Based on biography: “Jack Spot – The Man Of A Thousand Cuts”
by Hank Janson
UK / Hungary
Richard Raynesford / Keith Evans
Soho, 1955, two men fight a savage knife fight to the death - one is the up and coming Italian mobster, Albert Dimes, the other Jack Spot - legendry king of the underworld and self styled Jewish Godfather. The fight triggers a series of high profile Old Bailey trials involving gang warfare, and murder. It marks the beginning of the end for Jack Spot's criminal career. But what a colourful career it had been!
Three long years later, bankrupt, abandoned by his friends, hunted and all but broken, Jack holes up in a secret hotel. He recounts his life story to Hank Janson - a sharp-witted pulp-fiction writer, who relentlessly probes Jack Spot's memories to get the real story - Jack's affinity with the Dockers and anti-fascism, his unstoppable rise through professional crime, his romances, his coming of age, heartaches and brutality.
Man Of A Thousand Cuts spans three entire decades of Britain's underworld. It recounts, in flashback, Jack's teenage-gang beginnings during the Depression in the Jewish quarter of the London docks; how he raises a mob to fight Mosley's rampaging Fascist Blackshirts, culminating at the legendary battle of Cable street in the 30s; how, during the war years and after, his bloody struggle for power and control of the country's race-courses, illegal gambling and London's Clubland over the Italian Sabini family and their successors the Harry White mob, ends in triumph; and how he masterminds some of Britain's most daring crimes and forms a partnership with famed villain Billy Hill - a dual monarchy based on loyalty and ambition that imposes a harsh peace on the underworld but out of which grows a deadlier danger...
Before his ultimate downfall, Jack builds a criminal empire that stretches from Britain to the shores of Tangier, collaborating with the US Mafia and penetrating the most respected echelons of society. He inspires a brutal new generation of criminals, frenzy amongst Fleet Street, and sends shock waves through the judicial system and parliament. Jack Spot changed the face of organised crime in Britain, but, in doing so, he also wrote the recipe for his own demise.
Exhausted and tongue-weary, Jack is endlessly questioned and analysed by the cynical Janson until his real self is exposed like a raw quivering nerve. Their time in the hotel up, the writer immediately departs to write up the final memoirs of Jack Spot. But Jack has other ideas. He returns to London and, instead of vanishing into the shadows, is tempted by the return of his old self-belief to make one last stand.
The Hank Janson name, logo and silhouette device are registered trademarks of Telos Publishing Ltd.
Based on the novel: “"The Scholar"”
by Courttia Newland
Cory and Sean Bradley live on the Greenside Estate, West London. Both are 17 years old. Cory is an orphan who moved in with his aunt Bernice and his cousin, Sean, at the age of eight. He's streetwise with an eye for the girls and a nose for trouble. Sean is his polar opposite. Although he possesses a working knowledge of the streets, he has chosen to devote himself to his studies, his home life and his girlfriend Sonia. Sean plans to marry his sweetheart and move away from the estate. He is studying English, believing it to be worthwhile for his future.
Cory stumbles into an argument with some other youths in the local park. Blows and insults are exchanged. Cory and Sean leave the park, Cory crowing about how well he did in the fight. His friends, Garvey and Rosie are not so sure. Garvey warns that one of the youths, Ramsey, has some fearful allies. Cory brushes off their concerns, while Sonia warns Sean to keep his cousin in line.
That weekend, Cory and Ramsey meet again. A knife fight ensues and Cory stabs the youth. The next day, Levi, a local crack dealer and Top Boy on the estate, approaches the cousins and takes them for a ride. Ramsey was lined up for a job for the dealer. Levi wants Cory to take his place, and makes it clear that he can't refuse. Cory agrees and promises to discuss the plans after his charity football match. At the tournament, Ramsey's friends are unhappy that Cory is walking around with impunity. They break his leg during the match. Cory is out of the frame for the robbery.
Against the wishes of Sonia, and his cousin, Sean steps up to take Cory's place. There is a hitch during the robbery, but Sean proves invaluable and helps Levi get away. The dealer is indebted to him. Back in his safe house, he offers Sean crack and more work. Only the latter is refused... Sean begins to enjoy his new world. He visits Levi's crack house regularly, not for drugs, but the dealer's company. He and Levi become tentative friends.
Cory leaves the hospital upset with his cousin. He thinks that Sean should stick to his studies. The two now have wildly divergent views of the world and their places in it and cannot go back to being the people they were.
Cory tries to steer Sean away from the criminal path onto the straight and narrow, back into Sonia's arms and his college education. But the fuse is burning. Cory can only watch as Sean's intellect and ambition are channeled into something so dangerous that Cory ends up despising the person he once loved most...