The Krays

1990

Biography / Crime / Drama

79
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 81%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 80%
IMDb Rating 6.6 10 7,635

Synopsis


Downloaded times
January 28, 2021

Director

Cast

Brian Nickels as Frank
Sadie Frost as Sharon Pellam
720p.WEB
1.08 GB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
115 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by tim-764-291856 8 / 10 / 10

It's aged well but should be better known.

I saw this British crime biography in the cinema 20 years ago, on its release. I'd not seen it since, until getting it on DVD. It was striking then how perfectly cast the Kemp brothers were, as the violent twins. Core members of the 1980's pop group Spandau Ballet, it was an eye-opener that they had another string to their bow and in contrast to their fresh pop image. The film's aged well. Martin Kemp (Reggie Kray) kept up his acting career with popular soap operas (Eastenders) though I'm not sure what Gary (Ronnie Kray) has done since. They both have a slimy sort of adhesion as blood brothers and as the gangsters they both compel - and appal. Billie Whitelaw's performance as their strong, iron-lady of a mother, Violet, who held the family together through the blitz and rationing, was always held in high esteem. The Kray men of that era come across as weak, ducking active war service and work, which embittered Violet, her mother and her sisters. Thus, she had such high hopes for her twin boys. Bearing comparison to Margaret Wycherly's 'Ma' in the 1949 James Cagney crime thriller, 'White Heat' the bond becomes above all else. The apron strings are bullet proof, it would seem. Having somewhat grown up myself in the interim between viewings, I saw more into Kate Hardie's character who played Reggie's wife, Frances. Cast under a long shadow, below the 'Firm', Reggie's brother and certainly far below Violet, poor Frances, who annoyed me twenty years ago with her frightened whimpering excels at going from pretty girl-next-door, to trophy wife and then to tragic doormat. Ronnie Kray's homosexuality, understandably back in the early-mid 1960's (and illegal) was cause of much of the ridicule and angst they endured from their enemies. Even back in 1990, it seemed daringly fresh to have this as part of the storyline, with scenes to match. The film's direction and look cannot fail to be compared these days to Martin Scorsese, or, how he would have done it. This looks British; that grey-brown that these days would be digitally sourced. The acres of dull patterned wallpaper in front living rooms. The big Jaguar cars. The sun never shines in the East London street scenes, those streets seemingly familiar to Brits everywhere. The dialogue at times seems naff and obvious, other times spot-on. Violence, when it comes is near-graphic, but maybe not up there with the barely watchable scenes of say, Scorsese's Goodfellas. I'd like to have seen more action - adding to its 115 minutes with more of the 'everyday' crime and racketeering and how they held down their much feared reputation. We do get a couple of brilliantly played nasty guys - Stephen Berkoff and Tom Bell are as despicable as any - and who have vengeance played upon them by the twins. We get no tip-offs and thus, no raids and no police. Some chase scenes might have been nice! As a drama that reads more like a psychological profile than a straight crime thriller, then it's rarely been bettered, on either side of the Atlantic. Had it been made in the mould of the latter, then it might be better known and better remembered. I still like it, as it is, as much as I did twenty years ago.

Reviewed by Bogey Man 4 / 10 / 10

Pretty impressive film

Peter Medak directed this film from the screenplay of Philip Ridley. Both have done great films like Romeo Is Bleeding (Medak) and Passion of Darkly Noon (Ridley) and The Krays is not an exception. It tells the story of real life Kray twins gangsters (Gary and Martin Kemp from Spandau Ballet) that kept England in horror in the middle of 1900's. They were born to normal family where their mother (Billie Whitelaw), a very strong female character, brought them up among a world that was filled with "useless men" and females that fought in difficult circumstances during war and poverty. When the twin brothers grew, they began to get power and finally they become very powerful and strong gangsters, who finally met their destiny. This film is a depiction of power, greed and money and how it corrupts. "When people are afraid of you, you can do anything" says Ronnie Kray to his brother Reggie. The greediness and other forms of corruption - like revenge - become so strong that they finally destroy everything the brothers have reached. The theme is pretty much the same as in DePalma's Scarface and many other similar depictions of power and money. The last scene in The Krays is very powerful and important as it crystallizes the whole message of the film. The film also tells about females and love. Love is also destroyed because other things become more important for Reggie, who has found a girlfriend. This film has also very powerful female characters, mainly the mother of brothers. She is very feminine and all the female characters seem to hate males in this movie, but that is perhaps all some males deserve in the film since all they seem to be able to do is getting drunk and fight and not help the females in any way. Technically The Krays is a proof of Medak's talent as the photography is great and the film is very powerful in its elements. The part when mother Kray realizes what her boys do "for living" is very powerful and told with the very effective tools of cinema. Music is often effective and violence is off putting, as the attitudes and values of the movie's characters are, too. This film is very powerful as the aforementioned last scene is very sad and though provoking, and really underlines the final message of the film. I think the characters are somewhat too shallow occasionally and their acts are not fully explained all the time. That is also the case in another film written by Philip Ridley, The Passion of Darkly Noon. Mostly I'm irritated how Reggie treats his wife since there seems to be believable emotional relationship between the two. Also, the girl who plays Reggie's wife over-acts little in some scenes and it is irritating to watch as it is not as realistic and natural as possible. If the characters were little more natural and believable, this would be even greater piece of cinema. The Krays is important piece of 90's cinema and very powerful depiction of different kinds of corruption that finally lead to destruction and death of dreams. I give this 8/10 and the film is recommended for those who appreciate films like Romeo is Bleeding and Scarface, for instance.

Reviewed by malcolmgsw 4 / 10 / 10

Disjointed and glamourises violence and the Krays

I happened to be present at the end of one of the Krays Old Bailey trials.this was one where the case collapsed due to witness intimidation.Finally,thankfully,the law caught up with them.Pity this film didn't make clear why instead of glamourising the Krays and violence.No mention was made of the main way they made their money,the protection racket.Far too much time was spent on the twins with their mum.Also we saw snippets of their early life but it didn't add up to very much.Some much of what was shown regarding the 2 crucial murders was confused and confusing.The reasons for the murders were far more complex than shown in this film.All in all a pretty poor effort.

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