Get Carter – ITV4

A hard-hitting vintage British gangster thriller. 5/5 stars

London hard case Jack Carter (Michael Caine) goes up to Newcastle to get to the bottom of his brother’s death. But once there he uncovers a den of corruption, pornography and drugs that has engulfed his dearest family members.

Britt Ekland acts provactively over the phone, playwright John Osborne makes the most of a rare acting role as the local Mr Big and – as well as being a graphic reminder that the North East once had a coal industry – Caine’s final confrontation with Ian Hendry is as tough as cold steel.

This relentlessly bleak thriller ranks with Brighton Rock and The Long Good Friday as one of the few truly great British gangster movies. Far superior to the Sly Stallone remake of the noughties, this is also a lot more hard-hitting, certainly not for the squeamish.