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‘Get Carter’ named best British film

Total Film magazine polled 25 movie critics
/ Source: The Associated Press

A graphic but stylish tale of gangster violence starring Michael Caine beat out James Bond, Monty Python and scores of other British icons in one magazine’s ranking of the 50 best British films.

“Get Carter,” a 1971 movie starring Caine as a London gangster investigating the mysterious death of his brother, topped other classics such as “Life of Brian” and “A Clockwork Orange” to secure the top spot in Total Film magazine’s list, released Sunday.

“Caine’s character is now seen as one of the greatest anti-heroes of all time,” said Total Film editor Matt Mueller. “It has stood the test of time and marks the pinnacle of his career.”

Total Film polled 25 movie critics for the survey.

“A Matter of Life and Death” (1946), starring David Niven as a British wartime aviator who cheats death, came in second. “Trainspotting,” the 1996 tale of drug abuse in Scotland that starred Ewan McGregor, was third, and “The Third Man,” a 1949 film starring Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles, was fourth.

“Life of Brian” was the highest ranked Monty Python film, coming in fifth place, while the highest entry for a Bond movie was “From Russia With Love,” which was ranked ninth.

Notable absences from the list included Oscar winners “The English Patient,” “Chariots of Fire,” “Oliver!” and “Gandhi.”