Once upon a Time in London

Once upon a Time in London

Simon Rumley (2019)

106min
18 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
BritCrime has a lot to answer for, as the shadow of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrelshas hung over all UK underworld movies since 1998. In charting the real-life rivalry between London kingpins Jack "Spot" Comer (Terry Stone) and Billy Hill (Leo Gregory), writer/director Simon Rumley boldly invokes the spirit of such sinister Mob pictures as Brighton Rock (1947) and No Orchids For Miss Blandish (1948). But the road to infamy rarely runs smooth and Rumley spends so long setting the scene that he finds himself pressed for time when it comes to Hill and Comer's increasingly brutal 1950s contretemps. As several other outfits keep muscling on to their manors, it becomes tricky to follow who's who, especially as Rumley also tries to focus on the women in Hill and Comer's lives. The performances are solid, the visuals slick and the pastiche score catchily effective. Yet Rumley simply doesn't have the resources or the scope to do justice to his ambition.

Cast & Crew

Billy Hill Leo Gregory
Jack "Spot" Comer Terry Stone
Alf White Jamie Foreman
Darky Mulley Geoff Bell
Frankie Fraser Roland Manookian
Aggie Pickett Holly Earl
Sonny the Yank Andy Beckwith
Harry White Justin Salinger
Belgian Johnny Dominic Keating
Albert Dimes Doug Allen
Director Simon Rumley
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: SignatureGuidance: Violence, swearing.Available on: DVDReleased on: 19 Apr 2019