Get Carter (1971)

“Get Carter” (1971)



what you see is what you get

There is a strange appeal to the English movies of the late 60′ and beginning of the 70′. Socially, we find in that moment a peak in the usual arrogance of the British. Today, when the UK, indeed all Europe, is sliding towards cultural decadence, and artistic indecision, it is interesting to consider that specific social context, and watch what came out of it. Probably the best example of what i’m talking about is “the Italian job” which also stars Michael Caine. But this is a pretty good example.

This is a detective story. One guy trying to correct a story sold to him, and thus remake the reality where that story goes. The basic structure was held for the remake, with Stallone, except there we have Stallone’s muscles in place of Caine’s British wittiness. That’s the basic game. There are broken strings, pieces that don’t fit, and Caine struggles to tell things right. In the middle we have mundane dramas, unsolved family issues, which matter very little. Yet, three things are to be noticed.

.one is the very use of the English rural/provincial landscape. It informs the mood, it evokes the shape that we need for this story: close-minds, unsophisticated gangsters, but a light world where it is apparently enjoyable to live; that’s why it was so believable that Caine’s brother might have died by accident;

.Caine’s character, he is the formalization of what i stated above. A sophisticated, stylish representation of what the “modern” British should be, after the humiliations of the world war, and the exaggerations of the 60′. He is on the top of the game, despite the final irony where the film ends. In a way his character here is no different than the one he performs in Italian Job. But the whole project is less arrogant and self-centered than Italian Job (where Caine says “the people in this country drive on the wrong side of the road”).

.The unfolding of the story (spoilers herein). The solving of the mystery is allowed by a super8 film. This is a world where seeing means believing, and every character is there to confuse Caine’s perception. So the fact that a film is the key to the game, makes the solution interesting (this aspect was kept in the remake)

My opinion: 4/5

This comment on IMDb


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