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a trenchantly witty remark about "Can't Buy Me Love"
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3 November 2012
1.40pm
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I was surprised when I did a search on this site that -- other than one parenthetical mention about Victor Spinetti's film career -- there was no mention of the 1990 film The Krays, a movie quasi-fictionally depicting the role of a British crime organization headed by the Kray family which, to some extent, gained control of the pop music and early rock business (I don't know how much of the film reflects fact and how much is fiction). 

 

Anyway, the reason it's relevant to the Beatles is that the important parts after the first half are set in the 60s as the Kray brothers are expanding their influence, and the Beatles are at one point directly mentioned.  In this context, one of the brothers, in an attempt to expand the power of the Kray family business, invites an American mobster (with a conspicuously Italian last name) to have a private business talk in London.  The American mobster says:

 

"The flight was a nightmare, but England is a dream!  I love London -- it's so wonderfully dirty!  And the Beatles -- I adore the Beatles! You know the Beatles?"

 

The Kray brother says:  "No.  I believe they know us."

 

The American mobster:  "I'm sure they do.  We know of you.  The ocean is like a puddle in our business.  News travels fast." 

He leans back in his chair to think, and asks out loud:  "Ah, what is that song, now... my wife sings it all the time...  'Can't Buy Me Love'... great song:  'Money Can't Buy Me Love'..."  He laughs with amused scorn, then adds with dead-seriousness:  "Trouble is, it can!  Money can buy you anything.  Anything you like.  It can buy -- love, respect, loyalty:  anything!  It's wonderful being alive!"

 

This discourse acquires added picquancy now that I see from the IMDB site that elsewhere in the film (probably during the earlier scenes when the brothers were younger), the Kray matriarch, Violet. says to her twin Krays:

 

"Who loves you, eh? That's right, Mummy loves you, you little monsters. Mummy loves you more than anything - more than all the cakes, more than all the jewellery, more than all the chocolate in the world."

Faded flowers, wait in a jar, till the evening is complete... complete... complete... complete...

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