Get Carter (1971)

19 Mar

STARS: ****

Dir. Mike Hodges

Jack Carter (Michael Caine) arrives back in his home town Newcastle for his brother’s funeral. The reception is icy to say the least and he instantly suspects foul play. He starts to shake things up a little and see what falls out, eventually finding out the dark exploitative dealings that his brother had come across and had subsequently marked his demise. Jack, unlike his brother, is impeccably streetwise and goes about bringing down the enterprise.

I know now why this film has been distinguished as a cult classic in the annals of cinema history. It’s anti-hero protagonist, the well crafted direction (composition of shots and various editing techniques), the killer soundtrack (a simple yet funky ’70’s track), the biting one-liners, the realistic approach of crime, etc.

Some scenes are definitely dated yet show a true innovation for the period. It is clear that Hodges was pushing the craft forward to see the limits of what he could do. Some of this works (the well composed shot of the party house with the father – Brumby – coming home and kicking everyone out as Carter enters the front door. Love how simultaneous action occurred and everything that needed to be told was choreographed to fluidly occur in the one shot.) whilst some of it didn’t quite (inter-cutting shots of lady driving with having sex with that same lady. Some kind of perverse connection the British have with their cars methinks).

I thoroughly enjoyed this film. A fairly predictable plot but i you will simply be captivated by Carter whoopin’ everyone who stands in his way.

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