Former London gangster Freddie Foreman is nearing the end of his life. A heavyweight villain with an unbelievably bloody past, Freddie is the last living legend of the Krays’ London underworld. A ruthless criminal still feared and revered to this day. Freddie now lives in a retirement home: alone with only the memories of his former crimes to look back on.
With strained family relations and increasing health issues, Freddie finally tells all and revisits his old haunts in an attempt to understand what pushed him towards a life of crime. From his impoverished childhood to traumatic memories of the Blitz and WWII, Freddie is a fascinating character study. Can a man accused of over forty murders, known as the Godfather of London, really find redemption?
I approached watching Fred with an open mind. No one can condone any such behavior but the second the credits rolled on this film, I was sold. Shot in an interview format for most of the duration with clips of Freddie Foreman out and about visiting locations linked to his past, Fred is an engrossing and gripping true-crime story.
Even in a documentary that feels like a ‘tell-all’ type story. It’s far from the full truth. Till this day Freddie Foreman is still very careful in how he responds to questions about his past, no doubt due to legal implications if he ever admitted to a particular crime he has been accused of previously. So whilst this documentary does lift the covers on some aspects of Freddie’s life I feel the juicy bits will never be disclosed. Nevertheless, the stories told in the documentary make for some eye-opening viewing. A man who even the Kray twins were wary of and one man that still to this day is revered. A crime legend.
Freddie discusses his upbringing, his working life before turning to crime and various jobs that he had to undertake whilst rising through the ranks of the criminal underworld. All the while this documentary never lets up. Even the stories Freddie is allowed to speak of are described in such detail like it was yesterday. That speaks volumes as I imagine with the things that Freddie has seen and done in the past, those things never go away. Almost haunted by a past but a past that he doesn’t seem to regret. His motive all along was to provide his family with a future by any means necessary.
There is always a sense throughout this documentary that there is so much more to be told. I guess we’ll just never know the full extent of what notorious Freddie Foreman got up to in his heyday.