Watching the Detectives

film posters on display

From the earliest days of cinema, crime, murder and mayhem have ignited the imagination and delighted audiences. We love to be shocked and scared!

Early film pioneers Mitchell and Kenyon’s most innovative work, 'The Arrest of Goudie' made in 1901, is based on a true Liverpool crime. The film incorporated actual locations and is considered the world's first filmed crime reconstruction. That appeal endures with many of the city’s filmmakers and screenwriters, drawn to the dark side of life in the city. 

Hidden from view, in the clubs, docks and urban neighbourhoods of the city, tales of wrongdoing, retribution, murder, easy money and an unforgiving underworld are played out. In a Liverpool twist on the gangster thriller genre, humour - black, sardonic and surreal - often offsets the bleak and violent action. 

"Of all the sea-ports in the world, Liverpool, perhaps, most abounds in all the variety of land-sharks, land-rats and other vermin, which make the hapless mariner their prey... and yet, sailors love this Liverpool..."
Herman Melville, Redburn, 1849

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