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Get Carter (1971)

Michael Caine , Ian Hendry , Mike Hodges  |  R |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Caine, Ian Hendry, Britt Ekland, John Osborne, Tony Beckley
  • Directors: Mike Hodges
  • Writers: Mike Hodges, Ted Lewis
  • Producers: Michael Caine, Michael Klinger
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Warner Bros.
  • DVD Release Date: October 3, 2000
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0790750716
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,835 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Get Carter" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Feature-Length Audio Commentary by Michael Caine, Director Mike Hodges and Cinematographer Wolfgang Suschitzky
  • 2 Original Theatrical Trailers
  • Music Only Track

Editorial Reviews

No Description Available.
Genre: Feature Film-Drama
Rating: R
Release Date: 2-OCT-2001
Media Type: DVD

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
136 of 138 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This film is a standout example of the way they made action films back in the 70's: hard, grim, and without an ounce of mercy. To exemplify the difference between a 70's action film and one made currently, it would do to contrast this film with the 2000 remake with Sylvester Stallone in the title role. In the 2000 film, a touch of pleasant humor and romance are thrown in, and it is clear that Carter (Stallone), despite the fact that he makes his living as an enforcer/gangster, is basically a nice guy; someone it is very important for us to like and identify with. He ends up being the savior of all those he loves and cares for. He is a mush, is what he is. An anti-hero without any true anti.

Michael Caine dominates the original 1971 film Get Carter. He has the coldest eyes you will ever see on screen, and he has a heart made of Birmingham steel. Briefly told, the plot is one of revenge. Carter is a London gangster traveling north to the gritty, working class town of Newcastle to find out what happened to his brother, dead under strange circumstances.

Caine/Carter isn't really very cunning or smart. What makes him so dangerous is that he acts very quickly, almost instinctively like a huge cat on the hunt. A burning red engine, stoked to bursting with hate, drives Carter and keeps him alive in this world of wolves and sheep. No actor can portray pure hatred like Michael Caine, and the teeth-barring moments when Jack Carter is moved to violence are truly scary. Once Carter begins to unravel the truth, he becomes a force without pity. Where Stallone can't help but wish to be liked, Caine is about as repulsive a protagonist as the screen has yet shown us. If we find ourselves rooting for him (and we do), it is because the movie has tapped into our own dark side.
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54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The girl... tell me about, the girl. January 26, 2003
"Get Carter" has got to be THE standout performance of Michael Caine's highly variable career. Caine, who was the undisputed "King of Cool" in 60's swinging London, has readily admitted that he took many a script just for the money... something he had in common with Sir Laurence Olivier! Anyway, I guess this is why we not only have the superlative "Carter," plus "Zulu," "The Ipcress File," "The man who would be king," and "Little Voice" amongst others, but we also have "The Swarm" and, "Jaws: The Revenge," 'nuff said?!
Caine's performance in "Carter" is breathtaking; you can't take your eyes off him for a moment as he completely jettisons his likable "cheeky cockney geezer" persona, seen in such films as "The Italian Job," and "Alfie." Here, Caine plays Jack Carter, a cold hearted, cold-blooded killer, an enforcer for the London Mob. I jokingly mentioned "Jaws: The Revenge" in my introduction, but one of the characteristics that makes Caine's portrayal of Jack Carter so memorable are his eyes. Throughout the whole film they're dead, like a sharks, with not a trace of humanity reflected in them; they say that the eyes are the windows to the soul, and with that being the case, Jack Carter's soul must be a thing of unmitigated darkness.
Carter is out to discover the truth behind his brother's death in the North of England, and if needs be, to exact bloody revenge on all concerned. The official report is that his brother's death was a suicide, needless to say, Carter doesn't believe that for a second... and with good reason.
The film begins with a prologue set in London, where Jack asks for time off from his enforcing duties to travel north; permission is reluctantly given, and Carter soon finds himself immersed in a desperately sleazy world of pornography and drugs.
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46 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get Caine's best performance in this gritty film. December 19, 2000
This little seen gem features one of Michael Caine's finest performances in a taught, dark, perfectly realized character study of a professional killer who seeks revenge --no matter how high the cost may be.
The film was obviously a direct influence on several latter British films such as Long Good Friday and Mona Lisa. Films that unflinchingly focused on character, rather than story and presented a full dimensional portrait without justification or apology to the audience. It was remade as a blaxploitation film called The Hit Man too.
You can see it's influence on recent films such as Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and The Limey with their simple revenge driven motifs. Those films however add gimmicks and tricks to the mix. Get Carter trusts its material and it's actors and stays disturbingly quiet, and on the surface simple-though internally quite complex. It's a bit of a stretch but there are influences of Get Carter in Taxi Driver as well.
Get Carter remains a very English (as in British) film. It's a film which was undoubtedly influenced by John Boorman's 1967 classic Point Blank.
The way Michael Caine plays Carter will remind you of a darker, more cynical and somewhat more mature Alfie (the cheeky Casonova from the 1966 film that made Caine an international star). He's an over-confident, immoral, womanizing hit man who'll snap his fingers and demand a pint of bitter in a thin glass and then later have phone sex, while being observed with his mistress, Brit Eckland (a cutting edge scene in `71).
Some of the events in the film are inspired by real life events, but ones few Americans have ever heard of (concerning British gangsters). The film is purposely stripped of any visual poetry and shows us a drab, Newcastle.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Get Carter -- The saddest psychopathic gangster film ever made.
I think Carter needs a big hug -- There are two voyeuristic family moments in the film that are rather startling. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Mary Boon
Get carter with Michael caine is a 70's Action classic that deserves to be treated with respect
Warner bros finally releases this film on blu-ray April 20 to the public
i... Read more
Published 17 days ago by Ben30
5.0 out of 5 stars Brutal British Masterpiece.
Viewed: 3/14
Rate: 10

3/14: For a long while, I did not have a high esteem of Michael Caine probably because I've seen too many of his pictures from the 80's and... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Austin Somlo
4.0 out of 5 stars Grit and London deliver…
I have not seen the 2000 remake, nor do I ever plan to. That being said, I love me some Michael Caine, and so I was pretty excited to get my hands on this film. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Andrew Ellington
5.0 out of 5 stars classic!
We watched this one twice in 2 days! It is a classic, nothing ever compares to the original movies does it?
Published 2 months ago by tstock
4.0 out of 5 stars Great film- down to good- because too many gratuitous sex segments
Reviewers have said all already re: this gritty film set in Newcastle in Northern Britain- the way it is; with life and death and vice wherever you turn. Read more
Published 2 months ago by bowonwing
4.0 out of 5 stars Get Carter-1971
Newcastle England 1970, but it could be anywhere in the North or Midlands; dark, tough, gritty, brutal, sometimes vicious... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Richard Cunningham
5.0 out of 5 stars A groundbreaking crime drama which in 1971 crossed many, many lines
This is a great classic of world cinema and I liked it a lot - even if for reasons I will explain later it left me quite sad at the end. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Maciej
4.0 out of 5 stars Michael Cain as Cockney Killer
First off, get this film with the commentary. Cain and Mike Hodge's comments are very interesting. This was a dark film for an actor who'd made a career of mostly heroic leading... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Davis Hall
5.0 out of 5 stars The Action Adventure Title belies the darkness of this Excellent but...
This film is a story of the criminal mind and how it works. It is not a glorification of crime, it is intended to show that there are no hero's on the criminals side, there are... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Alan K. Sumrall
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