The East End Had It Going On!

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So, I completely forgot to blog about a fantastic film that I went to see – Legend. It’s all about the Kray brothers who were notoriously known as ‘East End Gangsters’. I knew the obviously about the twins, but had no idea about all the background and events that went with it. The story was narrated and told by Reggie Kray’s late wife,ย Frances Shea, and how her life was dating and later marrying Reginald Cray.

Ronnie and Reggie Kray were born and raised in Hoxton, Middlesex on the 24th October 1933. They later moved to Valance Road in Bethnal Green were they went to school and, eventually, became nightclub owners. By the end of the 1950s, the Cray brothers were very well known in the East End and were working with various different gangster groups. In 1967, Reggie was arrested for stabbing Jack McVitie to death at a party. Some witnesses claim that McVitie’s liver fell out during the incident andย Tony Lambrianou claims that he had to flush it down the toilet. The body of Jack McVitie was never found. Ronnie Kray was also imprisoned for the murder of George Cornell, who he shot in the Blind Beggar pub in Whitechapel. He was found insane and remained in Broadmoor Hospital until he died in 1995.

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It has been questioned whether all the facts in the film were correct, however, I think that it was a great watch and Tom Hardy’s performance of both the brothers was just amazing! He was able to depict both brothers differently, but through the film, you could still see their similarities. It was amazing to watch and fascinating to see how they lived their lives. There were probably only two scenes were I found it difficult to watch. The first, where Reg rapes his wife Frances after a drunken night out. This has been argued that it never happened and that, in fact, all the abuse was psychological. Frances, herself, has been quotedย that he was never physically aggressive towards her, but was worse. Having a fear of blood, it is said that Reg once cut his hand open and dripped blood all over her sleeping body. Too gruesome for the film or too weird? If the rape was untrue, it seems a shame that it was the easiest ‘go-to’ story line. The second scene, that I could watch, was where Reg killed Jack McVitie towards the end of the film. This was, again questionable, however, it was the crime that Reg Kray began his sentence in prison.

I thought it was a great film and I came out wanting to live in any other era but this one. Even though it was violent in places and the whole point of the film was that the Krays weren’t to be messed with. I just think it was a simpler time. They had a great respect for each other, older people and there seemed to be a sense of community in the film and that is definitely something that doesn’t exist anymore – I honest know the names of three people down my road and they never reply ‘good morning’ when I say it. I really think that the proper East End had it going on!

I would love you to go and see this film because it taught me so much about the Kray Brothers and the story line was actually really interesting. You were constantly waiting for them to do or say something to someone. It made you realise what their lives might have been like and how they treated each other as brothers. I will definitely be buying this when it comes out on DVD!

Peace and love,

Polly May xx

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