×

Barrie Keeffe, Writer of Classic British Gangster Movie ‘The Long Good Friday,’ Dies at 74

Screenwriter Barrie Keeffe, who penned the screenplay for the classic British gangster movie “The Long Good Friday” – which starred Helen Mirren in a breakout role – has died. He was 74.

Keeffe’s agent, Stephen Durbridge of The Agency, confirmed the news and said that his client had died in London following a short illness.

Keeffe started out as an actor and journalist, then became a self-professed political writer. His theater work included plays such as “Frozen Assets” for the Royal Shakespeare Company, about a young man who kills a prison officer, and “Sus,” about institutionalized police racism. The latter was adapted as a movie in 2010 with Clint Dyer and Rafe Spall, and with Robert Heath directing from Keeffe’s screenplay.

Keeffe was best known for having penned the original screenplay for “The Long Good Friday,” which starred Bob Hoskins alongside Mirren. It was a breakthrough film for Mirren, and will be screened as part of a tribute to her in February at the the Berlin Film Festival, where she will receive a lifetime achievement award.

The London-born Keeffe was the Royal Shakespeare Company’s writer-in-residence in 1978. In the 1970s and 1980s, his film, TV and theater work included “Chorus Girls,” a musical he wrote with the Kinks frontman Ray Davies, and “Nipper,” “Champions,” and “Waterloo Sunset” for the BBC. He was writing radio and stage plays into much later in his career. He also published two novels: “Gadabout” and “No Excuses.”

The writer and dramatist was married twice. He had two sons, Sam and Tom, with his first wife, the novelist and theater producer Verity Bargate. He later married film and television producer Jacky Stoller.

More Film

  • Olivia Colman - Lead Actress -

    Sundance: Sony Pictures Classics Buys 'The Father' With Anthony Hopkins, Olivia Colman

    Sony Pictures Classics has acquired rights to “The Father” ahead of its world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The pact takes one of the hottest titles off the block. “The Father,” based on an acclaimed stage play by Florian Zeller, stars Oscar winners Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman. The deal is for U.S. [...]

  • Robert Downey Jr. as Dr. John

    'Dolittle' Headed for Box Office Flop as 'Bad Boys for Life' Opens Solidly

    Robert Downey Jr.’s “Dolittle” is headed for a box office flop. Universal’s fantasy-adventure grossed $925,000 from Thursday night previews from 3,050 North American theaters, with showings beginning at 5 p.m. The film, projected for a four-day opening of $22 million to $25 million, carries a $180 million-plus price tag. “Bad Boys for Life,” meanwhile, launched [...]

  • Paris Recreated for Movie Productions on

    TSF Recreates Paris on Former Air Base for Movie and TV Shoots

    As French outfits move to expand their studio offerings, industry eyes have turned to a 20-hectare stretch of land 20 miles south of Paris. There, in the commune Plessis-Pâté, sits the TSF Backlot 217, a converted air base that has become one the Gallic industry’s banner initiatives. One of France’s leading production suppliers, TSF scoped [...]

  • DSC07163.ARW

    Streamers Urge French Production Sector to Go Green

    For the French industry, the drive to open up additional studio spaces has gone hand-in-hand with the push for green production, because for the most part, they share the same root cause: The international streamers that are causing a surge in audiovisual production tend to have strict criteria when it comes to sustainable development. “Companies [...]

  • ‘Ali & Ava’: First Look at

    ‘Ali & Ava’: First Look at Clio Barnard’s Just-Wrapped Fourth Feature

    Principal photography has wrapped on “Ali & Ava,” the fourth feature from writer-director Clio Barnard (“Dark River,” “The Selfish Giant”), starring Adeel Akhtar (“Four Lions”) and Claire Rushbrook (“Secrets & Lies”). The contemporary British love story follows Ava (Rushbrook), a respected matriarch on a predominantly white Bradford estate masking the scars left by an abusive [...]

  • Reed Hastings

    Netflix Bows French Office With a Bang, Unveils New Shows, Films

    Netflix continued to make strides in its European expansion on Thursday, unveiling a swanky multi-floor Paris office and announcing 20 new French shows and movies in the pipeline. Located in the heart of the city and staffed with 40 employees, Netflix’s office launch attracted French industry figures, including producers and filmmakers working with or looking [...]

  • Any Day Now

    New Europe Film Sales Picks up Hamy Ramezan’s ‘Any Day Now’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Jan Naszewski’s Warsaw-based sales company has boarded Finnish-Iranian Hamy Ramezan’s debut feature “Any Day Now,” to be shown as a work in progress at Göteborg’s Nordic Film Market, WHICH RUNS Jan 30.-Feb 2. Ramezan’s drama, produced by Aamu Film Company (“The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki”), already enjoys a strong buzz from [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content