Get Carter, Michael Caine, Mike Hodges

Written by Joe D on August 8th, 2007

Great, grungy locations, nihilistic, vicious characters, ultra-violence, groovy 60’s ambience, stellar Michael Caine performance, all add up to make Get Carter probably The seminal English gangster flick of all time. There are just so many great things in this movie I don’t know where to begin. But I’ll try. OK let’s start with Michael Caine, never before or since has he been this ruthless, hot-headed, just plain tough. He’s on a quest, who killed his brother and why. So this hard core criminal has a moral imperative, maybe for the first time in his life, his head busting talents are fueled by something other than a paycheck. This is brilliantly expressed by Caine, if you watch the trailer you’ll see a scene where Caine/Carter is interrogating a guy and the guy falls to his knees, then just as Caine/Carter stabs him , cut. In the film Caine stabs the guy over and over as he speaks, punctuating each word with a stab! Like “Don’t” stab “You” stab “Lie” stab “To” stab “Me” stab etc. Brutal, but in the context of the film, perfect!
This could very well be Caine’s greatest role and a lot of credit must go to the director Mike Hodges.

Mike Hodges, A Man With A Movie Camera

I had lunch with Mike a few years back. We were discussing restoring Mike’s film “A Prayer For The Dying“. It seems the film had been recut by the producer without Mike’s input. Mike had delivered a finished film, scored, mixed, done and then back in the U.S.A. they tore it apart. This had not sat well with Mike and he burned with desire to put the film back in it’s original form. I wanted to help. We spent a whole day going from one cavernous film vault to another searching for elements, unfortunately we couldn’t find what we needed. The final chapter has not been written on this project though, there is still some hope that it may one day be resurrected. Mike is a great guy and a super talent, he discovered Clive Owen and cast him in his wonderful “Croupier“. But I think it safe to say “Get Carter” is his masterpiece.