A few years back I was asked by a fellow academic to decide upon my favourite British film of all time, and then write an appreciation of it, for a book that unfortunately never saw the light of day. I chose The Long Good Friday and as I think about it now, several years on, my decision would probably remain the same. My interest in British genre cinema goes far beyond horror; indeed at one time I had a greater interest in home-grown gangster, noir, and science-fiction films than I did with a lot of generically retrograde horror pictures. The challenge of a genre film is in providing something innovative and new within a restrictive narrative and iconographic environment; this is made even more challenging when that genre then has to be adjusted to the meta-narratives and cultural concerns of a national cinema. In some genres, such as the western, this is impossible. But the syntactic concerns of the American gangster film seem to fit the gritty social realism that marked large swathes of British cinema like a glove. The Long Good Friday is an innovative gangster picture that isn’t concerned with the rise of the criminal, but instead completely focuses on his fall, and it is a fall that is made supremely entertaining by Bob Hoskins’ apoplectic and bemused rage.