The Long Good Friday

Directed by John MacKenzie, Written by Barry Keeffe, Produced by Barry Hanson

East-End gangster Harold Shand (Bob Hoskins), sees a lucrative new property development opportunity in London. Unfortunately for him, a mysterious gang begins to muscle in on his operation. He sets out to discover who they are, and ends up in a bloody conflict with the IRA.

The film anticipated the massive redevelopment of the then-derelict London docklands in the 1980s. Bob Hoskins received a BAFTA nomination for Best Actor in 1982.

“The best British thriller of the 1970s was John MacKenzie’s The Long Good Friday (1979) which found itself in familiar controversy because of the way it represented the IRA. In the film, the stable criminal empire of London godfather Harry Shand (Bob Hoskins) is disrupted when the IRA move into his patch. After a brutal struggle for control Shand is ultimately defeated precisely because the IRA are not criminals and therefore cannot be bought, bribed or frightened into submission. The political commitment of the IRA ensures that, in the immortal phrase of Don Corleone in Coppola’s The Godfather, these are not people “he can do business with”. The producers of the film ACC demanded cuts to the final version which would remove references to the IRA as a highly organised political unit. The controversy was only resolved and the film’s distribution assured when it was sold to Handmade Films, the company founded by ex-Beatle George Harrison.”

Martin McLoone, ‘Film, Televsion and The Troubles’

Clip courtesy Handmade Films

© 1979 Handmade Films (1981) Partnership

All Rights Reserved

Further Infomation


Thriller/Drama - Theatrical


Handmade Films, Black Lion Films, Calendar Productions

Release Year


Period Set




Barry Keeffe


John MacKenzie


Barry Hanson


Paul Freeman - Colin

Leo Dolan - Phil

Kevin McNally - Irish Youth

Patti Love - Carol Benson

P.H. Moriarty - Razors

Derek Thompson - Jeff

Bryan Marshall - Harris

Bob Hoskins - Harold Shand

Helen Mirren - Victoria

Ruby Head - Harold’s Mother

Charles Cork - Eric

Olivier Pierre - Chef

Pierce Brosnan - 1st Irishman

Daragh O’Malley - 2nd Irishman

Dave King - Parky

Robert Walker - Jimmy

Nick Stringer - Billy

Gillian Taylforth - Sherry

Robert Hamilton - Flynn

James Ottaway - Commissionaire

Roy Alon - Captain Death

Tony Rohr - O’Flaherty