Classic: Get Carter

1971| 18| 111 mins| /

Director: Mike Hodges

Starring: Michael Caine, John Osbourne

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.