Although the Kray brothers were not role models for most, the film Legend tells the story of these two charismatic and violent characters that ruled London in the 1950s and 1960s and their legacy lives on to today. The 2015 film, Legend, tells the story like never before including this iconic scene in the Pig & Whistle, London.
Here's the scene and the original script:
ORIGINAL SCRIPT: Brian Helgeland, Universal Pictures
INT. PIG & WHISTLE - DAY 34 A DOZEN CUSTOMERS.
Reggie and Ron enter, looking about. They head to the bar. Reggie holds up two fingers to the BARMAN.
REGGIE: Two Guinness.
BARMAN: Half a minute. Gotta go down and change the barrel.
Obviously rattled, he disappears down the hole in the floor to the cellar. As he pulls the trap door down over his head -- -- Four customers scurry out. The other EIGHT are RICHARDSON GANGSTERS. Approaching from all sides. Tough bastards. Tooled up with coshes and pipes. One, Mike Jobber, holds a razor.
MIKE JOBBER: Reg, Ron, the Richardsons were unexpectedly engaged. We’re going to look after you.
RON: (re: Jobber’s razor) What’s that supposed to be?
MIKE JOBBER: What do you think? It’s a tool.
RON: No it’s not; it’s a fucking utensil. What are you going to do with that, fry me an egg? Ron indicates some hard metal shoved down in his pockets. Pistols? As Jobber frowns...
RON (CONT’D): I came here for a shoot-out. A proper shoot-out with some proper men! Like Colonel Custer and Geronimo. (turns) Reg, this lot are fucking nonces. (to Jobber) Get out of my way. Motioning, with what seem to be guns, Ron walks past the Richardson gang and pauses by the front door. (Final Shooting Draft 24.)
RON (CONT’D): A shoot-out is a fucking shoot-out! Like a Western... And then he’s gone.
One of the gang closes the door behind him. Jobber and the others turn back to Reggie.
MIKE JOBBER: You’re brother’s done a runner.
REGGIE: (shrugs) You don’t mind if I pour myself a pint, do you? Reggie reaches over the bar, starts to POUR a GUINNESS. Jobber trades incredulous looks with the others.
MIKE JOBBER: Charlie Richardson said we’re to knock the granny out of you, Reg.
All the while Reggie tends to his Guinness.
REGGIE: He did? Well... (turns) Fuck Charlie Richardson. And his brother. Fuck Georgie Cornell. And Albert Woods. Fuck you, hmm? And fuck the whole fucking lot of you. (holds up glass) First, pour about three quarters. Then you let it settle. The eight close in a step. Reggie sets the glass on the bar.
REGGIE (CONT’D): Before you top it off proper. You want the head looking proud over the glass. Reggie shoves his hands in his pockets, rocks on his toes like a proud schoolboy.
REGGIE (CONT’D): It won’t bother you cunts if I fight back, will it?
MIKE JOBBER: If you think you can manage it.
REGGIE: It won’t exactly be by the rules.
(Final Shooting Draft 25.) Reggie pulls his hands out of his pockets, both fists held tight around BRASS KNUCKLES. LAUGHS all around. They’re not intimidated. Only Reggie sees: RON quietly slip back into the bar from the OTHER ENTRANCE, behind them, a HAMMER in each hand. Reggie smiles.
REGGIE (CONT’D): You think I’m joking? Try this one then. A paranoid schizophrenic walks into a bar... Ron doesn’t break stride as SWING! Blind-sides the rear man. Jobber crumples even as Reggie wades in. And it’s a one-two, from Reggie, the brass knuckles covered in blood as he keeps an unconscious man standing with a flurry of uppercuts.
FRANCES (V.O.) When the Krays fought together, they could defeat an army. Style-wise it was chalk and cheese, but you couldn’t argue with the results.
HISTORY: Reginald and Ronald Kray were notorious criminals whose obsession with assaulting others, encouraging each other to greater levels of violence, and extending their personal power and domination culminated in a serious protection racket in London and a number of murders.
Their blatant violence and unstable mental condition, particularly of Ronald Kray, led to intimidation of witnesses and the prospect of their escaping justice until they were arrested and convicted by the efforts of a special squad of detectives led by Detective Superintendent Leonard (“Nipper”) Read.
The twins were born in 1933 and made their first appearance at the Old Bailey in 1950, where a case of assault was dismissed for lack of evidence. In 1952 they entered a period of National Service remarkable for their violence, serious trouble with the military authorities, and periods in custody.
After being released, they commenced a period of increasing control over criminals, pubs, and clubs in the East End of London. On 5th November 1956, Ronald Kray was jailed for 3 years for assaulting Terence Martin in a gang-related incident. He later became friends in Wandsworth prison with Frank Mitchell and was diagnosed as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. His violence worsened after his release.
In February 1960 Reginald Kray was imprisoned for 18 months for protection-related threats, and whilst he was in prison, Peter Rachman, the head of a violent landlord operation, gave Ronald the Esmeralda’s Barn night club in Knightsbridge which served to increase the twins’ influence in the West End, and with some “celebrities” and famous people, rather than East End criminals. They were assisted by a banker Alan Cooper who needed protection from the rival Richardson gang from South London.
Christmas 1965 marked a confrontation between the Krays and Richardsons at the Astor Club when a Richardson associate, George Cornell, referred to Ronald Kray as a “fat poof”. A gang war followed, and a Kray ally, Richard Hart, was murdered at Mr. Smith’s club in Catford on 8th March 1966. Ronald Kray took revenge by killing George Cornell in The Blind Beggar public house, Whitechapel Road. Intimidation prevented any witnesses from cooperating with the police.
On 12th December 1965, the Krays assisted Frank Mitchell (“The Mad Axeman”) to escape from Dartmoor prison, but Mitchell became increasingly violent and unstable whilst staying in a flat in Barking Road. He disappeared and the Kray twins were later acquitted of his murder. The body was never recovered.
Ronald gave a gun and £100 to Jack “The Hat” McVitie with instructions to murder Leslie Payne and the promise of a further £400 when the murder had taken place. Payne remained alive, but it was Reginald who went to collect the £100. He was moved by McVitie’s tale of sorrow and gave McVitie £50. This infuriated Ronald, and led to a stand-off between the Krays and McVitie, culminating in the Krays inviting him to a “party” where Reginald, egged on by Ronald, murdered him. McVitie’s was another body not recovered.
The Krays tested Alan Cooper by suggesting that he carry out a murder, and Cooper, in turn, recruited Paul Elvey to do the work for him. Elvey was arrested, and Detective Superintendent Read’s team interviewed him. Elvey confessed, and Cooper became implicated in three attempted murders. Through Cooper, there would be evidence against the Krays.
The Kray twins were arrested on 9th May 1968 and once they were detained in police custody, witnesses slowly started to develop the confidence to give evidence of the truth to the police team. The trial lasted 39 days at the Old Bailey and the Kray twins were sentenced to life imprisonment, thereby removing from London a notorious criminal influence.
Willy Mitchell is an indie author, writer, and storyteller.
Mitchell's first title was Operation ARGUS, and then the sequel Bikini BRAVO where a group of former Special Air Service operatives enter the dark and murky world of maskirovka and discover the lengths that some people will go to for power and greed.
Cold COURAGE tells the epic tale of Shackleton's 1914 Trans-Antarctic Expedition and all that was happening in those extraordinary times.
Book four, Northern ECHO tells the story of two boys growing up during the punk rock revolution in the north of England, and how a dark secret keeps them apart until the end.
Gipsy MOTH is about his Aunt Nikki, her friend, and fellow Aviatrix, Amy Johnson, and Amelia Earhart on the other side of the pond during the golden age of aviation.
SS INDIGO is due to be released by the end of 2021 and tells the story of a group of eclectic guests invited by a mysterious billionaire to a luxury cruise on the Caribbean, they all have one thing in common.
All of Mitchell's books so far are novels, works of fiction, blended with real events. For further information or how to buy his books, visit his author website: