Book versus film: Get Carter


This iconic crime movie, which starred Michael Caine as adopted Londoner Jack Carter seeking revenge for his brother’s murder up north, was based on Ted Lewis’s book, originally titled Jack’s Return Home. I’ve watched the movie umpteen times since first viewing in my teens but only read the novel a couple of years ago. From the first page, you can see why it inspired director Hodges and actor Caine. Gritty northern noir sparsely written in less politically correct times, it follows Jack ruthlessly hunting down of his kid’s killers — terrifying everyone with his relentless pursuit as the body count rises. Both book and film spawned a thousand Brit imitators but very few equals.

Jack’s Return Home (Ted Lewis) — 8

Film: Get Carter, 1971 — 9

Director: Mike Hodges

Verdict: Film Wins