The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen Part III: Get Carter (No, The Other One)

Trifecta readers – I know that I have been absent for quite some time, rendering this feature all but forgotten. My bad. If you cared. I was cranking out and polishing my first screenplay, Leopard, so at least there was a reason. Now all I have to do is sell the damn thing (Does anyone know an agent they wanna refer me to? Anyone? Please?). Now that it is done, I am proud to bring you volume three of the best movies you’ve never seen: Get Carter.

I’ve always said, and the majority of the world seems to agree with me, that remakes pretty much suck. They tend to take a few plot points from the original and redress them up in shittier settings, try to darken the tone, and toss in a few “Big Name” actors. However, when the original is darker than hell and stars one of the biggest names of the time, why the fuck would anyone ever try to remake it? I can’t claim to understand it, but nonetheless, in 2000 they remade one of the best revenge movies of all time, Get Carter.

The good version of Get Carter was released in 1971. Michael Caine stars as Jack Carter, a London gangster who must return home to Newcastle following the death of his brother. Obviously, it all goes to hell from there as Carter sets out on a bloody revenge kick to punish anyone and everyone responsible for his brother’s death.

Before Michael Caine started filling the niche market of stereotypical English servant, people thought his full name was Michael Fucking Caine because in every movie he seemed to be either boning or killing everyone in sight. Get Carter is no exception to this trend as he does plenty of both in the movie. At one point, two villains make the mistake of interrupting Carter mid-bone and he fends them off with a shotgun while still completely naked. They can’t decide which they’re more afraid of, the gun…or well, “the gun”. And that’s about as polite as Carter gets. He kills just about everyone in the entirety of Newcastle, regardless of reason. And he doesn’t let anyone hide behind that bullshit excuse of being a woman either, especially when he forces his brother’s ex-girlfriend to strip naked before giving her a fatal dose of heroin and framing a local mob boss for her murder.

Mike Hodges directed and wrote the screenplay based on Ted Lewis’s novel Jack’s Return Home, which also spawned a blaxploitation feature less than a year after Get Carter. He does a superb job, filming his first of what will be many London gangster movies. Caine is fan-fucking-tastic, of course, as the titular Carter. Hell, people in 1971 London were crying for the movie and Caine to be banned due to the “soulless and nastily erotic…virtuoso viciousness” of the film. It’s that bad-ass. Go see it now.

– Meller

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  1. As much as I like Caine as a Butler, I appreciate his bad ass stint as well. As the first movie in this series of movies I’ve never seen that I’ve actually seen pre-Meller-post I’m gonna have to go ahead and agree with Meller here. The newer one with Stallone sucked, but this original was pretty baller.


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