Born 22 May 1928: Died 8 June 2011
The film director John Mackenzie, who has died in London aged 83, directed The Long Good Friday which is widely acknowledged as the UK’s greatest gangster movie. It starred Bob Hoskins (a ne’er-do-well East End gangster) and Helen Mirren and dealt with the development of London’s Canary Wharf. Mackenzie brought a penetrating eye and keen sense of drama to the film that is now considered a classic. He had the ability to balance the all-pervading sense of evil with a sly humour. Indeed Mr Mackenzie was keen to let Hoskins display a more vulnerable quality for, as he said, “the worst villains in the world have certain qualities that are liked, and Bob had the personality and humour to pull it off.”
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