Get Carter (DVD)

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Get Carter (DVD)

Jack Carter's brother is dead. And Jack (Sylvester Stallone) wants to know why. A Las Vegas mob enforcer, he carefully packs his guns and sets off for...

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Review of "Get Carter (DVD)"

published 11/08/2016 | CelticSoulSister
Member since : 25/10/2009
Reviews : 1413
Members who trust : 231
About me :
Pro Well-acted/directed, the over-60s will love it
Cons Nothing of significance
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"A decent gritty gangland/crime drama"

RELEASED: 1971, Cert.18

RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 52mins


PRODUCERS: Michael Klinger & Michael Caine

MUSIC: Roy Budd


Michael Caine as Jack Carter
Ian Hendry as Eric Paice
John Osborne as Cyril Kinnear
Bryan Mosley as Cliff Brumby
George Sewell as Con McCarty
Britt Ekland as Anna
Petra Markham as Doreen
Dorothy White as Margaret
Rosemarie Dunham as Edna
Geraldine Moffat as Glenda



When Jack Carter, who is a London gangster, learns that his brother has died he travels to Newcastle with the intention of trying to discover the ins and outs, e.g. did his brother commit suicide or was he murdered or something else?

Jack suspects that a rival gangland boss known as Kinnear may be responsible.

Once Jack gets to Newcastle and settles in some rather seedy lodgings, a kind of ‘it’ll be them or me’ situation arises as he delves into the dodgy dealings of a band of Geordie gangsters.


Get Carter is one of those films which did the cinema rounds when I was around 18 or so, but I never managed to get to see it until very recently. I’ve always heard very good reports about it, so my viewing yesterday evening has now allowed me to make up my own mind.

I won’t say that in general I’m Michael Caine’s greatest fan even though I loved him in Alfie, but I feel overall in Get Carter he did a marvellous job of playing Jack Carter, coming across as a mixture of hesitatingly caring and a character who resorts to a steely-eyed, ruthless stare when he comes face to face with his adversaries. However, there is a tiny problem in that in this film, the character of Jack Carter is supposed to originate from Newcastle although living in London, and Caine’s accent throughout is pure Cockney… I’d estimate from south of the river, possibly around the Walworth/Bermondsey/Rotherhithe area – very slightly different to those from the part of the East End which is north of the Thames.

All of the other main roles were decently played by the cast, with probably my favourite being John Osborne’s portrayal of Kinnear, a rather nasty gang leader who relies on a of a kind of psychopathic politeness mingled with something coldly chilling/threatening. I must say that the character of Kinnear as played by John Osborne did unnerve me somewhat, possibly because I have met one or two people like that during my life, and he nailed it big time!

The only cast member I really could have done without was Britt Ekland who during the late 1960s/early 1970s was a bit of a token dolly bird in lots of different films (most notably The Wicker Man). OK maybe her presence in Get Carter provided some eye candy for the male population to drool over, but her acting skills are decidedly questionable. However, she doesn’t ruin the film because although significant, her role isn’t a big one.

As far as the music is concerned I must say that for the larger part I was unaware of any, but did pick up on a few tawdry little pieces…. notably the opening theme and a couple of bits during the course of the film as incidental music played in tacky discos and pubs…. all very typical of that ‘groovy’ stuff which you never actually heard anywhere out in the real world at the time, but often was used in cinematic productions.

Although I could largely grasp the storyline of Get Carter, there were one or two points when things hot up as Jack Carter uncovers various things which lead him towards learning what happened to his dead brother, where I was in danger of losing the plot but I think I managed to just about hang on in there. My problem was that there are quite a lot of sub-characters involved and I wasn’t sure who I was supposed to be remembering and who I felt I could let go of.

My main enjoyment factor on watching Get Carter was being taken back to my own youth, timeline-wise, in that it was interesting to observe a Newcastle which was in those days undergoing huge redevelopment yet still being a mixture of some pretty awful slums and rows of modernistic tower blocks that already were beginning to show signs of urban decay. I also enjoyed the scenes shot in tacky, borderline sordid discos and pubs, as that honestly how those places were back in the late 1960s/early 1970s….well, places that were bang in the middle of the rougher part of any town I mean (as an aside, and in the unlikely event any veteran from my old home town could be reading this, just think of the long defunct Mermaid Club along Southend sea front – it used to be above the Wonderland amusement arcade - and you’ll know what I’m trying to get at).

There is some violence in Get Carter which by today’s standards is presented in a less realistic way than what we have become used and perhaps inured to, but the message is still well contained within the odd punch-up and a scene where a knife attack occurs. OK you can see the joins and the fists not quite hitting the real spot, but with a bit of imagination these scenes can be understood to convey a particularly nasty form of gangland violence used when one psycho feels that another psycho deserves a bit of a smack!

There are one or two sex scenes in Get Carter, but these could be considered as reasonably tame when held up next to what cinema erotically expanded into as the decade of the 1970s progressed. There is a brief phone sex scene which after it had finished, I realised I’d misunderstood exactly what was going on….probably my dirty mind, but it turned out to be not quite so lurid as I originally imagined. However, it is put across pretty well.

On the joint topics of the violence and sexual content, it is interesting to note that Get Carter still bears an 18 certificate, but I personally would drop it down to 15 by today's standards if I were in charge of censorship ratings.

Probably my favourite part of Get Carter (aside from my own personal sense of nostalgia and being taken back to the days of my mis-spent youth) is the ending. It did leave me wondering various things – not to do with the storyline, but how if it were a real life situation, various bodies of people would have reacted to it. This ending is well conveyed though and perfectly sealed off what for the most part is a very good, largely well-acted, well-directed gangster type film.

In a way, I’m glad that I left watching Get Carter for forty-five or so years, as if I’d have seen it when it was first released and doing the cinema rounds, I definitely wouldn’t have been able to sit through it, let alone understand it. Even now I’m not sure I understand some of the finer points, but I feel I managed to grasp the essentials of the plot and enjoy the film as a whole.

As to whether I’d recommend Get Carter, my answer is a definite “yes” as it is a good almost two hours’ worth of decent entertainment, great for nostalgia freaks over a certain age who remembers the late 1960s/early 1970s with fondness and is pretty well put together all round. As far as my star rating is concerned, I could easily knock one off for the parts of the story that I didn’t really understand, but I am going to issue a full house as this is an all-time classic film which over the decades has earned cult status….. and, they really don’t make them like that any more.

I am given to understand that a few years ago, a remake of Get Carter was issued, but I’ve not seen it nor do I want to as I can’t imagine how on earth the original could in any way be improved upon. My own experience of remakes is for the most part, modern-day film directors/producers et al approach absolute classics with a kind of arrogance in the mistaken belief that they can improve upon perfection….it’s really best to leave well alone though and I’m saddened to think that Get Carter has been given the remake treatment, despite not having seen it… simply didn’t NEED to be remade!


At the time of writing, Get Carter can be purchased from Amazon as follows:-

New: from £2.02 to £38.86
Used: from 36p to £4.49
Collectible: from £3.44 to £14.99 (all appear to be used)

Some DVDs on Amazon are available for free delivery within the UK, but where this doesn’t apply, a £1.26 charge should be added to the above figures.

Thanks for reading!

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Comments on this review

  • Secre published 15/08/2016
    Nicely done!
  • Nymphypig published 14/08/2016
  • ANNExTHExFLAN published 14/08/2016
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Product Information : Get Carter (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

Jack Carter's brother is dead. And Jack (Sylvester Stallone) wants to know why. A Las Vegas mob enforcer, he carefully packs his guns and sets off for Seattle by train. At the funeral, he discovers his brother was full of alcohol when he died in a car accident. But according to his niece, Doreen (Rachael Leigh Cook), his brother didn't drink. Jack starts on a tortuous trail that leads, via gang boss Brumby (Michael Caine) and porno-loving thug Cyrus Paice (Mickey Rourke), to a Seattle computer billionaire named Jeremy Kinnear (Alan Cumming). Among those trying to "get Carter" is Con (John C. McGinley), another enforcer from Las Vegas.<BR>GET CARTER is the second remake of the bleak and gritty 1971 thriller of the same title. In the original, directed by Mike Hodges, Michael Caine played Carter. The first remake was George Armitage's 1972 film HIT MAN. Scriptwriter David McKenna and director Stephen T. Kay have shifted the location of this GET CARTER to the Pacific Northwest.


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