Sunday 15 August 2021


Following the success of Life Of Brian, The Long Good Friday was the next major project he undertook. The John Mackenzie directed flick starred Bob Hoskins alongside Helen Mirren, but it wasn’t an easy production to get off the ground due to its complex theme.

George Harrison managed to pick the film up for £200,000 less than its production costs after its risque storyline relating to the IRA stopped it from getting a theatrical release. George’s intervention brought the picture to cinemas.

Lew Grade was the person who stopped the film from getting a cinematic release before Harrison’s move, as the media mogul believed the film was a glorified advert for the IRA.

In 1969, Grade bought up over a hundred Lennon and McCartney songs following some intense negotiations. 
It would lead to John Lennon eventually suing Grade in 1974 and settling out of court, with the businessman remaining the co-publisher of all of his new songs while Paul McCartney, on the other hand, would win his case.

Perhaps this was an incentive for George when the opportunity arose to pick up the film for less than the cost of production. 
Both Bob Hoskins and Helen Mirren put in spellbinding performances that radiate on the screen, making The Long Good Friday a captivating piece of cinema.
George only played just over a fifth of the production costs to take ownership of the film.
It almost would have been left to rot if it wasn’t for the Beatle stepping in, which prevented a highly-edited version from airing on television. 
He made sure the film got the release it duly deserved, and The Long Good Friday cemented Mirren’s status as one of Britain’s best actors.
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