Mike Hodges, director of Get Carter and Flash Gordon, dies at 90

Mike Hodges, the British director known for films such as Get Carter, Croupier, The Terminal Man and Flash Gordon, has died at the age of 90.

Mike Kaplan, a longtime friend and producer on Hodges’ latest film I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead, confirmed his death to The Guardian. Hodges died at his home in Dorset on Saturday. The cause of death was not mentioned.

Hodges’ career was booked with British gangster films: Get Carter (1971) and Pulp (1972), then Croupier (1999) and his last film I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead (2003). He was also known for his cult classic Flash Gordon.

Born in Bristol in 1932, Hodges first worked as a chartered accountant, then spent two years serving on a Royal Navy minesweeper around the fishing ports of northern England. There was a witness[ed] abject poverty and deprivation of which I had been previously unacquainted”, an experience he later said informed Get Carter. “.

Hodges on the set of the 1971 movie Get Carter, with Michael Caine and Ian Hendry. Photo: Metro/Allstar

He later entered the show business as a telecast operator for British television, where he began observing how television was made. He started writing scripts and soon quit his job with the number of commissions he was getting. He began producing and directing news and documentary series, then wrote, directed and produced two suspense films for ITV Playhouse Rumor and Suspect, which led to him being approached to adapt Ted Lewis’ novel Get Carter.

Set against a working-class backdrop in the north of England, Michael Caine plays a London gangster who seeks his own form of justice after his brother is murdered in Newcastle. Get Carter was a huge success and was soon considered England’s answer to The Godfather.

A year later, Hodges worked with Kane on his next film, Pulp, which saw Kane play a pulp fiction author who is asked to write a memoir of an aging actor best known for playing gangsters (Mickey Rooney), who is also suspected of being a murderer. Having relationships with real gangsters. When the actor is murdered, Kane’s character goes in search of the killer.

His 1999 film Croupier, which starred Clive Owens as a dealer in a gambling den who then gets caught up in a robbery there, passed out at the UK box office. Hodges assumed his career was over and decided to retire. But then the film was shown in the United States to the excitement of viewers, and became the biggest independent film of the year. Croupier’s success in the US saw the film make its second UK release. “You think your film goes down the toilet, then it gets stuck. Then it comes back up again,” he told The Guardian in 2003.

Hodges came out of semi-retirement to reunite with Owens in the 2003 gangster film I’ll Sleep When I Die, in which Owens played a criminal hungry for revenge after his younger brother (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) is raped by a London gangster (Malcolm McDowell). The Guardian called the film “stunningly bleak; a no-frills, existential gangster tale that, at its best, exudes the same creepy menace.” [Hodges] Featured on Get Carter. It certainly touches on similar themes: honor, revenge, and male violence.”

Hodges is survived by his wife, Carol Laws, sons Ben and Jake, and five grandchildren, Marlon, Honey, Orson Welles, Michael, and Gabriel.

More is coming.

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