(Denis Lawson, John Hannah, Martin Compston, Patrick Bergen, et al / DVD / NR / 2014 / Inception Media Group)
Overview: Based on the life of notorious gangster Paul Ferris. Martin Compston stars as Ferris, who was brought up on the roughest streets in the most vicious neighborhood in 1960's Scotland. After taking revenge, one by one on a gang of bullying street-thugs, Ferris starts out working for two rival gang bosses, The Godfather and The Snake.
DVD Verdict: The true-life story of Paul Ferris, 'GANGSTER' - or as it was called when released in the UK back in 2013, 'The Wee Man' - is a harrowing movie to watch. Great, informative even, but harrowing in its violence. Not maybe for the solitary fact that lead actor Martin Compston was last seen on my TV in the brilliant UK TV series 'Line Of Duty' as one the good guys!
Anyway, due to Strathclyde Police (now Police Scotland) refusing to co-operate with the production company the movie was shot in London, not Glasgow. And you can see that London cinematic scape pop up from time to time. But you can let it float on by as what happens in this retelling of the man known as Paul Ferris is just too incredible to miss a heartbeat of a frame, trust me.
Based on Ferris’s memoirs, the film charts his rise through the ranks of Glasgow hoodlums in the 70s and 80s, giving Compston the unenviable task of humanising a man who, when he was still a teenager, became an enforcer for gangster Arthur Thompson, collecting debts on behalf of the man the tabloids dubbed “the Godfather,” and being linked to stabbings, slashings and knee-cappings. Starring alongside Denis Lawson ('New Tricks') as Ferris Senior and John Hannah as Tam “the Licensee” McGraw, Compston is as watchable as ever, however unpalatable the subject matter.
In closing, I remember reading 'Donny Brasco' many years ago, thinking it would be a great film, and not happy when the film came out, as it was very different from the book. However, 'Donny' is a good film. Treat this film the same way. For artistic and legal reasons, sometimes things need to be changed. The recollections of one person may not match those of someone else. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1:77.1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.