Colin Grainger

Glen Murphy the leading light in the Italian connection


Winston Churchill famously once said: “If you are going through hell, keep going” and that’s what Glen Murphy does in his new film Lords of London.

Despite his mate Ray Winstone’s mug adorning the DVD cover, its Murphy and Giovanni Capalbo who are the stars of the film for me.

It’s great to see one of Newham’s finest, actor, producer and director Glen back centre stage.

If you think Lords of London is just a British gangster movie, it is not. It is so much more than that.

Glen Murphy plays Tony Lord, a London gangster who is shot during the film’s opening credits. He wakes up in a sleepy Italian village, with no memory of how he got there though he soon learns that he is there to correct a lifetime of wrongs.

I do feel that the film’s original title was much more apt  – Lost In Italy.

He is transported back to 1950s Italy to see how his parents (played by Christopher Hattersall Serena and Iansiti) met. He has to try to stop his mother leaving Italy with his no-good father (Winstone in the upto date scenes).

Slowly but surely, through a series of flashbacks, we see Tony as the notorious gangster on the streets of East London, as well as further flashbacks taking us back to his childhood, where he was an unwanted child of even harder gangster father Terry.

There’s the contrast between Tony then and now as he goes through his own hell.

Director Antonio Simoncini gives us plenty of  Italian landscapes on display, though there is also quite a bit of Epping Forest in there!

Glen gives us the world-weariness of a notorious gangster has and plenty of anger, but he does it in a way that enables you to empathise with the character and you actually end up rooting for him.

He is given great support by Giovanni Capalbo as café owner Francesco, as well as Serena Iansiti as female lead Margarita.

Glen recently received the Best Film Award in the World Cinema category for the movie under its previous title of Lost in Italy at the New York Hells Kitchen Film Festival.

As a journalist and editor/sub-editor I could not help but notice a couple of errors in the subtitles, but I’ll gloss over that.

I’ll even put up with the Italian rendition of I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles!

Ray Winstone’s contribution shows great depth even though it may only be for about ten of the film’s 93 minutes.

But as I have already said, Lost In London is more than a gangster flick.  I enjoyed the time the film spent split between London flashbacks and a quiet Italian landscape. Family and crime became interchangeable forces.

Glen and his family split a lot of their time between Italy and London and you can see he is comfortable in Italy.

The movie deserves great credit for being  a massive effort at doing something different – and for me it succeeds on a number of levels.

 Pictured: The DVD cover


lords title

Main shot: Glen Murphy as Tony Lord


Pictures: Glen Murphy



  1. Terence Murphy
    January 14, 2014

    Thank you Colin for your take on the movie,very very pleased with it ,you come close to telling all the secrets that the Film story reviels,We need as much press as possible,and wondering if you could possible send this to some of your contact,,I’m sorry ,I no you are retired .I’m not surprise I’m forever blowing bubble wasn’t your favourite song ,how could it be to a spurs supporter ha doing well this year aye,we’ll thank you once again Colin glad you enjoyed .best regards Terry M

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This article was written on 14 Jan 2014, and is filed under East London, Films, Glen Murphy, London, Lost In Italy, Ray Winstone.

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