In the UK, the gangster film is basically an institution, like the cowboy film in America. Some of the very best films to be made and set in this country are gangster films and the genre has always been a favourite of straight-to-DVD producers, as it seems like there’s at least two new British crime capers out every week, all of them starring Danny Dyer or Frank Harper.
However, it isn’t just the capital city that plays home to the gangster film, locations up and down the country have been used to tell a crime story. Famously, Get Carter is set in Newcastle, crime comedy The 51st State is set in Liverpool and Brighton Rock is set in, well, Brighton. But London is the rightful home of the British gangster flick and has some fantastic stories to tell.
It has become very easy to mock London-set gangster films in the post-Guy Ritchie era, with their mockney caricatures and hyper visuals, but they’re the bread and butter of the British film industry and offer a great insight into the workings of our capital city.