Michael Caine in Get Carter (1971, dir. Mike Hodges)

TITLE: GET CARTER (1971) ¥ PERS: CAINE, MICHAEL ¥ YEAR: 1971 ¥ DIR: HODGES, MIKE ¥ REF: GET001CD ¥ CREDIT: [ THE KOBAL COLLECTION / MGM ]

“I was in a club somewhere in the West End just after Get Carter was released and the gangster I’d based Jack Carter on – not that he ever knew it – came up to me and said, “I saw that Get Carter, Michael.” Uh-oh, I thought, but I kept a dead straight face and I said, “Did you?” and he went on, “Biggest load of crap I’ve ever seen.” “Really?” I said, looking for the exit. “What makes you think that?” And he said, “Michael, you weren’t married, you didn’t have any kids and you had no responsibilities. You don’t understand why we do things. Me, with no special skills, I had to hold on to a wife and kids.”

And I thought – no special skills? He’d only killed about five people – not that he’d ever been charged with anything, but everyone knew…and I said, “Oh blimey, you’re right. That was a terrible mistake.” I completely agreed with everything he said. You don’t want to argue with someone like that.

Violence has consequences and you don’t often see that in movies. It’s a sort of pornography: people are struck time and time again and the next time they appear they just sport a small Band-aid, not even a black eye or missing teeth. If you were a real victim of the violence you see in films, you would be in hospital or dead. In Get Carter you see the effect of one whack, although we never cut to the gore.”

-Michael Caine, The Elephant to Hollywood