See you've still got your sense of humour.
~ Eric's catchphrase to Jack.

Eric Paice is the main antagonist of the 1971 British crime-thriller film Get Carter.

He is the hitman and enforcer for Newcastle crime lord Cyril Kinnear as well as the archenemy of protagonist villain Jack Carter.

He was portrayed by the late Ian Hendry.

Biography

Ian Hendry Get Carter (1971).jpg

Prior to the events of the film, Eric was a bitter rival and enemy of Jack Carter - a London based gangster, who is a native of Newcastle. At some point, Eric came into the employ of the Newcastle based crimelord Cyril Kinnear, whose business involved gambling and pornography. Eric was tasked with "pulling" girls for porn films during which they were raped by Albert Swift, Kinnear's girlfriend Glenda and Frank Carter's girlfriend Margaret, one of the girls he pulled being Doreen Carter. Doreen is implied to be the daughter of Jack, raised by his brother Frank as his "daughter". It was implied that Doreen was pulled by Eric as a petty act due to his enmity with Jack Carter. After Frank had seen the porn film involving Doreen, he confronted the makers of the porn film, threatening to go to the police. Eric murdered Frank by pouring a bottle of whiskey down his throat. This caused Frank to vomit and later ended up in a car crash due to his drunkenness which killed him.

Following Frank's death, Jack Carter came to Newcastle for his funeral. Although Jack also intended to investigate his brother's death due to the fishy circumstances.Jack met Eric at a racecourse. Despite their previous rivalry, the two men greeted each other pleasantly, and Eric even offered his "condolences". Although on Eric's part, he was only pretending to be nice. On a hunch, Jack followed Eric to a country house, which was the home of Cyril Kinnear, Eric's employer. Despite the intrusion, Cyril welcomed Jack to his home, and allowed the latter to watch him play poker and have a drink served by Glenda, the girlfriend of Cyril. However, Eric told Jack that Cyril did not appreciate the intrusion and warned Jack to stay away.

During the events of the film, Jack continues to investigate which brings him into conflict with Eric. Jack's employers Sid and Gerald Fletcher are not too happy with him interfering as they have business with Cyril Kinnear. To solve things, they attempt to send two men to bring Jack home. After their attempt fails, the London gangsters team up with Eric in an attempt to murder Jack. Glenda saves Jack from the men and brings him to her home. After having sex with Glenda, Jack discovers the porn film starring Doreen. Furious, Jack brutally interrogates Glenda about who pulled Doreen, nearly drowning her in the process. Although Jack doesn't kill Glenda, he still forces her at gunpoint into the boot of her own sportscar. Jack then drives off with Glenda in the boot in order to contemplate her fate and is pursued by Eric and the Londoners. Eric insists on taking Jack alive and warns the Londoners to spare Jack's life. During a gunfight, Jack kills one of his fellow mobsters. This prompts Eric to encourage his colleague to push Jack's car into the sea with Glenda still trapped in the boot of the car. Unwittingly, Eric killed the girlfriend of his boss. Regardless, Eric taunts Jack about "[his] car needing a wash".

Determined to get his revenge on the man who killed his brother, Jack knew he could exploit the circumstances of his possession of the porn film and Glenda's death. Jack phoned Cyril and proposed a deal where Cyril would give Eric up if Jack maintained his silence. It is implied that Jack informed Cyril of Eric's role in Glenda's death for Cyril to give Eric to Carter. After the phone call, Cyril summoned Eric to his office and instructed him to be at the beach by 6AM.

Next morning, Jack confronts Eric at the beach. Pursued by Jack, Eric flees for his life. During the chase, Eric is taunted by Jack, and warned not to use the car to escape or he would be shot. After a furious chase, Eric finally passes out. He is caught by Jack who forces him to stand up and drink an entire bottle of whiskey. Due to the potency of the liquor, Eric gags, but is forced to continue drinking by an unsympathetic Jack, considering as Eric did the same to Frank. After Eric is finished the bottle, Jack finishes him off by beating him to death with the butt of his shotgun. Eric's corpse is hoisted into a coal chute and thrown into the sea.

Trivia

  • Ian Hendry was originally the first choice for Jack Carter, but director Mike Hodge replaced Hendry with up and coming actor Michael Caine. Hendry never forgave Caine for usurping his role. Hodge decided to use the enmity to its advantage and hence the friction between Jack Carter and Eric Paice was very real.
  • In the 2000 remake, Paice had his first name changed to "Cyrus" and was played by Mickey Rourke.
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