Tony Mastroianni Review Collection

"Carter" raises Caine, blood pressure

Cleveland Press March 26, 1971

"Get Carter" is playing at local theaters. Gangster movie; strictly adult. In the cast are Michael Caine, Britt Ekland, John Osborne. Running time: 111 minutes.

Few films have been so obsessed with violent death as "Get Carter." Maybe there is a strong streak of sado-masochism running through audiences for such movies to succeed.

There is almost a fascination in the pictures repellence. However, much of the film's appeal is the performance of Michael Caine.

Caine has strolled through too many movies in recent years. "The Last Valley," which opened last week, and "Get Carter" offer him at his best.

IN "GET CARTER" Caine is a London gangster who leaves town for his brother's funeral, heading north to Newcastle with the hot coals of revenge smoldering in him.

Too experienced in murder himself, he knows that this is not the accident it pretends to be. One by one he begins to follow leads, breaking heads along the way.

As matters get thicker and trickier he also commits one murder after another.

THE PICTURE is almost an English counterpart of "Point Blank" of a few years back in which Lee Marvin was the man intent on mayhem. But where "Point Blank' had rhythm and point, "Get Carter' is often pointless.

Writer-director Mike Hodges shows promise but his film work needs an editor. He has an eye for angles, for filling a scene with several levels. He also includes too much extraneous material

The picture is a heavy blend of sex and sadism, some of it kinky. Not satisfied with depicting a murder the movie lingers over the gurgles, the convulsions and finally the still, dead face.

THE PLOT is more involved than it need be and characters are difficult to identify.

Caine is the heart of the matter - cool, calculating. professional with sudden explosions of action and violence. Now that he has resumed his stride he ought to find some better material.