|Directed by||Brian Helgeland|
|Screenplay by||Brian Helgeland|
|Based on|| The Profession of Violence|
by John Pearson
|Narrated by||Emily Browning|
|Edited by||Peter McNulty|
|Music by||Carter Burwell|
|Distributed by||StudioCanal (International)|
|Box office||$43 million|
Legend is a 2015 biographical crime thriller filmwritten and directed by American director Brian Helgeland. It is adapted from John Pearson's book The Profession of Violence: The Rise and Fall of the Kray Twins , which deals with their career and the relationship that bound them together, and follows their gruesome career to life imprisonment in 1969.
This is Helgeland's fifth feature film. Tom Hardy, Emily Browning, David Thewlis and Christopher Eccleston star with Colin Morgan, Chazz Palminteri, Paul Bettany, Tara Fitzgerald and Taron Egerton as well as the singer Duffy featured in supporting roles.
In the 1960s, Reggie Kray is a former boxer who has become an important part of the criminal underground in London. At the start of the film, his twin brother Ron is locked up in a psychiatric hospital for paranoid schizophrenia. Reggie uses threats to obtain the premature release of his brother. The twins unite their efforts to control a large part of London's criminal underworld. One of their first efforts is to muscle-in on the control of a local nightclub, using extortion and brutal violence.
Reg enters into a relationship with Frances, his driver's sister, whom he eventually marries. When he is imprisoned for a previous criminal conviction, which he cannot evade, she makes him swear that he will leave his criminal life behind, an oath he never honours due to the allure of crime. While Reg is in prison, Ron's mental instability and violent temperament lead to severe financial setbacks at the nightclub. The club is almost forced to close after Ron scares away most of the customers. On the first night after Reg's release from prison, the brothers have an all-out fist fight, but they manage to partially patch things up.
The brothers are approached by Angelo Bruno of the Philadelphia crime family who, on behalf of Meyer Lansky and the American Mafia, wants to engage them in a crime syndicate deal. Bruno agrees to a fifty-fifty deal with Reg to split London's underground gambling profits in exchange for local protection by the brothers. Initially, this system is highly lucrative for the Kray brothers. Ron's barely concealed volatility results in him publicly murdering George Cornell, an associate of the Torture Gang, rivals of the Krays. As a result, Scotland Yard opens a full investigation of the Kray brothers.
Reg's marriage with Frances crumbles due to his addiction to crime. Unable to bear Reg's false promises to reform, Frances starts consuming prescription drugs illegally. After he beats and rapes her in a fit of rage, she leaves him. When Reg approaches her to reconcile, Frances seems to agree and they plan to visit Ibiza. But soon she kills herself by drug overdosage leaving Reg guilt ridden. The twins' criminal activities continue and Ron pays petty criminal Jack "the Hat" McVitie to kill Leslie Payne, Reg's partner, who controls the legal side of the Krays' operations, as he doesn't trust Payne. Jack only wounds Payne, who then turns the brothers over to Detective Superintendent Leonard "Nipper" Read, the head of the investigation. Reg finds out and brutally stabs McVitie with a knife during a party hosted by Ron. The testimony given by Payne means that Ron is arrested and charged with Cornell's murder. The final scene shows a police squad breaking down the door to Reggie's flat in order to apprehend him for McVitie's murder.
The closing captions indicate both brothers receiving criminal convictions for murder. They died five years apart, Ron from a heart attack in 1995, and Reggie from bladder cancer in 2000.
On 12 October 2013, it was announced that Brian Helgeland had written a script and would be directing a film focusing on the life of Reggie Kray who, with identical brother Ronald, formed the notorious Kray twins. Helgeland said the film would concentrate on Reggie's attempts to control the psychopathic tendencies of his younger twin.
Helgeland spoke of hanging out in London with well-known Krays associate Freddie Foreman, saying, "I had drinks with him in his local haunt. When we finished he got up to go and they feted him at the bar. I said to him, 'what about the bill?' and he replied, 'we don't pay.'"
Helgeland attended the Cannes Film Festival with Working Title's Tim Bevan and Chris Clark to talk to potential buyers of the film and showing test footage of Hardy playing the twins.
On 18 April 2014, it was announced that Helgeland would write and direct the film, with the shooting being based in the United Kingdom and with Hardy starring as the male leads.Five days later, it was stated that Browning was in negotiations for a role as the film's female lead. Hardy was so set on playing Ronnie Kray that he proposed to Helgeland that if he gave him the role of Ronnie, Hardy would play the role of Reggie for free.
Crews and cast were spotted filming scenes at Falmouth Road, London, St Anne's Limehouse in Limehouseand in the Windmill Walk area around London Waterloo. Filming also took place in Caradoc Street in Greenwich, in the Cedra Estate on Cazenove Road and in Gibson Gardens, both of which are in Hackney.
Principal photography started on 12 June 2014.
Financing for Legend was provided by StudioCanal, which also distributed in the United Kingdom, France, New Zealand and Germany in addition to handling international sales, which started at the beginning of the Cannes Film Festival.On 30 April 2014, Cross Creek Pictures acquired the North American distribution rights to Legend from StudioCanal, with a planned 2015 theatrical release through Universal Pictures in its distribution deal with the studio. Sales to other territories such as Asia, Africa and much of Europe are being completed. The film was originally set for release in the US on 2 October 2015, but it was moved to 20 November 2015.
Legend premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on 12 September 2015 at Roy Thomson Hall.
On 13 June 2014, the first image of the film was published, featuring Hardy as the Kray twins.A promotional poster attracted publicity because it made a two-star review from The Guardian appear to be at least a four-star review by placing the two stars between the heads of the Krays.
Legend was released on DVD and Blu-ray in the United Kingdom on 25 January 2016 and in the United States on 1 March 2016.
As of 31 January 2016 [update] , Legend has grossed $41,636,816 worldwide; $27,960,112 in the United Kingdom and $1,872,994 in North America.
On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes , 61% of 171 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 5.9/10.The website's consensus reads, "As a gangster biopic, Legend is deeply flawed, but as a showcase for Tom Hardy – in a dual role, no less – it just about lives up to its title." On Metacritic the film has a score of 55 out of 100 based on 31 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
|2015||British Independent Film Awards||Best Performance by an Actor in a British Independent Film||Tom Hardy||Won|
|Detroit Film Critics Society||Best Actor||Tom Hardy||Nominated|
|Las Vegas Film Critics Society||Best Picture||Nominated|
|Satellite Awards||Best Actor – Motion Picture||Tom Hardy||Nominated|
|2016||Empire Awards||Best British Film||Nominated|
|Best Actor||Tom Hardy||Nominated|
|Houston Film Critics Society||Best Actor||Tom Hardy||Nominated|
|London Film Critics' Circle||Actor of the Year||Tom Hardy||Nominated|
|British/Irish Actor of the Year||Tom Hardy||Won|
|Saturn Awards||Best International Film||Nominated|
|Toronto Film Critics Association||Best Actor||Tom Hardy||Won|
|2017||Apolo Awards||Best Actor||Tom Hardy||Nominated|
Ronald Kray and Reginald Kray, were identical twin brothers, gangsters and convicted criminals. They were the foremost perpetrators of organised crime in the East End of London, England, from the late 1950s to 1967. With their gang, known as the Firm, the Kray twins were involved in murder, armed robbery, arson, protection rackets, gambling and assaults.
Brian Thomas Helgeland is an American screenwriter, film producer and director. He is most known for writing the screenplays for the films L.A. Confidential and Mystic River. He also wrote and directed the films 42, a biopic of Jackie Robinson, and Legend, about the rise and fall of the infamous London gangsters the Kray twins. His work on L.A. Confidential earned him the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.
The Blind Beggar is a pub on Whitechapel Road in the East End of London, England.
The Krays is a 1990 British biographical crime drama film directed by Peter Medak. The film is based on the lives and crimes of the British gangster twins Ronald and Reginald Kray, often referred to as The Krays. The film stars Billie Whitelaw, Tom Bell, and real life brothers Gary and Martin Kemp, both of whom were members of the band Spandau Ballet.
Edward Thomas Hardy is an English actor. After studying acting at the Drama Centre London, he made his film debut in Ridley Scott's Black Hawk Down (2001). He has since been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, two Critics' Choice Movie Awards, and two British Academy Film Awards, and received the 2011 BAFTA Rising Star Award.
Jack McVitie, best known as Jack the Hat, was an English criminal from London during the 1950s and 1960s. He is posthumously famous for triggering the imprisonment and downfall of the Kray twins. He had acted as an enforcer and hitman with links to The Firm, and was murdered by Reggie Kray in 1967.
George Cornell was an English criminal and member of The Richardsons, who were scrap metal dealers and criminals from South London.
Our Story is an autobiographical book by Ronnie and Reggie Kray with Fred Dinenage. It was first released in 1988 by Sidgwick & Jackson, and in paperback on 8 September 1989 by Pan Books.
Born Fighter is an autobiographical book written by Reginald Kray. In 1969 he and his twin brother Ronnie Kray received life sentences for the murders of George Cornell and Jack McVitie. First published in London in 1990 in hardback by Century and paperback in 1991 by subsidiary Arrow Books.
My Story is an autobiographical book written by Ronnie Kray. He, along with his twin brother Reggie, were said to be some of the most feared gangsters in British history.
Emily Jane Browning is an Australian actress. She made her film debut in the television film The Echo of Thunder (1998), and subsequently appeared in television shows such as High Flyers (1999), Something in the Air (2000–2001), and Blue Heelers (2000–2002). Her breakthrough role was in the 2002 horror film Ghost Ship, which introduced her to a wider audience. In 2005, Browning won the Australian Film Institute International Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Violet Baudelaire in the film Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004).
Freddie Foreman, better known as Brown Bread Fred, is an English publican, gangster, former associate of the Kray twins and convicted criminal.
Frank Samuel Mitchell, also known as "The Mad Axeman", was an English criminal and friend of the Kray twins who was later murdered at their behest.
Leonard Ernest "Nipper" Read, QPM was a British police officer and boxing administrator.
Esmeralda's Barn was a nightclub in Wilton Place, Knightsbridge, London, that was owned by the Kray twins from 1960 until its closure in 1963. The Krays used the club as a way of expanding their criminal activities into London's West End.
The Rise of the Krays is a 2015 low-budget film about the Kray twins who terrorised London during the 1950s and 1960s. The film was funded by Terry Brown and David Sullivan and was in development before the production team learned of Legend, the larger-budgeted studio film scheduled for release the same year.
Anthony Thomas Lambrianou was an English criminal known for his association with the Kray Twins. He was born to a Greek Cypriot father and English mother from Consett.
The Krays: Dead Man Walking is a British crime drama film written and directed by Richard John Taylor and starring Rita Simons, Josh Myers, Christopher Ellison and Guy Henry. It was released on 10 September 2018.
Charlie Kray was an English amateur boxer and convicted criminal. He was the elder brother of Ronnie and Reggie Kray.