Get Carter

1971

Crime / Thriller

8
IMDb Rating 7.6

Synopsis


Downloaded 39380 times
4/10/2014 7:43:28 AM

1080p 720p
1.65G
1920*1080
R
English
23.976 /
111 min
P/S 1 / 9
815.30M
1280*720
R
English
23.976 /
111 min
P/S 0 / 1

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ([email protected]) 10

"Get Carter" is often said to have inspired the current crop of British gangster films. If this is the case, Guy Ritchie et al must have well and truly got the wrong end of the stick. I haven't actually seen "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" or any of the "Right Royal Cockney Barrel O'Monkeys" type films which followed it, but I get the impression that these are merely dumb entertainment for "new" lads. In contrast, "Get Carter" is unremittingly bleak. If Samuel Beckett wrote a gangster film, it might come out something like this. The grim Newcastle locations add to an atmosphere of decay and despair. The naturalistic camera work avoids cliches and adds effectively to the atmosphere. Long, static shots give the impression of actually being present as a bewildered bystander as the gangsters go about their "business". Although the long tracking shots of people walking/running are almost pythonesque at times, this only serves to emphasise the down to earth realism of the film. After all, even violent gangsters have to go through banal routines such as walking down the street. The score is minimalist but very effective, in contrast to the modern British films which seem to be conceived as a gravy train for music publishers and second rate "indie" bands. There are few, if any, sympathetic characters. Jack Carter, the central character, is not at all pleasant or heroic. The only people for whom he shows any affection are Frank and Doreen, and he is unable to express this affection except through money and violence. Keith thinks he is Carter's friend, but when he is let down and beaten up he realises that he is being used. Carter does not appear to love Anna, and it is not certain whether she really loves him, although there is a genuine sexual attraction between them. Carter belongs to a misogynistic and hypocritical culture which the film scathingly exposes. The only scene in which he shows any genuine emotion is when he discovers a porn film featuring his niece, Doreen. The cruel irony is that in the opening scene, he was seen looking at dirty pictures with his cronies, and his disgust must be partly directed at himself even though he refuses to acknowledge it. He then expresses his shock and outrage by going straight upstairs to assault and humiliate the nearest woman! And she just happens to have appeared in the very same film as Doreen: a clear case of men projecting their own sexual guilt onto women. The makers of the film cannot have been unaware of the implications of this sexual hypocrisy. The scenes are deliberately juxtaposed to emphasise Carter's ambivalence and double standards. The certainties of a linear narrative have been bravely eschewed. Carter is only able to react to events which are beyond his control and is sometimes led up blind alleys, taking a long time to realise what is really going on. This, again, is realism at its best. Real life does not have a coherent plot and nobody has complete control over their own life. Carter's lack of control is a central theme of the film. He likes to think that he is big, hard and clever, but his acts of revenge are ultimately pointless. Like Frank Machin in "This Sporting Life", he is emotionally shallow and able to express himself only through futile acts of aggression. He is cruelly exposed in the final scene as the smile is wiped off his face, the closing shot of the sea emphasising man's powerlessness. The film also contains elements of social comment and class politics. Frank is portrayed as a decent, honest, "salt of the earth" working class type, while the slimy and sinister Kinnear has a chauffeur and lives in a big house in the country where he hosts decadent orgies. These themes come to the fore in the (often overlooked) funeral scene. As Frank's small cortege pulls through the gates of the crematorium, we see an endless stream of cars leaving from the previous funeral. The message is that the "liberation" of the 60s brought few practical benefits for working class people in the north of England. Again, this relates to the dominant theme of control, or lack of it. The "swinging 60s" are exposed as a dead end of pointless hedonism. The extent of women's liberation is also questioned. "Get Carter" portrays a society in which women are not at all liberated except in a few superficial ways. The female characters in the film are all victims, owned and used by men who see them as sex objects and little more. It is implied that the sexual freedom brought by the contraceptive pill has benefited men more than women. It's not all angst and depression though. There is some good fighting, swearing, shooting and dangerous driving. There are also many subtle touches of black humour. Nevertheless, this is not a mindless action film. The consequences of violence are never ignored or glossed over. We are shown Keith lying on his bed in agony after getting a severe beating, leaving us in no doubt that his brief flirtation with gangsters has ruined his life. "Get Carter" is a masterpiece, although it will not be to everyone's taste. If you want non-stop action, try a mindless Arnold Schwarzeneger film. There is nothing for you here. However, if you are prepared to approach "Get Carter" with an open mind and think about it rather than be a passive observer demanding to be entertained, you will find a rewarding work of art with hidden depths. Forget Guy Ritchie. The only worthy successor of "Get Carter" is Neil Jordan's "Mona Lisa", which addresses similar themes and is equally bleak and disturbing.

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Reviewed by Wulfstan10 10

This is one of Caine's best roles and undoubtedly one of the greatest gangster/crime films ever made. It is unrelentingly harsh, gritty, and bleak in showing the nasty world of Carter. Few characters are truly likable or admirable and most have a mix of good and bad. This applies to Carter himself and even the bystanders or victims. Everyone is portrayed as flawed somehow, even those who are tragic. This is one of many aspects that adds to the realism of this film. This grittiness is true not only of the world of crime, but the entire world of the early post-industrial Northern England, once at the forefront of the industrial revolution but by then a depressed backwater that had yet to feel the true benefits of recent social and economic changes. It thus provides some subtle social commentary as well, although one may easily miss it. In addition to its raw grittiness, the film is also very intense. There is a building tension throughout, and a palpable that things are not right. At the same time, the events, in particular the action and violence are rather slow but relentless. In fact, the way the film presents the violence and action is one of the keys to its greatness. It is an unusual, fascinating, and very powerful depiction. There isn't gore or even lots of blood or the like and, like the rest of the film, it generally progresses slowly and calmly. It's not exhilarating or glamorous, but instead deliberate, relentless, and, above all, cold. The coldness of the violence and how Carter in particular, but others as well, kill and hurt in an unfeeling, perfunctory manner makes it seem all the more harsh. Another interesting aspect of the film is the juxtaposition of the idea that someone can force or change events around him against the feeling that one can merely react to events beyond his control. Both of these themes seem to clash in Carter and his actions, for one of these themes may at times appear to be what's happening, yet in the end it seems that the other exerts its dominance. Ultimately, this is superb, extremely gritty, and powerful drama. It contains action and violence, but it is not an action film and most expecting a non-stop action film, with flashy fighting, "getting the bad guys," etc. may well be bored.

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Reviewed by fatglyn 9

If Shakespeare could have written a gangster movie, "Get Carter" would surely be the one. Jack Carter is the 1970s embodiment of classical tragic heroes like Hamlet or Macbeth. Also, in the finest Shakespearian tradition, as the film reaches its climax, the bodies begin to mount with alarming rapidity. The film is initially a slow-burner, but what is arguably a career-best performance from Michael Caine sustains interest until the plot begins, in every sense, to kick in. And when it does, there's no stopping it, as Carter ruthlessly, and recklessly, sets about dealing with his enemies. The industrial city of Newcastle is depicted as gritty, seedy and unapologetically working class. The grainy camerawork gives the impression that this is a real-life documentary rather than a gangster flick. Probably every British gangster movie since has used "Get Carter" as a benchmark, particularly "The Long Good Friday", or even the revoltingly trendy "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels". Any why shouldn't they? For the ultimate British gangster icon, you need look no further than Jack Carter and his silver Ford Cortina. A genuine classic.

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