Set in the Seventies, Hennessy is a Irishman who believes in peace, but who has had connections to the IRA. Hennessy's family is killed, and he plots revenge, setting out to assassinate ... See full summary »
Set in the Seventies, Hennessy is a Irishman who believes in peace, but who has had connections to the IRA. Hennessy's family is killed, and he plots revenge, setting out to assassinate Queen Elizabeth of England. Written by
Patrick Dominick <email@example.com>
The movie had a difficult time getting shown in England. When the movie was first submitted to the British film review board, it was rejected because it appeared that Queen Elizabeth II was acting in the movie. Producer Samuel Z. Arkoff managed to get the board's approval by adding a disclaimer at the beginning of the movie stating that the Royal Family had not participated in the making of the movie and that Queen Elizabeth's appearance was done using newsreel footage. Then English distributor EMI, which was the distributor of Arkoff's movies in England, stated to the press that that they were "a defender of the palace" and refused to handle the movie. The Rank Organization, the other major film distributor in England, also joined the boycott for the same reason. Ultimately, the movie only played in a few theaters in England. See more »
Rod Steiger is "Hennessy" in this 1975 drama also starring Lee Remick, Trevor Howard, Richard Johnson and Eric Porter. Hennessy is an explosives expert living in Belfast who no longer believes in violence, even to the point of refusing to supply the IRA with explosives. He soon reverts to his former opinions when his beloved wife and child are killed in crossfire between the British army and rioters. From that point on, his agenda is his own, and he heads for London with the idea of blowing up the whole of Parliament when the Queen and her family come to address the body. He seeks out the widow (Remick) of an IRA agent and hits her up for a place to stay while he steals gelignite, practices impersonating a member of Parliament he has zeroed in on and arranges to have the bomb made. Both the IRA and the British Special Branch are on to him, and both want him stopped - the IRA because it realizes what the backlash will mean.
Given recent times, this drama takes on a timeliness it did not have when it was first released and probably got lost among the plethora of international espionage films. Rod Steiger is always a surprise, as he could overact with the best of them (The Big Knife) or underplay beautifully, as he does here. His Hennessy is dead inside and quietly determined to achieve his goal via an intricate plot. Beautiful Lee Remick is wasted star power here but lovely nonetheless as a lonely widow who has already lost someone to the cause and wants nothing to do with it. Richard Johnson is terrifying as Hollis, a rogue member of the Special Branch who doesn't care who he beats to a pulp and whose property he destroys to get the information he needs. Trevor Howard, as his boss, gives his role a measured dignity and coolheadedness - and with Hollis on his team, he needs it.
All in all, very absorbing.
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