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The Long Firm (DVD)
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Four-part BBC2 drama based on the cult novel by Jake Arnott set in the dark underbelly of 1960s London. Mark Strong plays Harry Starks, a charismatic nightclub owner, racketeer and porn king, whose sensitive temperament and love of Judy Garland belie the violent savagery that makes him the most feared and respected crime boss in Soho. His story is told from the point of view of four characters on whom Starks leaves his indelible mark: the poverty-stricken aristocrat Lord Teddy Thursby (Derek Jacobi) who cannot hide his predilection for young boys; Ruby Ryder (Lena Headey), a film actress past her prime; radical criminologist and lecturer Lenny (Shaun Dingwall); and Jimmy (Phil Daniels), a lowlife petty criminal who gets increasingly drawn into Starks' dark world. Synopsis During the swinging sixties in London, there was only one crime boss in Soho that mattered: the indomitable Harry Starks. With a reputation for savagery and generosity in equal measure, Starks ruled central London with a coercive fist and his favourite implement of torture: the red-hot poker. Based on Jake Arnott's best-selling novel, which combines fact with fiction, this is a retrospective tale of criminality in the 1960s through to the 1980s; told from the view of four characters as they encounter the menacing Starks. From the penniless Lord with a predilection for young boys to a fading film actress desperate to make ends meet, from an out-of-touch minor crook to a disillusioned criminologist - Starks leaves his indelible mark on them all. But Starks is no regular gangster - he's an intelligent, complex Judy Garland-loving man who yearns for something more than the rough and tumble of criminal life.

Running Time: 220 minutes
Region: Region 2
Subtitles: English
Release Date: 30 Aug. 2004

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