1. Jack Carter (Michael Caine)
Get Carter (1971)
“Jack Carter was such a shit, it never occurred to me that a star would risk his reputation to play him,” remembers director Mike Hodges. But Caine didn’t blink at the part of the cool, psychotic London gangster hunting his brother’s killer in Newcastle.
“In the script Carter was softer and sleazier than he was in the final film. But Michael gave him an edge… Made him more ruthless,” says Hodges.
“Remember when he’s in that Newcastle bar and he asks for the drink in a ‘thin glass’? Nobody forgets that. And you know why? In the script, Carter says, ‘Please’. But Michael left that out and that little choice makes Carter even more terrifying.”
As if a man with Carter’s complete lack of morals, propensity for sudden, shocking violence and – let’s face it – total indifference to human life wasn’t frightening enough, eh? The biggest movie bastard ever?
It’d be a brave – possibly suicidal – person who tried to deny him the title.
Prime Act Of Bastardy: The way he casually splats a man off the top of a car park? The sleazy telephone sex with his Mob boss' girlfriend? The dead look in his eyes he watches a car with a woman trapped in the boot sink into a canal? The “big man, bad shape” speech?
No, we’ve gone for his treatment of young Keith (Alun Armstrong). This lad worships Carter and has done nothing but help him since the mobster arrived in Newcastle. Surely he can expect a little appreciation?
After taking a beating on Carter’s behalf, Keith lies battered and bleeding in his bed as Carter visits him. When he finds out what happened, Carter just sneers, “Get yourself some karate lessons,” chucks some money down on the bed and strides out.
Prime bastardy, indeed…
Who's your favourite Movie Bastard? Speak now in the Comments!
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