Road Rash Reviews

Once Upon a Time in London Review***--

Cert 18 | 107 mins | 2019

3 Star

A Cut-throat Crime Thriller.

Writer/director Simon Rumley (Fashionista) brings us the dark tale of London’s East End during the 1930’s when the Italians and the White family run the organised crime, with hopefuls Jack ‘Spot’ Comer and Billy Hill hot on their heels and they will take it through to the 1960’s when the Legends that were the Kray’s take over the reins.

A time in London’s history that saw the rise of Mosley’s fascists in the area, the Jewish community on edge and the Italian Sabini (Adam Saint, Rise of the Footsoldier) family merge with Alf White (Jamie Foreman, Layer Cake, Inkheart). Billy Hill (Leo Gregory, Green Street, Apocalypse), a serial burglar is keen to impress the families. He gives them a bigger cut than they were asking for which annoys Alf’s son Harry as Billy has no respect for him. Billy is young and has a girlfriend Aggie (Holly Earl, Queen of the Desert) and they love to spend a lot of time in the back rows of the picture house.

Meanwhile on another street corner Jack ‘Spot’ Comer (Terry Stone, Unarmed But Dangerous) heads to his local. A man that already has a reputation and a crew and this is why Darky Mulley (Geoff Bell, Kingsman: The Secret Service) approaches him with an opportunity to get into a horse race betting protection ring and bars around London.

He soon gets to show his muscle at the Kingfisher Cup when some thugs have a go at a bookie. Spot moves in and cleans up the trouble but not all things go smoothly in the underworld. However he has other tongs in the fire and he plans a big bank job, that turns out to be the biggest in London’s history. Whilst Billy gets caught doing a robbery and is sent down for two years.

Then history steps in with the start of WWII and all Italians between 18-60 are arrested ending the White, Sabini alliance and the Whites on their own are no Sabini’s.

A vacuum has to be filled and Spot sees an opportunity and when Billy is released early because of the war he offers his services to the discharged Jack ‘Spot’ Comer.

Let the violence begin. And never trust anyone.

A gripping film which spends too much time in the dark, but a very creative use of music masking the violence that is going on. Interesting.

Once Upon a Time in London is available on DVD.

DirectorSimon Rumley
StarringTerry Stone, Leo Gregory, Dominic Keating, Kate Braithwaite, Geoff Bell
Available to buy on : Own it on DVD
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Category: dvd, Review