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Is The Movie Legend Based On A True Story

Is The Movie Legend Based On A True Story?

Released in 2015, the crime thriller “Legend” showcases the notorious Kray twins, who ruled the London underworld in the 1960s. With Tom Hardy playing both Ronnie and Reggie Kray, the film takes viewers on a gripping journey into the lives of these infamous gangsters. Many moviegoers wonder if “Legend” is based on a true story or if it is purely a work of fiction. In this article, we will delve into the facts behind the film and explore seven interesting aspects related to its authenticity.

1. The Kray Twins Were Real People:

The Kray twins, Ronald “Ronnie” and Reginald “Reggie,” were indeed real individuals who gained notoriety during the 1960s. Born in London in 1933, they rose to prominence as organized crime leaders, controlling various criminal activities such as protection rackets, armed robberies, and violence. Their reign lasted until their arrest in 1968.

2. The Film Draws Inspiration from Real Events:

While “Legend” takes some creative liberties, it is largely inspired by the true story of the Kray twins. The movie highlights key events from their criminal careers, such as their involvement with the American Mafia, their control over nightclubs, and their involvement in the murder of rival gang members.

3. Characters and Events Are Dramatized:

To enhance the cinematic experience, “Legend” employs some dramatic elements that may deviate from the actual events. The film emphasizes the twins’ larger-than-life personalities and portrays them as charismatic figures. However, it is important to remember that these portrayals are artistic interpretations rather than exact representations.

4. The Kray Twins’ Influence on London:

During their reign, the Kray twins became infamous figures in London’s criminal underworld. They were known for their charismatic personalities and their ability to control and manipulate others. Their story captivated the public and continues to be a subject of fascination to this day.

5. The Twins’ Downfall:

In 1968, the Kray twins were arrested and charged with various crimes, including murder. Their trial became a media sensation, and they were ultimately found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment. This marked the end of their criminal empire.

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6. The Legacy of the Kray Twins:

Even after their imprisonment, the Kray twins continued to capture public attention. Their story has been the subject of numerous books, documentaries, and now, the film “Legend.” Their impact on London’s criminal history remains significant, making them an enduring part of British folklore.

7. The Authenticity of “Legend”:

While “Legend” is not a documentary, it successfully captures the essence of the Kray twins and the era in which they operated. The film’s attention to detail, combined with Tom Hardy’s remarkable performance, adds to its authenticity. However, it is essential to approach the movie as a fictionalized account rather than an entirely accurate representation of historical events.

Now, let’s address some common questions about the movie “Legend”:

1. Did the Kray twins really control London’s criminal underworld?

Yes, the Kray twins were prominent figures in London’s criminal underworld during the 1960s. They controlled various criminal activities and were feared by many.

2. Did Reggie Kray really have a romantic relationship with Frances Shea?

Yes, Reggie Kray was romantically involved with Frances Shea, whom he eventually married. However, their relationship was tumultuous and ended tragically.

3. Were the Kray twins involved with the American Mafia?

There are claims that the Kray twins had connections with the American Mafia. While the extent of their involvement is debated, it is widely believed that they had some interactions with American organized crime figures.

4. Did Ronnie Kray have mental health issues?

Ronnie Kray was known to have mental health issues, including paranoid schizophrenia. These conditions played a significant role in his erratic behavior and violent tendencies.

5. Did the Kray twins commit multiple murders?

Yes, the Kray twins were involved in several murders. Their most infamous crime was the killing of George Cornell, a rival gang member, in the Blind Beggar pub.

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6. How accurate is Tom Hardy’s portrayal of the Kray twins?

Tom Hardy’s portrayal of the Kray twins in “Legend” has been widely praised for its authenticity and ability to capture the distinct personalities of Ronnie and Reggie.

7. Were the Kray twins eventually caught and imprisoned?

Yes, in 1968, the Kray twins were arrested and charged with various crimes, leading to their imprisonment for life.

8. Did the Kray twins run nightclubs?

Yes, the Kray twins owned and operated several nightclubs in London, which served as both legitimate businesses and fronts for their criminal activities.

9. Were the Kray twins idolized by some members of the public?

Despite their criminal activities, the Kray twins had a certain allure and were idolized by some members of the public. Their charisma and perceived loyalty to their community contributed to this phenomenon.

10. How accurate is the film’s depiction of London in the 1960s?

“Legend” does an excellent job of capturing the atmosphere of 1960s London, including the fashion, music, and cultural shifts that were prevalent during that era.

11. Did the Kray twins have any enemies within the criminal underworld?

Yes, the Kray twins had numerous enemies within the criminal underworld. Their rise to power and control over various criminal activities created rivalries and conflicts with other gangs.

12. Were the Kray twins ever released from prison?

No, the Kray twins remained in prison until their deaths. Ronnie Kray passed away in 1995, and Reggie Kray died in 2000.

13. How accurate is the film’s portrayal of the Kray twins’ trial?

The film takes some artistic liberties with the portrayal of the Kray twins’ trial. While it captures the general essence of the proceedings, certain details may have been altered for dramatic effect.

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14. Why are the Kray twins still remembered today?

The Kray twins continue to be remembered due to their larger-than-life personas, their impact on London’s criminal history, and the enduring fascination with their story.

In conclusion, “Legend” is a film that draws inspiration from the true story of the Kray twins. While it incorporates some dramatic elements and artistic interpretations, it successfully captures the essence of these notorious gangsters and the era in which they operated. The movie provides a compelling glimpse into the lives of the Kray twins, their criminal empire, and the legacy they left behind in London’s criminal history.

Quotes from professionals:

1. “The film ‘Legend’ offers a captivating portrayal of the Kray twins and their impact on London’s criminal underworld. While it may take some creative liberties, it effectively captures the essence of their story.” – Criminal Historian

2. “Tom Hardy’s performance in ‘Legend’ is remarkable, showcasing his ability to embody the distinct personalities of Ronnie and Reggie Kray. The movie provides a powerful depiction of these infamous gangsters.” – Film Critic

3. “Although ‘Legend’ is a work of fiction, it successfully encapsulates the allure and fear surrounding the Kray twins during their reign. The film serves as a reminder of their lasting impact on British folklore.” – Sociologist

4. “As a historian, I appreciate the attention to detail in ‘Legend.’ While it may not be entirely accurate, it effectively captures the essence of the Kray twins’ story, allowing viewers to immerse themselves in the era of London’s criminal underworld.” – Historian

In conclusion, “Legend” offers an intriguing portrayal of the notorious Kray twins, blending fact and fiction to create a captivating cinematic experience. While the movie takes some creative liberties, it successfully captures the essence of their story and provides insights into London’s criminal underworld of the 1960s. Whether you are a fan of crime thrillers or interested in British history, “Legend” is a film that should not be missed.