Red Riding

February 5th 2010
  • Drama/Thriller,
  • Unrated,
  • 305 min,
  • IFC Releasing
  • Cast: Andrew Garfield, David Morrissey, Warren Clarke, Paddy Considine, Sean Bean, Shaun Dooley, Robert Sheehan, Jim Carter, Chris Walker, Tony Mooney, Eddie Marsan, Sean Harris, Steven Robertson, Lisa Howard, James Fox, David Calder, John Henshaw, Tony Pitts, Mark Addy, Gerard Kearns, Saskia Reeves, Anthony Flanagan, Nicholas Woodeson
  • Directors: Julian Jarrold, James Marsh, Anand Tucker
  • Writers: Tony Grisoni, David Peace
  • Producers: Wendy Brazington, Andrew Eaton, Anita Overland
  • Co Producers: Jamie Nuttgens, Kate Ogborn
  • Executive Producers: Peter Hampden, Hugo Heppell, Liza Marshall
  • Art Directions: Julie Ann Horan, Sami Khan, Katie MacGregor
  • Casting: Nina Gold
  • Costume Designs: Natalie Ward, Charlotte Walter, Caroline Harris
  • D.O.P.s: Ron Hardy, Igor Martinovic, David Higgs
  • Editors: Andrew Hulme, Jinx Godfrey, Trevor Waite
  • Makeups: Jackie Fowler, Lesley Lamont-Fisher, Tahira Herold
  • Musics: Adrian Johnston, Dickon Hinchliffe, Barrington Pheloung
  • Production Designs: Cristina Casali, Tom Burton, Alison Dominitz
  • Set Decorations: Duncan Wheeler, Alex Marden


A neo-noir epic based on horrific, factual events and adapted from David Peace's series of novels revolving around the manhunt for the "Yorkshire Ripper," a serial killer who terrorized northwest England in the 1970's and 1980's.

"Red Riding: 1974" (Julian Jarrold) centers on a rookie journalist, Eddie Dunford (Andrew Garfield) whose investigation of a series of child abductions leads him to suspect that there’s a terrifying connection between the perpetrators and the upper echelons of Yorkshire power. (105 min.)

"Red Riding: 1980" (James Marsh) finds the police and the public still baffled that the killer remains at large. A veteran police official, Peter Hunter (Paddy Considine), is called in from Manchester to take over the investigation, but his new theories about the case only incite growing opposition to his involvement. (96 min.)

"Red Riding: 1983" (Anand Tucker) starts with the kidnapping of another young girl. Detective Maurice Jobson (David Morrissey) notices a number of powerful similarities to the abduction cases he had investigated back in the '70s—and for which a man was convicted and sentenced. Meanwhile, a reluctant local solicitor, John Piggott (Mark Addy), decides to take up the condemned man's cause. (104 min.)

Basic Information

  • Aspect Ratio: Other
  • Filming Locations: Yorkshire, UK
  • Production Budget: $10 million
  • Production Companies: Channel Four Film, Lipsync Productions, Revolution Films, Screen Yorkshire
  • Production Schedule: September 2008 - December 2008

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'1974' was shot on 16 mm film and broadcast with an anamorphic aspect ratio of 16x9. It was directed by Julian Jarrold.

'1980' was shot on 35 mm film and broadcast with an anamorphic aspect ratio of 2.35:1. It is directed by James Marsh.

'1983' was shot using the Red One digital camera. It was directed by Anand Tucker.

Though real crimes are featured the scripts are fictionalised and dramatised versions of events rather than contemporary factual accounts.

The original books were four volumes. The events of the second book, '1977', were incorporated into the existing structure.

2010 Guide Analysis: "Though already out on DVD & Blu-ray in Europe, UK Channel 4's three telemovie adaptations of English author David Peace's Red Riding Quartet novels are scoring a limited theatrical and VOD day-and-date release in early February States-side through IFC Films. Clocking in at five hours total, the films feature real crimes though are fictionalised and dramatised versions of events rather than factual accounts.

What's interesting here is the experimental approach with the film's look as each of the three parts was done by a different film director using a different style of shooting. The 1974-set first film was shot on old-fashioned 16mm film in 16x9 widescreen by Julian Jarold ("Brideshead Revisited," "Becoming Jane"); the 1980-set second film on regular 35mm film in cinemascope (2.35:1) by James Marsh ("Man on Wire," "The King"); and the 1983-set third film on the digital HD Red One camera by Anand Tucker ("Shopgirl," "Leap Year").

Described as grim, extremely violent and "unrelentingly bleak", reviews for the series were mixed but generally positive. Though distinctly set and focusing on Yorkshire for over a decade-long period, the most common complaints were the constant use of the cliched and all too familiar police procedural tropes that have become a staple of American and British television in the past decade. With reviewer standards for British mini-series sky high thanks to brilliant efforts like the original "State of Play" and "House of Cards", 'Riding' just doesn't reach those levels of greatness.

Still that makes it a lot better than many things on the small and big screen of late, making IFC's plan not an unexpected one. New Yorkers will get to see it theatrically in February, but the best option is to either watch through IFC's On Demand service or just import it from Amazon UK for about $23 plus shipping. Either way it'll be interesting to check out before Ridley Scott's single-film Hollywood remake for Sony Pictures goes into production."

Worldwide Release Dates

  • March 2009: UK
  • 9 September 2009: Australia