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The Krays (1990)

The Krays (1990)

Gary KempMartin KempBillie WhitelawTom Bell
Peter Medak


The Krays (1990) is a English movie. Peter Medak has directed this movie. Gary Kemp,Martin Kemp,Billie Whitelaw,Tom Bell are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1990. The Krays (1990) is considered one of the best Biography,Crime,Drama movie in India and around the world.

The life of a pair of twins (Ronald and Reginald Kray) who were born in London in 1934 and when they grew up became gangsters selling protection.

The Krays (1990) Reviews

  • Good on character, bad on real facts


    The violence, loyalty, fear, blood and traditions are all present and correct. The Kemp bros., especially Gary, give superbly sinister and dangerous portrayals of the twins. You can't fault it's accuracy on who the twins were or how they grew up. However, the events shown are lacking in relevance to how they really happened and are taken from the point of view of Gang members who so obviously lied during their trial. The film also lacks on the other gang members, no member is named as being Tony Lambrianou or Freddie Foreman, for example. Although this is secondary to the twins themselves, for people who know the real story it does make it a little less enjoyable.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Doesn't arrive


    How "The Krays" fails would take a book, and that tome would example the way nearly every sincere effort at reproducing real live people on film comes to a bad end. First, the real Krays apparently had script approval based on comments in IMDb. Mark Twain said it, everyone's autobiography puts forth it's author as hero. The Krays is no different. Two hard-boiled gangster-killers are shown largely through their mother's eyes, as youths led astray, and their evil deeds were committed against equally foul creatures, therefore weren't really crimes but efforts at achieving equilibrium. The "suffering woman" viewpoint portrayed throughout, mirrored by not one single admirable male, operated as negation to the entire society. Therefore crimes weren't really crimes, they were strikes against the apathetic construct of British life. The Spandau Ballet boys were singers, not actors, so they can't really be blamed for their acting failings. But they did fail in scene after scene to strike any tone of true commiseration with their characters, and with that the movie lost any hope of success. Billie Whitelaw's powerful and supreme statement of motherhood only served to contrast the weakness of their efforts. She was wonderful, though, I remember her performance in a long ago TV movie, where she played a whore opposite Jack Palance in Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde. She was good in that, if quite a bit younger. To sum up, this isn't a good movie, it might be interesting to those who know something about the Krays, and Whitelaw is worth seeing for her performance. Other than that, it is a pass.

  • What a big disappointment


    This looked like a promising film: a portrait of Britain's most feared gangsters with great performances and some stylish,but graphic violence. How wrong I was. True, the violence was graphic etc but the film was let down by a script which ignores facts and skims over certain characters eg Teddy Smith, Inspector ''Nipper'' Reid. Also, most of the film was focused on the family. True, the Kray brothers were mummy's boys, but we got the point in the first ten minutes. The film sticks with this and does not paint a portrait of the terror they created and an authentic picture of British gangland. Plus,the acting wasn't the best, except for Gary Kemp as Ronnie. Watch Gangster No.1 . That was how this film should have been.


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