2 May 2009

Classic scenes from the movies part 5

For the return of classic scenes from the movies, I've chosen as this part's theme British gangsters. The first clip is from the Steven Soderbergh masterpiece The Limey. In it, Terence Stamp plays an East End villain who comes to LA to find out who's responsible for the death of his daughter. Atmospheric, with a beautiful use of cinematography and lighting, Soderbergh crafts a wholly-original yet, at the same time throwback, gangster flick long on both style and substance.

In this scene, Terence Stamp's character goes to a shady warehouse to try and find the whereabouts of the man he suspects to be responsible for his daughter's death. After brazenly walking in to the warehouse and shouting the odds at the small-time hoods inside, a few of the muscle-bound henchman throw him out into the street and this is where the fun begins.

The next scene, from Guy Ritchie's oft-imitated, oft-quoted comedy masterwork Snatch, is actually a small compilation of scenes featuring local "villain", Brick Top, played with a true ruthlessness by the underused-elsewhere Alan Ford. So funny and quotable are his scenes throughout the movie, it's impossible to pick just one so I found this collection on YouTube.

Because Ritchie has since found it impossible to come anywhere near the heights of this, his most famous and best-loved film, it's easy to forget what a good writer/director he is. Yes, his most successful films run along the same theme (fast-talking, profanity-fuelled gangsters - this, Lock Stock, RockNRolla), but his ear for whip-cracking, hilarious and brutal dialogue, combined with his over-use (but in a good way) of flashy techniques such as jump-cuts, freeze-frames, fast-zooms makes him one of the most entertaining film makers around at the moment.

If his upcoming take on the Sherlock Holmes legend can come anywhere near the heights of this (and with a still-Iron-Man-hot RD,Jr., and RockNRolla's Mark Strong as the villain, it bloody-well should), Ritchie should finally see an upturn in box office receipts (something that has always eluded him, even including Snatch).

Muhammed "I'm 'Ard" Bruce Lee. Genius.

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