6.4/10
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24 user 19 critic

A Prayer for the Dying (1987)

Martin, an IRA hitman, is seen by a catholic priest while carrying out a hit. He grows a bond with the priest and his niece. But his past and his former employers put all their lives in danger.

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(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
...
...
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Leonard Termo ...
Bonati
...
Jenny Fox
Maurice O'Connell ...
Superintendant Miller
...
...
Fitzgerald
Ian Bartholomew ...
Kristou
Peggy Aitchison ...
Mrs. Orton
...
Fred Varley
...
Rupert
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Storyline

Martin Fallon is an IRA bomber who tries to blow up a troop truck but instead kills a bus load of school children. He loses heart and quits the movement and goes to London trying to leave the U.K. and start a new life. The IRA wants him back (he knows too much) and the local crime boss, Meehan, will only help him if he performs one last hit, on a rival crime boss. When Fallon does perform the hit, he is seen by a catholic priest. He refuses to kill an innocent again and must find a way to escape the police without killing the priest who can identify him. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Freedom always comes with a price. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

11 September 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Auf den Schwingen des Todes  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,432,687
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mike Hodges replaced Franc Roddam as director. Roddam was going to direct, but left due to creative differences. Hodges was then hired at short notice to helm the movie. See more »

Quotes

Martin Fallon: There's no reason for killing or dying anymore. What's more, there's no reason for living!
Anna: That's a terrible thing to say!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits begin to roll up from behind the amusement park rides on the horizon. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Boondock Saints (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Fugue in G Minor (Little Fugue) [BWV 578]
(uncredited)
Music by Johann Sebastian Bach
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User Reviews

Mickey Rourke's 3rd Best Movie - IRA Terrorist with a Heart
12 September 2003 | by See all my reviews

In my opinion Mickey Rourke's third best movie, the first being "Angel Heart" and the second being "Year of the Dragon".

Rourke teamed up with Mike Hodges the director of such classics as "Get Carter" and the more recent "Croupier" in April of 1986 in London.

The whole movie was filmed on location in London, the Irish scenes at the beginning were filmed probably in Herts. The actual church is in Canning in London, near the ill fated Millennium Dome and still stands today. It wasn't being used as a church at the time, and the roof damage was real due to a bombing in the second world war. The church still stands and is currently used as a community centre.

Rourke plays Martin Fallon an IRA terrorist with a heart who recently bombed a school bus by accident and fled to London to evade the IRA and start again. He is taken on by local kingpin Jack Meehan played by a very camp Alan Bates whom has a day job of a funeral director and by night a nasty villain who wants Fallon to do one last job and he will pay him well and give him a passport and ticket to the US.

The mark Fallon is to kill is another local kingpin whom Meehan wants dead so he can take over his drug business. The mark he has to kill always visits his mother in a local church where Fallon shoots him, but is seen by Father Da Costa played very well by Bob Hoskins. Da Costa won't co-operate with the police after hearing Fallon's confession and the whole movie then is based around Jack Meehan trying to kill Fallon and the Da Costa.

Rourke's accent is spot on, maybe not to a true Irishman, but certainly to most it is very good, and his acting is on top form.

Hoskins is believable and carries of being a vicar fairly well, and the script also tells he is an ex army officer which gives him a bit of reason to be little rough on some of the villains.

Look out for a young Anthony Head (from Buffy) and a blind Sammi Davis whom was very popular in a lot of Ken Russell movies from the early 90's.


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