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||IMDB Rating: 6.3/10 from 274 votes
||Release: 1 September 2010 (USA) /
||Genre: Crime, Documentary
||Director: Nicola Collins,
||Stars: Alan Mortlock, Bobby Reading, Charlie Magri, Danny Woollard, Jimmy Murphy, Jimmy Tibbs, Les Falco, Matt Attrell, Mickey Goldtooth, Mickey Gonella, Mickey Taheny, Roy Shaw, Sam Attrell, Victor Dark
||Synopsis: Against the background of the East End of London England, Nicola Collins explores the fascinating complexity of the lives of her father and his friends: infamous criminals that shaped their war torn environment into a violent underworld. The End is a story never before been told of a group of men with a common bond. All born in the East End of London into poverty striving for a better life and all found that life in crime. Unashamed and unapologetic these men live their lives defined by a code of honor. The End reveals the bloody history and the confessions of the cockney gangster. Written by The End
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Watch The End - Alternative Versions.
Crime pays. And it really began paying out in the run-up to the
millennium, as numerous old lags started getting their pensions topped
up from the proceeds of true-crime merchandising. After decades of
seeing their dark power half-inched by punks and football hooligans,
former East End gentlemen were reclaiming their 'Sixties appeal as
shotgun-toting clothes horses and pop culture icons - lending their
mugs to photo shoots, magazine columns and bestselling autobiographies.
And, of course, movies: for better or worse, the Britcrime genre was
also reactivated in the 1990s, a mixed legacy the UK film industry
still hasn't shaken off.
For those who wanted to hear the chaps too, Tricky's Durban Poison
label released its 'Product of the Environment' CD, in which ex-Kray
associates and rivals such as Charlie Richardson, 'Mad' Frankie Fraser
and Tony Lambrianou reminisced over techno soundtracks. "Certain
stories can be a bit gruesome" Product's producer told the press in
1999. "I cut out a lot of what they said." Edited for mass consumption,
'Product' soon nestled comfortably on the racks alongside Gangsta
rappers, reassuring buyers with the information that a percentage of
its profits would go to "providing musical equipment and boxing
facilities for deprived kids".
The End (a 'Duckin and Divin Production') is simply another reworking
of 'Product', a deliberately distressed and scratchy documentary of
talking heads, sporting the same sinister techno score and added
subtitles for non-Cockneys. It's directed and produced by the twin
Collins sisters Nicola and Teena, former actors and catwalk models who
starred in Snatch - and are themselves a Product of the Environment in
question, as their father is convicted armed robber Les Falco. The End,
therefore, is an attempt to ask their old man, alongside other aging
East End crims, "What did you do in the (turf) war, dad?"
Whatever your position on the subject matter, The End will confirm all
your prejudices. If you think these people are a misunderstood bunch of
geezers who only hurt their own and live by an internal code of ethics,
this will confirm it. If you reckon they're rabid animals who deserve
locking up for a long time, this won't change your opinion one iota.
And if you're a sociologist who believes that lives are entirely shaped
by economic forces, you're really going to dig this. (It even begins
with a quote from Aristotle: "Poverty is the parent of revolution and
So if you're looking to box tick clichés, bring lots of paper. Bring
reams. Every stereotypical statement you can possibly imagine is
trotted out by these charming, twinkle-eyed sociopaths, from the one
about how post-War poverty turned them to crime - "9 out of 10
EastEnders started out doing a bit of villainy" apparently (discounting
the vast majority of law-abiders who didn't) - to the one about how
"the Krays done a lot for under-privileged kids and charities" and that
old favourite, "Reg Kray taught me empathy, to always think of the
other person's point of view before you react".
Hang on. What? Reggie Kray taught bare knuckle boxer-cum-armed robber
Roy "Pretty Boy" Shaw about empathy? Maybe there are some surprises to
be had here. The uninitiated might also be interested to learn these
guys detest the 'G' word. "Gangsterism is a fallacy, put about by
newspapers and films to glamourise it" scoffs 'negotiator' Mickey
Gonella, correctly. Everyone prefers terms like "rascals" as if pouring
acid over somebody's head to melt their brain, an incident vividly
described here, were something you might find in The Beano. Yoiks, the
Little Rascals have nailed Biffo the Bear's ears to the table again!
Gonella's disparagement of 'glamourised' crime is tellingly at odds
with The End itself, which employs a heavily stylized approach,
affording a supposedly gritty glamour to the proceedings. Imagine if
the film stock were untreated. The distancing process would be lost.
And this would immediately become unpleasantly banal - merely footage
of people who hurt or threaten other people for money.
But in fact like other forms of porn, this is mostly just another
come-on. The gents might talk a lot, but listen closely - they actually
say next to nothing about committing the crimes for which they're
convicted (though proudly talk about the bullies, nonces or grasses
they've bashed up - painting themselves as virtual Arthurian knights).
And nobody dares admit to the worst thing they've done. Instead, we
mainly hear about things they've witnessed; a deadening, numbing litany
after awhile, though snatches of dialogue occasionally pull you up
short: "I pulled back his ear and tried to bite his throat completely
In the second, philosophical half, a few chaps describe turning to the
ultimate Godfather. "Everything you've ever done, He'll forgive you"
swears fight promoter Alan Mortlock. "It's like the Old Bill tearing up
your criminal past." It doesn't mean he's gone soft though: "I'm Born
Again - not born yesterday!" The old guard also mourn the 'death' of
their beloved East End which, they say, has lost its atmosphere and all
those "funny characters and geezers" of yesteryear. Nobody admits
there's probably just as many 'funny characters' there today. It's
just, unlike everybody featured here, they might not be white.
Mostly, it's business as usual: non-existent levels of self-awareness
allied to breathtaking amounts of self-justification. "I'm not the bad
guy" muses 'international debt collector' Mickey Goldtooth. "They're
the bad guy for not paying the money, right?" Although Falco admits: "I
thought of myself as a sort of a Robin Hood - everyone else thought I
was a robbin' bastard." And Shaw, formerly imprisoned for years,
confesses: "I've wasted all my life. It's a mug's game."
Yet the saddest and profoundest statement flashes by so quickly you
could very easily miss it: "We don't take life serious. We just take
Tags for The End Full Movie
, Bobby Reading
, Charlie Magri
, Danny Woollard
, Jimmy Murphy
, Jimmy Tibbs
, Les Falco
, Matt Attrell
, Mickey Goldtooth
, Mickey Gonella
, Mickey Taheny
, Roy Shaw
, Sam Attrell
, Victor Dark
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