Cal (1984)

R  |   |  Drama, Thriller, Romance  |  24 August 1984 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 1,086 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 8 critic

Cal, a young man on the fringes of the IRA, falls in love with Marcella, a Catholic woman whose husband, a Protestant policeman, was killed one year earlier by the IRA.



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Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Cyril Dunlop
Stevan Rimkus ...
Catherine Gibson ...
Mrs. Morton
Louis Rolston ...
Dermot Ryan
Tom Hickey ...
Gerard Mannix Flynn ...
Seamus Forde ...
Mr. Morton
Edward Byrne ...
Skeffington Sr
J.J. Murphy ...
Man in Library
Audrey Johnson ...
Brian Munn ...
Robert Morton


Cal, a young man on the fringes of the IRA, falls in love with Marcella, a Catholic woman whose husband, a Protestant policeman, was killed one year earlier by the IRA. Written by Mark Whitnall <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Out of Ireland's struggle, a passionate love is born.


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

24 August 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cal - Memórias de um Terrorista  »

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Did You Know?


Debut full-length feature film of director Pat O'Connor who had previous directed a short feature though that being the 65 minute The Ballroom of Romance (1982). See more »


When Cal and his father sit on the bed his father has a cup of tea with a spoon. He takes the teabag out with the spoon and puts the spoon on the table. In the next shot the spoon is in the cup. See more »


Marcella: Would you die for me?
See more »


Featured in The Many Faces of...: Dame Helen Mirren (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

This realistic Irish film is a gem of the 80's
27 November 2000 | by (Haverhill, Massachusetts) – See all my reviews

I enjoyed this film very much particularly because of its Irish flavor. John Lynch is incredibly real as an IRA member(not of his own doing) who really hasn't the stomach for it. Everything about the film is as it should be. Lynch's long suffering Cal who has helped murder the Protestant husband of the woman he is now infatuated with is wonderfully portrayed. Day to day life of the people is almost like watching a documentary. Cal's guilt-ridden life couldn't be more boring from playing his guitar to borrowing tapes at the library to spying on Marcella all the time aware that the UVC will burn him and his "Da" out.

Love the Irish lingo and wit as well as the Uilleann pipes and traditional Irish soundtrack that make it sing. The sensual relationship between Cal and Marcella is bound to take off but you know it is doomed from the start. Two people searching for meaning in a harsh and lonely world. Helen Mirren gives another great performance as the unsatisfied older woman giving in to love. If you want to see a simple film about real people don't miss this sad, revealing tale.

One of my all time favorites.

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