Criminally Good Classics at Strand

Strand Arts Centre and Belfast Film Festival present summer season of the best crime and gangster films ever made – watch trailers of Goodfellas and more and books tickets now

The Strand Arts Centre, located on Belfast's Holywood Road, has teamed up with the Belfast Film Festival to present a summer season of the best crime thrillers and gangster movies ever made.

The season includes special anniversary screenings of Heat and Goodfellas – both starring Oscar-winning actor Robert De Niro – on 35mm film.

The oldest cinema in Northern Ireland, the Strand retains many of its original art deco features, and is, therefore, the perfect setting to watch period crime classics like Busgy Malone.

The Criminally Good Classics season sees films screening at 8pm on Thursday on the dates below. Tickets are a total steal at just £3.50, and can be purchased from the Strand website.

May 14 – The Killing (1956)

Stanley Kubrick’s film noir follows the twists and turns of a race-track heist complicated by the intervention of the wife of a teller in on the scheme, the boyfriend of the wife, airport regulations and a small dog. As you do.

May 21 and 28 – Léon (1994)

In Luc Besson’s stylish thriller, Mathilda (Natalie Portman), a 12-year-old girl, is reluctantly taken in by Léon (Jean Reno), a professional assassin, after her family is murdered. Léon and Mathilda form an unusual partnership as she becomes his protégée and learns the assassin's trade. Also featuring a chilling performance from Gary Oldman.

June 4 and 11 – Brighton Rock (1947) 

Pinkie Brown (Richard Attenborough) is a small-town hoodlum in this classic crime movie based on the Graham Greene novel. His gang runs a protection racket based at Brighton racecourse, but when Pinkie orders the murder of a rival, Fred, the police believe it to be suicide. Things thereafter, however, don't run so smooth for Pinkie and his crew.

June 18 and 25 – Heat (1995)

Directed by Michael Mann and featuring a memorable face-off between Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, a group of professional bank robbers start to feel the heat from police when they unknowingly leave a clue at their latest heist. Special screening of the 20 Year Anniversary: On 35mm version of the film. 

July 2 and 9 Mean Streets (1973)

Small-time hoods and hustlers attempt to make a living on the streets of New York in Martin Scorsese’s seminal crime drama starring Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel. The story centres around Charlie, a loan collector for a mobster named Giovanni.

July 16, 23 and 30 – Goodfellas (1990)

A young man grows up in the mob and works hard to advance himself through the ranks, but is oblivious to the horror that he causes. Pure Scorsese gold, and what many believe to be the greatest gangster film ever made. Robert De Niro and Ray Liotta are brilliant, but Joe Pesci steals the show in an Oscar-winning performance. 25 Year Anniversary: On 35mm screening.

August 6 and 13 – Bugsy Malone (1976)

Alan Parker’s delightful mob movie, wherein all the gangsters are played by children, is a must see for all fans of the gangster genre. Instead of real bullets, these crooks use 'splurge guns' that cover their victims in cream. The story tells of the rise of Bugsy Malone and the battle for power between Fat Sam and Dandy Dan.

August, Friday 21 and Thursday 27 – Fargo (1996)

Jerry Lundegaard's inept crime falls apart due to his and his henchmen's bungling and the persistent police work of the quite pregnant Marge Gunderson. A Coen Brothers masterpiece, with a more than alrighty Best Actress performance by Frances McDormand.

For full details of the Criminally Good Classics season, and to book tickets, visit the Strand Arts Centre website. Let us know which crime and gangster flicks would make your top ten by commenting below.