Harry is an undercover agent for the British army sent to Northern Ireland to infiltrate the IRA and find (and terminate) the assassin of a British Cabinet Minister. Harry is alone, the ...
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Neil Jordan's historical biopic of Irish revolutionary Michael Collins, the man who led a guerrilla war against the UK, helped negotiate the creation of the Irish Free State, and led the National Army during the Irish Civil War.
Harry is an undercover agent for the British army sent to Northern Ireland to infiltrate the IRA and find (and terminate) the assassin of a British Cabinet Minister. Harry is alone, the army hasn't been told he is being put in place, his wife is fed up with him and his job, and his one new friend, an Irish woman who falls for him will be consumed by his relentless search for the assassin. Written by
David Kinne <email@example.com>
Those of us who were fortunate enough to see Harry's Game in 1982 on TV were watching a stitched together version for broadcast distribution. It was originally made as a TV mini series in three one-hour parts. The recently available British DVD (PAL region 2) is shown in its original episodic format.
The other postings have said enough to describe the story, so I won't go into it. We've seen the story in many incarnations, but the real attraction to this film is the film making.
Typical of British cinema, it is very Spartan: no superfluous music, sound, or special effects. The costumes are "everyday," and the sets are actual row houses, typical of the times and area. This gritty story plays out without cinematic distractions or any of the nauseating political correctness which has become "de rigueur" in today's films.
It has been said about music that a simple melody well played is far more beautiful than a symphony butchered. Similarly, one can say about film that a simple, believable story well told is far more captivating than a howler of a story tossed together with a dog's dinner of special effects. Think of this film in terms of Zen.
** I will say the very opening of the film with the haunting Celtic vocals by Enya and Clannad instantly caught my attention. At the time Enya was merely the vocalist in the family band, Clannad, and in 1981, was an unknown in North America. However, I knew immediately this was a voice destined for greatness. For Enya fans who only know her music, the "Theme to Harry's Game" refers to this marvelous film.
This is yet another example of the abysmal ignorance of marketing on the part of the British film industry. Evidently the owners of the property don't like making money. The only thing this film lacked was a marketing budget and someone to market it.
For film lover's who are disappointed by the dearth of North American releases of marvelous British, Aussie and European films, I would highly recommend purchasing a region free DVD player, and ordering your films from England. There are several sites which sell them very cheap. Also, if you like French cinema, set your browser to detect French language hits also when you search film titles. Lots of great used titles available on ebay.fr or amazon.fr.
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