Get Carter is a 1971 British crime film, directed by Mike Hodges and starring Michael Caine as Jack Carter.
Hodges's first directorial job, the film was based on the 1969 novel Jack's Return Home, and the screenplay was written by the author Ted Lewis and by Hodges. The film went from novel to finished film in just eight months, with location shooting in grim and grimy Newcastle and Gateshead lasting just forty days. The film was produced by Michael Klinger and released by MGM.
As well as Caine, the film gave roles to the playwright John Osborne, Ian Hendry, Bryan Mosley, and Geraldine Moffat, among others, and also a cameo by Britt Ekland. The distinctive music in the film was composed by Roy Budd, a jazz and "easy listening" specialist, who worked well outside his previous boundaries for this film. The much admired theme tune features the sounds of Caine's train journey from London to Newcastle. All the music was played by Budd and two other jazz musicians -- Geoff Cline and Chris Careen.
Initial critical reception was poor, especially in Britain -- "soulless and nastily erotic . . . virtuoso viciousness", "sado-masochistic fantasy", and "one would rather wash one's mouth out with soap than recommend it". The film has become progressively rehabilitated since then: With its harsh realism, quotable dialog, and incidental detail, it may now be considered "the greatest British gangster film ever made".
The story is simple: Jack Carter is a gangster based in London. He travels to Newcastle, his childhood home, to attend his brother Frank's funeral. He discovers that his brother's death was murder and sets out to kill those responsible.