Heritage Plaque for Newcastle’s High Level Bridge – Sign The Petition!

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Jools and Paul Donnelly have recently been in touch to let us know of a campaign they have running to mark a piece of Newcastle film history by attempting to get a heritage plaque installed for the film Get Carter. I’ll let them take up the story:

We are proposing a heritage plaque is placed on the site of the ‘Get Carter Bridge’ (High Level Bridge) in Newcastle.  Our application to the Newcastle Historic Environment Advisory Panel must be submitted by the 16 July 2021 and it will further our cause if we can show the strength of public support by submitting a petition to back our application.

We have been successful in our most recent heritage plaque application, a plaque at the site of the Club a’Gogo, Newcastle’s legendary 60s club and ‘Home of the Animals’.  We aim to continue to lobby for plaques at sites which played a significant part in Newcastle’s cultural and musical heritage and which we feel deserve to be recognised and remembered.

Get Carter is based upon Ted Lewis’ novel, Jack’s Return Home about a native of the North East of England who leaves his new base in London to investigate the mysterious death of his brother in his home town.  The casting of Michael Caine in the lead role was a masterstroke and Get Carter remains a cult classic and a much loved film around the world. Shooting takes place in various locations across the Newcastle and the North East but one of the most memorable locations is the ‘Get Carter Bridge’ or High Level Bridge.  We feel it is only right and fitting that there should be a heritage plaque at this location.

Anybody that enjoyed the film knows the prominent part this bridge played and it’s great to see a couple local to the area attempting to recognise this, so bravo to Jools and Paul.

If you wish to sign this petition (and why wouldn’t you?!) then please head on over to change.org/GetCarterHeritagePlaque and give it your support.

Get Carter

Get Carter is 50 – Around The Web

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As Get Carter turned 50 years old last week it was inevitable that there would be a number of retrospective articles around the web looking back on the film and it’s anniversary. Whilst the site didn’t get much more activity than usual (unlike when the film is shown on the TV and I have a huge spike in numbers), I thought it might be useful to collate some of the articles from across the web that celebrated the milestone:

‘Movie Birthdays’ YouTube channel also did a nice video essay on the 50th anniversary:

Get Carter

Get Carter is 50 Years Old!

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A huge milestone for the film as this week marks 50 years since Get Carter was released to the British public all that time ago in 1971.

The film initially held a Newcastle premiere on the 7th March 1971 where unfortunatley Michael Caine wasn’t able to be present, although he did film a small introduction to be shown before the film:

Another premiere followed some days later in London on the 11th March and the film was finally open to all on 12th March when it was released under General Release across the UK. As was the way at the time, not all cinemas got the film at the same time and it took a number of weeks until the film had made it’s way back up north to the cinemas in Necastle and beyond.

Interestingly, the very first premiere was held on the 3rd February all the way over in Los Angeles, an idea seemingly cooked up by MGM to try and generate interest to a Stateside audience. How well that worked is unclear, as the film never really took off there, especially on the West Coast – it was said to have had some interest in New York City at the time in selected art house style cinemas, but it was far from the global smash hit that MGM were possibly aiming for.

The interest in Get Carter was initially strong, as detailed by Steve Chibnall in ‘A British Film Guide’:

In contrast to some of the mythology that surrounds the film, however, its box-office takings were very respectable. In the first week of its two-month London run, Get Carter broke the house record at ABC2, Shaftesbury Avenue (£8,188), and continued to do better business than Up Pompeii, which was showing in the larger ABC1. When moved to the ABC cinemas in the Edgware and Fulham Roads, it ‘opened strongly’, in spite of strong competition from Death in Venice, When Eight Bells Toll and The Music Lovers. On general release in the north of England in May, it enjoyed a ‘very strong first week’, before falling victim to an unseasonal heatwave that decimated cinema attendance. In the south of England, the film had ‘a highly satisfactory two-week run’. Interestingly, although Get Carter’s downbeat and unsentimental tone is now thought to express the mood of its times, the mass cinema audience preferred Love Story, which remained the most popular film in Britain throughout Get Carter’s run.

After being lost to a public audience throughout the majority of the 70s, 80s and 90s it’s eventual recognition and re-release in the late 1990s firmly cemented it’s status as a modern classic. Thankfully, even 50 years on, both Mike Hodges and Michael Caine are still around to tell their story of the film and hopfully both are raising a glass this week to a film which has truly stood the test of time.

Here’s to another 50 years!

Get Carter Poster

Rare Get Carter poster sells for £1800 at auction

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The Newcastle Chronicle has reported that a rare Get Carter poster has sold for a staggering £1,800 at a North East auctioneers.

One of the North East’s best-loved films – Get Carter – marks the 50th anniversary of its release in the New Year.

And there was an early boost to the celebrations when a poster for the film, estimated at £100 to £150 in a sale at Boldon Auction Galleries on South Tyneside, fetched a remarkable £1,800 this week.

“It was a very good result. Get Carter is a cult movie and there is the 50th anniversary coming up,” said auctioneer Giles Hodges.

The poster, as pointed out in the artcile is infamous amongst Get Carter fans as a poster that splits opinion as it features scenes and visuals that don’t exist in the film.

You can find out more about this poster and other worldwide cinema posters in our dedicated section of the website.

Criterion Cast Profiles ‘Get Carter’ in Latest Podcast

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As part of the ongoing Criterion Reflections series, the series has come to 1971 and this week they have covered Get Carter.

Criterion Reflections is David Blakeslee’s ongoing project to watch all of the films included in the Criterion Collection in chronological order of their original release. Each episode of this third season of the podcast features conversations with a variety of guests offering insights on movies that originally premiered in 1971 and were destined to eventually bear the Criterion imprint. In this episode, David is joined by David Seeley and Richard Doyle to discuss Get Carter, starring Michael Caine and directed by Mike Hodges.

Worth a listen for any fans of the film, although there are some pretty obvious errors in the analysis (Dori??). The presenters are US based, so I think they struggle sometimes to understand the very UK-centric plot subtleties.

Ted Lewis Group Outline Plans for 2020

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The Ted Lewis group continue their excellent appreciation of the author and his finest work by announcing their events for 2020. As we are approaching the 50th year of the anniversary of the film’s release and the 80th birthday of Ted they have assembled a bumper programme of events to celebrate Ted and the film. More detail will follow in due course but see below for a list of upcoming events from the ever-busy group.

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