Posted on Sunday, May 30th, 2010 by Russ Fischer
Howard Marks is the most famous and possibly most successful drug dealer in British history. His autobiography, Mr. Nice, has been turned into a film starring Rhys Ifans, and now there’s a new trailer that shows the film’s free-wheeling ’80s recreation in all its be-wigged glory.
Ifans plays Marks, who imported tons of hash into Britain, the US and Canada. Chloë Sevigny, David Thewlis and Elsa Pataky co-star. Bernard Rose (Candyman, Immortal Beloved) wrote and directed. The film has appeared already at SXSW this year, and opens in limited release soon. There was a promo trailer around a few months back, but this new trailer is probably the best representation of the film so far.
Here’s a summary of Howard Marks’ life, from his own website:
During the mid 1980s, Howard Marks had forty-three aliases, eighty-nine phone lines, and twenty five companies trading throughout the world. Bars, recording studios, offshore banks: all were money-laundering vehicles serving the core activity: dope dealing. Marks began to deal during a postgraduate philosophy course at Oxford and was soon moving large quantities of hashish into Europe and America in the equipment of touring rock bands. The academic life began to lose its allure.
At the height of his career, he was smuggling consignments of up to thirty tons from Pakistan and Thailand to America and Canada and had contact with organizations as diverse as the CIA, MI6, the IRA, and the Mafia. After many years and a world-wide operation by the Drug Enforcement Agency, he was busted and sentenced to twenty five years in prison at the United States Federal Penitentiary, Terre Haute, Indiana, the site of America’s only Federal Death Row. He was released on parole in April 1995 after serving seven years of his sentence.