The Krays

1990

The Krays

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

86%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 14

80%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,734
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The Krays Photos

Movie Info

Peter Medak directed this fact-based drama, chronicling the lives of the infamous Kray Brothers, notorious celebrities in 60s London. The Krays were twin gangsters who ruled London's stylish East End club scene, staking out their territory by committing the most violent crimes imaginable, preferring to perform the most torturous acts themselves. The film stars Gary Kemp and Martin Kemp, founding members of the pop group Spandau Ballet, as Ronald and Reginald Kray. The film opens as their mother Violet Kray (Billie Whitelaw) recalls a dream in which she is a swan from which two beautiful babies have hatched. She can't tell if the swans are angels or demons, but the film soon answers that question for her. Brought up in London's East End in the 1930s, Ronald and Reginald Kray are raised in the resentful world of Violet, who is hateful of her lot in life and bitter at the control men have in running the world ("Housework is a lethal business," she says). The twins react to each other almost telepathically and they take out their anger by clogging the nose of their sleeping father (Alfred Lynch), pushing around fellow schoolboys, and even beating each other to pulp at a boxing match. When her mother chastises them for their fight in a fairground boxing ring ("You fight them up, but you don't fight each other"), the twins veer into the London underworld. In their self-contained world of Us-Against-Them, the Krays rapidly rise to the height of power, first taking over the territory of a petty mobster by violent means and then putting together an underworld empire of posh clubs, cars, and fancy suits. But at the height of their fame, the twins begin to break from each other. Reginald falls in love with Frances (Kate Hardie), while Ronald gets involved in a homosexual relationship with one of his underlings. Ronald, in a jealous rage over Frances stealing his brother away from him, becomes even more brutal in his crimes and while the brothers' backs are turned, a group of older mobsters challenge the Krays' authority, invoking a horrible bloodbath that effects not only the two brothers but Frances and Violet as well. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

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Cast

Gary Kemp
as Reggie Kray
Martin Kemp
as Reginald Kray
Billie Whitelaw
as Violet Kray
Jimmy Jewel
as Cannonball Lee
Kate Hardie
as Frances
Alfred Lynch
as Charlie Kray Sr.
Tom Bell
as Jack `The Hat' McVitie
Steven Berkoff
as George Cornell
Gary Love
as Steve
Victor Spinetti
as Mr. Lawson
Barbara Ferris
as Mrs. Lawson
Julia Migenes
as Judy, Singer in Club
Roger Monk
as Charlie Kray Jr.
John-Paul White
as Ronald Kray (age 3)
Michael White (I)
as Reginald Kray (age 3)
Harlon Haveland
as Ronald Kray (age 8)
Sam Haveland
as Reginald Kray (age 8)
Jason Bennett
as Ronald Kray (age 10)
Jamie Bennett
as Reginald Kray (age 10)
John McEnery
as Charlie Pelham
Murray Melvin
as Newsagent
Sadie Frost
as Sharon Pellam
Stephen Lewis
as Policeman
Peter Turner
as Regal Manager
Soo Drouet
as Jack's Girlfriend
Richard Vanstone
as Man Cut Outside Regal
Chris Pitt
as Young Eddie
Julie May
as Midwife
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Critic Reviews for The Krays

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (12) | Rotten (2)

Audience Reviews for The Krays

  • Apr 15, 2010
    Didn't enjoy it as much as most others. Was it possible for Spandau Ballet to pull this off?
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 14, 2009
    The British answer to Godfather which may lack the polish (it's really looking dated now), but it doesn't have all the paunch either. It's the character work that stuns here - it's slightly better than Long Good Friday. Any fans of gangster movies absolutely must see this. Thoroughly engrossing.
    Marcus W Super Reviewer
  • Nov 26, 2008
    Extraordinary film, with extraordinary acting and spooky synergy from brothers Gary and Martin Kemp, members of the '80s pop group Spandau Ballet.
    hawk l Super Reviewer
  • May 09, 2008
    Based on the true story of identical twin brothers Ronald and Reginald Kray, the drama of the most notorious British crime lords focuses on character to include homosexuality, a domineering mother, and jealousy leading to hyperviolent bloodletting, rather than the glamorization of the gangster lifestyle. The Brits love their gangster movies, especially when they're about Brits, and The Krays has enough to stand alongside some of the best gangster films to date. Considering the stars of the film, Martin and Gary Kemp, are from the 80's group Spandau Ballet, this movie is anything but soft. <a href="http://s273.photobucket.com/albums/jj203/goji9000/?action=view¤t=Krays.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/jj203/goji9000/Krays.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
    El Hombre I Super Reviewer

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