DVD Review: The Long Good Friday

The Long Good Friday

The Long Good Friday in many ways marked the end of an era for a certain style of film making. The ’70s was a bumper period for gritty cinema on both sides of the Atlantic. The French Connection, Deliverance, Mean Streets, The Conversation, Taxi Driver and The Godfather Part 2 all setting theatres alight with their mix of oppression and violence. With The Long Good Friday, John Mackenzie has created a classic British film which defies expectations, keeps the viewer guessing and uses a range of techniques to tell a compelling tale.

Harold Shand (Bob Hoskins) is a wealthy gangster who is desperate to seal a huge deal with the American Mafia which will see him developing the London Docklands and becoming a legitimate businessman. As Charlie (Eddie Constantine) arrives from the US to sign the deal, suddenly Harold’s men start being picked off. Along with his henchmen Jeff (Derek Thompson) and Razors (P.H. Moriarty), Harold desperately tries to discover who is responsible. Whilst his wife, Victoria (Helen Mirren), tries to reassure Charlie that everything will be alright.

John Mackenzie has amassed a great cast of British actors as well as unearthing a few new faces for the future. The script developed as they were shooting and you can see how the actors’ input has shaped The Long Good Friday. Along with exceptional acting from Hopkins, Mirren and Thompson, the reason it’s such a good film is down to great direction and a clever script. The Long Good Friday is undeniably gritty whilst avoiding the stereotypical British gangster nonsense of over-acting and ultra-violence. In many ways, it’s much more of a thriller than a simple crime drama.

Special Features:

Limited Edition SteelBook featuring original artworks
* High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray and Standard Definition DVD presentation of a brand new restoration sourced from the original camera negatives and approved by cinematographer Phil Meheux
* Original uncompressed PCM mono 1.0 sound
* Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
* Commentary by director John Mackenzie
* Bloody Business, a documentary about the making of the film, including interviews with John Mackenzie, Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren, Pierce Brosnan, producer Barry Hanson and cinematographer Phil Meheux
* Brand new interview with producer Barry Hanson
* Brand new interview with writer Barrie Keeffe
* Brand new interview with cinematographer Phil Meheux
* Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic and BFI curator Mark Duguid, * illustrated with original production stills

The Long Good Friday is released on Dual Format DVD & Blu-ray by Arrow Films today.

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