts had been mostly TV series predicted the creation of Canary Wharf in London’s docklands. Directing would be the late John McKenzie whose own background would be in TV also and for both he and Keefe the film would be a career best. Bob Hoskins had been gaining regular work in TV dramas and the film would be his first lead in a cinema release in a role he was ideally suited to with his stocky build, East End accent and his air of no nonsense menace and rightly saw him BAFTA nominated for Best Actor. He was supported by a uniformly good cast of actors that included Helen Mirren, Paul Freeman, Kevin McNally, PH Moriarty (who would appear in Lock Snatch and Two Smoking Barrels) and getting an ‘introducing’ screen credit was Derek Thompson (later a regular of TV’s Casualty series) and the legendary Alan Ford (Brick Top in Snatch).

The film was memorable for so many reasons: Hoskins was at the top of his game, Mirren was far more than just a gangsters moll, the shocking outbursts of violence and the image of Shand’s rivals gang members being bought in hanging upside from meat hooks remains iconic. And all of this built up to one of cinema’s great end shots in a gut punch of an ending, that featured an early screen role for future James Bond, Peirce Brosnan.

The new 4K UHD version has an array of great bonus features that includes:

  •  4K (2160p) UHD Blu-ray presentation in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible)
    • Original uncompressed PCM mono 1.0 and Dolby Atmos audio
    • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
    • Audio commentary by director John Mackenzie
    • Bloody Business, a documentary about the making of The Long Good Friday, including interviews with John Mackenzie, stars Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren, Pierce Brosnan, producer Barry Hanson and cinematographer Phil Méheux
    • Hands Across the Ocean, a comparison of the differences between the UK and US soundtracks
    • Q&A with Bob Hoskins and John Mackenzie, moderated by Richard Jobson
    • Interviews with Barry Hanson, Phil Méheux, writer Barrie Keeffe, first assistant director Simon Hinkly and assistant art director Carlotta Barrow
    • Original trailers
    • Limited edition slipcover featuring original artwork
    • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Hannah Gillingham
    • Foldout poster featuring newly commissioned artwork by Hannah Gillingham
    • Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring writing on the film by Mark Duguid, an excerpt from Titan Books’ Very Naughty Boys: The Amazing True Story of Handmade Films by Robert Sellers about the making of The Long Good Friday, and contemporary reviews of the film

With Mckenzie, Keefe and Hoskins long passed away the features including them are from previous incarnations of the disc but the interviews with the crew members are well worth the price of the disc alone.

The 1970’s had seen the hugely influential British gangster film Get Carter and the same can be said for the 1980s with The Long Good Friday and the film is rightly considered a classic and this 4K UHD is an essential addition to serious fans of the genre.

related feature : Goodfellas – COLLECTORS PREMIUM EDITION 4K ULTRA HD & BLU-RAY

related feature : Bermondsey Tales director Michael Head talks about the true life gangster tales & an all star cast

Here’s The Long Good Friday trailer…..

The Long Good Friday is released on limited edition 4KUHD BLU-RAY on 27th May

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