Classic Scene: The last ride of Harold Shand in The Long Good Friday


Spoiler alert if you haven’t seen this – and if you haven’t seen it, do so immediately!

The much missed Bob Hoskins was one of Britain’s best actors, unsung throughout most of his early career before his incredible performance in Pennies From Heaven (1978) turned him into a star. That performance was matched, if not bettered very quickly in The Long Good Friday, a British gangland picture from 1980 which sees Hoskins playing gangster Harold Shand whose grandiose plans to go “legit” with the re-development of a key docklands site is beset by the IRA.

When he learns, during a visit by key American moneymen, that his pubs are being blown up and his key men knocked off, he is none too pleased – “whose having a go at me” he lets rip.

The key scene is the last minute and a half of the movie when Shand finally realises that all is lost, the ride he is taking will be his last and that IRA man Pierce Brosnan is about to kill him. Hoskins doesn’t say a word but their is a massive amount of power in the grim acceptance of his fate.