RARA-AVIS: Get Carter

From: T. Kent Morgan ( tkmorgan@shaw.ca)
Date: 23 Apr 2007

Channing wrote:

I sadly saw Stallone's Get Carter. I was interested in how they would ruin the book. It was a world-class smear job.

They moved the setting from industrial England to Seattle (really Vancouver because it's cheaper to film there). They made Stallone into a bouncer for a Las Vegas casino. So he has a legitimate job, instead of being a hatchet-man for a criminal network. They softened the story like a wet blanket, making Carter's niece a spunky heroine. The movie also featured Allan Cummings as a Bill Gates type computer millionaire with a cowboy hat and Mickey Roarke being Mickey Roarke. And worst of all they brought back Michael Caine to further tarnish the reputation of the original film.

It was so bad we left the theater, but found no other movie starting soon so mistakenly went back into Get Carter to suffer some more. And unsurprisingly they changed the ending.

And yes, I was disappointed that no publishers felt the need to reprint the Get Carter books. But when the movie was so terrible and grossed like $6 mil maybe the publishers made the right financial decision.


When I was in Doncaster, England last summer I tried to find Get Carter in both a book and a DVD. Seeing that Carter arrived at the Doncaster train station on page 1 of the book, I figured that Doncaster was where I would find my copies. It wasn't easy, but I finally tracked down a 2005 paperback reprint. Allison and Busby first published the book under the title Get Carter in 1992. The edition I have with Michael Caine on the cover was published in 1998 and reprinted in 2000 and 2005. I did not spot another copy in any of the larger bookstores in London or York. Didn't check in Murder One in London.

I also managed to find the DVD with the same photo of Caine in a discount store in the Doncaster city centre. In the film, the setting is moved from Doncaster to Newcastle.

The original book under the title of Jack Return's Home was published by Michael Joseph in Great Britain in 1970. I have never come across a copy of the book with the original title in either England or Canada. I have found PBs of two other Lewis books, Billy Rags and Jack Carter and the Mafia Pigeon that were published in PB by Sphere Books in the UK in the late 1970s. Found both at hospital book sales in Winnipeg, not in the UK. Maybe someone like John Williams could jump in, but my feeling is that the Lewis books aren't that easy to find in used bookstores in England.

Kent Morgan

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