Get Carter (1971)

Newcastle-born hardman Jack Carter (Michael Caine) returns from London to his birthplace to avenge his brother’s murder.

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Alternative titles

  • Carter's the Name Working
  • Carter Working


“So calculatedly cool and soulless and nastily erotic that it seems to belong to a new genre of virtuoso viciousness.”
Pauline Kael, 5001 Nights at the Movies, 1982

Mike Hodges’s intensely gripping 1971 thriller casts Michael Caine as thug Jack Carter, as vicious and single-minded as the crime syndicate he takes on after returning to Newcastle to investigate his brother’s death. Caine’s brilliant, hard-edged central performance is complemented by a cast that includes playwright John Osbourne as the local crime boss.

Rarely has the provincial underworld been so convincingly imagined on screen. Working with veteran cinematographer Wolfgang Suschitzky, Hodges shows less regard for the detective narrative than for keen-eyed observation of the locales in which it plays out – back-to-back terraces, betting shops, afternoon pubs, dirty beaches and concrete car parks, all under melancholy and uniquely British slate-grey skies.

The influence of Hodges’ film can be seen on many subsequent British gangster films, including The Long Good Friday (1979), Mona Lisa (1986) and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998).

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