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13 13. The Long Good Friday (1980)

Bob Hoskins in The Long Good Friday

Before he royally embarrassed himself in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, the late, great Bob Hoskins made a name for himself in British gangster classic The Long Good Friday. Hoskins plays old school cockney villain Harold Shand who is one of the most convincing gangsters ever to kill a man

on the big screen; in Shand's case, it involves brutally killing his best mate.

Little in stature but boasting a big presence and penchant for casual violence, Harold struts around the place like a pit bull on steroids. He is the undisputed king of the London underworld until the IRA move in on his patch, bundle him into a car and drive him to a quiet place where they can execute him in peace.

Yet our Harold remains a proud nut job to the end, and in the face of certain death he simply grits his teeth, snarls, flares his nostrils and stares with willful defiance from the backseat of his captor's car, as Hopkins delivers a true master-class of how to act through facial expressions alone. "Have it, you slag!"

Roger Daltrey in McVicar
Next 12  12. McVicar (1980)

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