Get Carter: Who Knew It Was A Tale Of Revenge?

British gangster movie Get Carter was an early example of film promotion exploiting sex and violence as a cinematic attraction with US marketing pushing thematic intrigue over star persona. But from these classic lobby cards and promotional materials from 1971, who would have known it was a tale of revenge..?

How do you sell a great gangster movie to an American audience that has nothing to do with the mafia families in New York? Moreover, how do you sell a tale of a mobster’s revenge to the US market when it’s entirely set on the dreary post-industrial streets of Newcastle upon Tyne? The answer: you turn it into a exploitation flick that’s apparently filled to the gills with sex and violence…

Pauline Kael was one of the few critics who saw Get Carter as a serious artistic achievement when others, particularly British critics, saw it as nothing more than a bunch of cliched gangster tropes strung together with excessive nudity and X-Rated snuff.

Long before Get Carter developed its cult following, and ultimately became recognised as a bracing, genre-defining piece of mob culture cinema by critics on both sides of the Atlantic, America’s critics seemed to “get it” before the UK’s film writers could accept Michael Caine as an amoral anti-hero far removed from the quirky delights and wry smiles of Alfie and The Italian Job.

Certainly, in the US, MGM wasn’t afraid to sell the seedier side of the film, with its female nudity and double-barreled violence. But from these classic lobby cards and promotional materials from 1971, who would have known it was a tale of mob culture and vengeance?

Get Carter: a film about personal hygeine, hair removal and bath time…

Get Carter - Top 10 Revenge Movies

Get Carter: a film about provocative underwear and telephones…

Get Carter - Top 10 Revenge Movies

Get Carter: a romantic film starring that lovable rogue from Alfie…

Get Carter - Top 10 Revenge Movies

Get Carter: a film about… I really don’t know…

Get Carter - Top 10 Revenge Movies

This is more appropriate – Get Carter: a film about funerals (hint… hint…)

Get Carter - Top 10 Revenge Movies

Concentrating on theme rather than Michael Caine – Get Carter: a film featuring guns, anger, pain, killing…

Get Carter - Top 10 Revenge Movies

Discover More:
Top 10 Films About Vengeful Vigilantes featuring Get Carter
Top 10 Films Of Michael Caine

About the Author
Rory Fish has loved movies since he can remember. If he was to put together an "all time" top 10 of absolute favourites it would have to include North By Northwest, 12 Angry Men and Sunset Boulevard.

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  1. Callum Reply

    I like the way they sold the movie and it seems to be ahead of its time with respect to how sex sells for movies.

  2. CineGirl Reply

    A good example of the marketing machine working its magic. I guess the grey skies of the North East isn’t so sexy.

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