A young American man joins the IRA in Ireland but soon finds out that he is being used for political purposes and propaganda.




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Flaherty
Seamus Flaherty
Niall O'Brien ...
Emmet Donovan
John Russell
The Farmer
Frank Grimes ...
Tony Coyle
Elizabeth Begley ...
Mrs. Cochran
Finbar Donovan
J.G. Devlin ...
Sean Tweeny
Joe Dowling ...
Aiden Grennell ...
Joe McPartland ...
Joe McDermott
Des Cave ...
Kevin McCann (as Desmond Cave)


Idealistic Vietnam veteran Michael Flaherty (Wasson), enthralled by the stories told to him by his grandfather (Hayden) and disillusioned by the lack of a clear cut cause in Vietnam, leaves his comfortable life in a Detroit suburb and goes to Ireland to fight for the IRA, only to discover that nothing is ever clear cut. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A cause he believed in but did not understand. In a country he loved but did not know.


R | See all certifications »





Release Date:

11 June 1981 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

Michael  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Broken English
Written by Marianne Faithfull, Barry Reynolds, Joe Maverty, Steve York,
& Terry Stannard
Performed by Marianne Faithfull
Courtesy of Island Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Irish-American Vietnam vet, disillusioned, goes to Ireland, gets more disillusioned by IRA
15 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Years ago I visited NY, noticed this film and despite a pan by the NY Times, saw it since I'd been impressed by Craig Wasson in Go Tell the Spartans (still the best fiction film on Vietnam). Loved it: excellent story that avoids clichés, very well acted and directed. Came off a bit as The Further Adventures of the Craig Wasson Character Who Had Been in Nam. Disillusioned Nam vet wants purpose in life, goes to ancestral home Ireland, gets more disillusioned at being used by both IRA and Brits for their own, different purposes. Even becomes disillusioned with grandfather, whose screwed up memories of IRA glory persuaded him to go there. Maybe my memory of details is inaccurate (saw it once when it opened), but the final scene stays with me still: Wasson in a phone booth in Detroit, hitting the receiver on the phone box in frustration. Hope it comes out in DVD. If so, I'd order it in an instant.

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