review for Get Carter on AllMovie

Get Carter (1971)
by Lucia Bozzola review

Featuring a young Michael Caine in one of his best and perhaps least expected performances, Get Carter helped set the standard for contemporary gangster film grit. Adapted for the screen and directed by BBC TV veteran and feature neophyte Mike Hodges, Get Carter's starkly economical style and bleakly seedy Newcastle location provided an appropriate backdrop for Caine's Jack Carter. As a London mobster out for vengeance in his hometown, Caine's ruthlessness overruled any sympathy that could have been gleaned from the familial bonds driving his quest, turning him into a memorably amoral "hero" akin to Lee Marvin's equally brutal seeker in Point Blank (1967). Famed "angry young man" playwright John Osborne is a formidable nemesis as the smooth fat cat Kinnear, while Ian Hendry earned kudos for his performance as slippery chauffeur Eric Paice. Though it was not exactly greeted with open arms by the critics, Get Carter's toughness rejuvenated the genre and it has since come to be considered one of the best British gangster films ever made. Sylvester Stallone's 2000 remake suffers by comparison in every way.