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In the Name of the Father
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In the Name of the Father More at IMDbPro »

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In the name of the Father what an amazing film.

Author: Charis Goodwin from Australia
22 October 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In the name of the father is an excellent portrayal of human injustice and the lengths humanity is willing to go to, to seek revenge for crimes regardless of the truth. This is an excellent representation of the Guilford 4's true story. Gerry Conlon (Daniel Day Lewis) had been squatting in London with his old school friend Paul Hill (John Lynch). When the Guilford pub is blown up on October 5th 1974, Gerry and Paul become suspects. Tension building music is a pre cursor to the Guilford pub explosion contrasted with normal scenes involving couples walking into the pub. During their questioning Gerry and Paul are subject to physical and mental abuse. The filming here adds to the feeling of helplessness by filming Gerry's head through a gap in the officers surrounding him. High camera angles show how defenceless Gerry is and low angels on the officers demonstrate their authoritarian positions. An important shot is a close up on Inspector Dixon's face as we see him sneering at Gerry. Gerry's father Giuseppe Conlon (Pete Postlethwait) travels to England to arrange a lawyer for Gerry when he too is arrested for participating in an IRA support network. While Gerry and Giuseppe are imprisoned together we become further aware of their distant relationship and the underlying causes. During these scenes close ups on Gerry and Giuseppe's faces show the pent up emotions that come to a head. Giuseppe Conlon is well aware he may not be released from prison alive .So is the audience. His death forms one of the most incredible scenes. Gerry's grief at his fathers death is expressed through close ups on his face with tears running down and wailing music this is paralleled by the fire tears of the prison. When the prison cries fire tears its dark outside representing the extinguishing of Giuseppe's light. The contrasting the darkness and fire tears running down the walls of the prison are stunning and will stir the emotions of any watcher. Gareth (Emma Thomson) their lawyer works on the Conlon's case for nearly 10 years. Shortly after Giuseppe's death she uncovers fresh evidence withheld from the defence in Gerry's favour. This leads to the moving court scene with Gareth's passionate speech incriminating the officers involved in the Guilford 4's arrest, trial, and imprisonment. This scene uses high camera angles and although they make her look small she is empowered and unstoppable. The close ups on Dixon's lips and hands (which he is wringing) show his guilt. In the name of the father is filled with emotional scenes and speeches. One of these speeches Gerry makes when he is released from prison. He demands to exit from the front of the court and as the camera pans over him on his way out, he climbs over the crowd. Daniel Day Lewis is amazing through out the film but if you hadn't been convinced of his connection with the character yet this would be the time. His speech declaring his innocence and that of his father is one of the most memorable in film. The wonderful acting is complemented entirely by the sound track and various film techniques. Although not entirely accurate it's a truly stunning film.

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'In the Name of the Father'- a compelling story

Author: nephyrulz from Australia
21 October 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

'In the Name of the Father' is a true story based on the Guildford Four. In particular it follows the story of Gerry Conlon who was wrongly accused of the Guildford Pub bombing in the 1970's.

There were some outstanding performances by Emma Thompson who played Gareth Peirce, Pete Postlethwaite who played Giuseppe Conlon but by far the best performance was by Daniel Day-Lewis who played Gerry Conlon. He made his character seem so real and believable making the audience sympathize with him. The last speech he made was very passionate and well spoken leaving the audience with a tear in their eye because they were so moved.

The layout of the film was interesting by the way they showed the bombing right at the start of the film then going back to Gerry in Ireland and follow what he does up until the bombing and afterward. This captures the audience attention from the start making them interested and willing to find out what will happen next.

The film shots and camera angles help to emphasize the feelings and emotions felt at certain parts of the film. For instance, there are many times when Giuseppe is shown behind Gerry to show how Giuseppe is always looking over Gerry's back. There is also a shot that shows the police officer looking down on Gerry in an intimidating way trying to get him to sign a confession.

The soundtrack sets the mood in the scenes, it was happy when Gerry was happy, dramatic when it was a dramatic sound and sad when something bad happened. It really helped to set up the scenes. There was a lot of good music that kept the audience interested.

There were many themes that were clearly shown in this film. These were injustice, corruption, family values and equal rights. The dialogue clearly showed these themes and helped to make the audience really think about them.

'In the Name of the Father' is a moving film that really captures the audience's attention and keeps them in suspense the whole time. It is a good watch and I really recommend it.

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Great movie, no more no less.

Author: TM-2 from LA
5 January 2003

Great movie, great acting, edge of your seat suspense, a complete slam dunk. My favorite prison and police corruption movie. Now, I know that movies are made to make money. They have to be entertaining in order to do so. Sometimes, some 'higher concept' can be infused without violating the 'make money' rule. However, anyone looking for historical accuracy in ANY movie, would be as well looking for gold at the end of a rainbow. Just pick your favorite 'accurate' movie and do a little digging. You quickly get into fantasy land. The answer? Stop looking for history in the movies. They are not real - even when 'based on a true story' - whoever's reality that is! No. Just accept it for what it is. A fictionalized account of someones perception of reality twisted into good plot. That said: Great movie, great acting, edge of your seat suspense, a complete slam dunk. Look for a history lesson elsewhere.

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Completely different genre than "Green Mile"

Author: apkacdh from Just outside Raleigh, NC
8 December 2002

First thing I wanted to address was that although it does take place in a prison, this cannot be compared with such movies as "The Green Mile" or "Shawshank Redemption". Those two are completely fictitious stories, although they are entertaining. You wouldn't put "Stripes" or "In the Army Now" in the same basket with such films as "Full Metal Jacket" or "Shaving Ryan's Privates", would you? Oops, excuse me; I meant "Saving Private Ryan".

Anyway, excellent film. I don't see anything anti-English about it; it just Happened in England. Just like "Murder in the First" Happened in The States. Things like this happen in all sorts of places, so making a movie on them doesn't make it an Anti-(country of choice) film.

Kinda funny how a previous comment mentioned Pete Postlethwaite and Tommy Lee Jones in the same sentence; I spent half the time debating to myself whether the actor was Tommy or not (until I read the credits, of course). Sometimes they're spitting images of each other, sometimes they're not.

Anyway, very well done film and I look forward to reading the book sometime. Good soundtrack, too.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Absolutely Stupendous. One Of The Best Of 1993.

Author: Humphrey Fish from United States
5 March 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A man's coerced confession to an IRA bombing he didn't do imprisons his father as well; a British lawyer helps fight for their freedom. From director Jim Sheridan, comes an outstanding movie based on the true story of the Guildford Four, who were falsely accused of a pub bombing and were given lengthy prison sentences. In The Name Of The Father is an excellent movie, it's greatly acted, powerfully written, masterfully directed, and a whole lot more. And I'm not saying this as somebody who loves movies, I'm saying this as somebody who is determined to see movies that are hailed as some of the greatest of all time, and In The Name Of The Father is definitely one of those. I'm not kidding at all, this movie is absolutely stupendous, it is one of the best movies of 1993, and overall, one of the best movies I've ever seen. This movie is outstanding, but in some parts it's sad, and in other parts, it's got the mood of a great feel good movie. In directing this movie, Jim Sheridan has made a masterpiece.

Daniel Day-Lewis gives a performance that is like no other Daniel Day-Lewis performance that I have ever seen. Rather than playing the hero (like he did in The Last Of The Mohicans) or the villain (like he did in Gangs Of New York and There Will Be Blood), he plays Gerry Conlon, a man who gets caught up in a torrent of trouble and is wrongfully sent to prison for a crime he did not commit, Day-Lewis plays him so perfectly, that we can actually feel his sorrow and despair. The late Pete Postlethwaite was just about the same in his performance as Giuseppe Conlon, and so is Emma Thompson as Gareth Peirce, Gerry Conlon's lawyer who's trying to prove his innocence. Basically, the entire cast gave great performances, with Postlethwaite, Thompson and especially, Day-Lewis all being the best. Daniel Day-Lewis is a man who can do no wrong, I have yet to see him in a bad movie. In other words, that man is a living sensation.

In The Name Of The Father is required viewing, as you will see Daniel Day-Lewis in a role that is totally unlike many of his other roles, you will say that he is absolutely stunning, you will say that he has given another one of his best performances. And you will most likely say the same thing about the movie as a whole, you will say that this movie is a masterpiece, that it's one of the best movies of all time, and many other things too. I'm very glad that I have such a wide variety in movies, because I've have been able to see movies that are hailed as some of the best of all time, and when I watched them, I agree with the common consensus. And that goes with In The Name Of The Father too, I agree that this movie is a masterpiece and that it's one of the best of the 1990's. So if you've not yet seen this fabulous film, then you've got to see it, because it IS fabulous, and when you watch it, you will perfectly see what I mean.


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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

"Thoughtful and consistently involving..."

Author: Sindre Kaspersen from Norway
16 November 2012

Irish screenwriter, producer and director Jim Sheridan's third feature film which he co-wrote with English screenwriter and director Terry George and produced, is an adaptation of an autobiographical book called "Proved Innocent: The Story of Gerry Conlon from the Guildford Four" from 1994 by Gerry Conlon. It premiered in Ireland, was screened In competition at the 44th Berlin International Film Festival in 1994, was shot on locations in Northern Ireland and England and is an Ireland-United Kingdom-USA co-production. It tells the story about a 21-year-old man named Gerard "Gerry" Conlon who lives with his parents and younger siblings in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Gerry leaves his family in early October 1974 and goes to London where he joins a collective of hippies, but after returning home and learning that two pubs in Guildford, England has been bombed, he is arrested by British law enforcements and accused of having taken part in the fatal crime.

Finely and engagingly directed by Irish filmmaker Jim Sheridan, this finely paced and somewhat fictional tale which is narrated from multiple viewpoints though mostly from the main character's point of view, draws a humane, heartrending and excruciating portrayal of the injustice which was brought upon eleven Irish citizens by the London Metropolitan police force in the mid-1970s after a politically related act of terrorism. While notable for it's distinct and naturalistic milieu depictions, fine cinematography by British cinematographer Peter Biziou and production design by UK production designer and art director Caroline Amies, this character-driven and narrative-driven story about miscarriage of justice, survival and the hardships a Catholic working-class family from the capital of Northern Ireland is faced with when their eldest son is convicted and imprisoned for a terrorist crime he did not do, depicts an in-depth study of character and contains an efficient score by South African composer Trevor Jones.

This biographical and political reconstruction of real events which is set in England and Northern Ireland during The Troubles and where a man who after years of opposition against his father gradually begins to see him as the goodhearted man he is, is impelled and reinforced by it's cogent narrative structure, substantial character development, efficient continuity, heartened depiction of the relationship between a son and his father, documentary-like realism, use of music, the distinct and magnetic acting performance by English actor Daniel Day-Lewis and the compassionate supporting acting performances by British actress and screenwriter Emma Thompson and English actor Pete Postlethwaite (1946-2011). A thoughtful and consistently involving drama from the early 1990s which gained, among numerous other awards, the Golden Bear at the 44th Berlin Film Festival in 1994 and seven Academy Award nominations at the 66th Academy Awards in 1994.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

One Great Film About Miscarriage Of Justice

Author: Intern2014 from United States
23 October 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The My Left Foot team of star Daniel Day-Lewis and director Jim Sheridan were reunited to make this political docudrama about Irish citizen Gerry Conlon,who was wrongly convicted of taking part in an IRA bombing that killed five in Guildford, England in 1974 in this movie entitled,In The Name Of The Father.Pete Postlethwaite,John Lynch,Mark Sheppard,Beatie Edney,Emma Thompson and Don Baker co-star to play key supporting roles. The screenplay was adapted by Terry George and Jim Sheridan from the autobiography Proved Innocent: The Story of Gerry Conlon of the Guildford Four by Gerry Conlon.

The movie tells the true saga of Gerry Conlon. A petty thief in strife- torn '70s Belfast, Gerry's main interests are getting drunk and partying, much to the dismay of his quiet, frail father Giuseppe. When Gerry angers the IRA, his father sends him to England, where his antics land him in the wrong place at the wrong time. Innocent, but forced to confess to a savage terrorist bombing, he is sentenced to life imprisonment as one of the "Guildford Four." An innocent Giuseppe is also arrested and jailed, and while behind bars, Gerry slowly learns that his father's seeming weakness masks an unmatched inner strength and wisdom. Working with a fiercely dedicated lawyer, Gerry determines to prove his innocence, clear his father's name and expose the truth behind one of the most shameful legal events in recent history.

Miscarried justice often provides the vehicle for emotionally wrenching drama and histrionic fireworks, and such is the case in spades with In the Name of the Father.The brilliance of Jim Sheridan's motion picture is that we come to view every event from the perspective of how it impacts on the relationship between Gerry and his father, in whose name the final struggle is fought.In addition to that,Letter-perfect performances from Day-Lewis and Postlethwaite that the acting's so good it frequently transcends the simplicity of the script and do a lot more than a dozen editorials to make an unforgettable point about the miscarriage of justice.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Looking back

Author: ttornak
2 May 2010

When you are faced with enough material to make a mini-series and try to put it in a 2-hour film you have to make choices.

Neither the British nor the IRA are depicted with any depth, the target is to establish both Gerry as a bit of a goofy, likable character and his father, an intelligent but downtrodden figure. Rock, humor and great lines complete the package.

The better part of this movie depicts the relationship between Gerry and Guiseppe Conlon and true to life, never receives closing. Sheridan seems to realize this and gives the relationship time to grow naturally without forcing anything. A few lapses into sentimentality could be avoided but are successfully countered with humor.

Since 1994 when I first saw the movie, the world, including Ireland has moved on. Some points this movie makes stand, others do not. In any case, I loved seeing it again.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Excellent character study of a man wrongfully imprisoned and further forced to balance finding justice with finding solace with his father.

Author: johnnyboyz from Hampshire, England
28 May 2009

In the Name of the Father is an epic tale of hope and mistaken identity, a towering achievement of sorts focusing on everyday and very likable central characters as they are put through an awful emotional grinder based on true events from the 1970s and 80s. The film is spoilt only very slightly by a quite woeful theme song from Irish band U2 and the fact director Jim Sheridan cannot much direct action, forcing the very early few scenes to come across as awkward and misjudged. The rest, however, is a dedicated study of a dedicated man forced into becoming a hate figure; a fall guy of sorts, as the British government struggle to come up with answers regarding the ongoing struggles in the conflict with the Irish Republican Army.

The film is a tale of fighting for justice, a tale of independence and the duty one must go through in order to attain that independence. The road is long and the times get desperate; the characters face long stretches of prison time for things they did not do – years were incorrectly taken off their lives and the result of it all is condensed down into a two and a bit hour film that you can most certainly go out of your way to see. What is two hours of your time compared to thirty odd years of someone else's, after all?

The film is essentially told in a flashback perspective, a story that is distilled through lawyer Gareth Peirce's (Thompson) imagination as she envisages the lead character doing what he does as he narrates to her exactly what went down through a cassette recording. But we are there as well, we are back in the 1970s and 80s with the lead character as they lead a relatively upbeat and happy-go-lucky life initially before the tragedy strikes. The lead is Gerry Conlon (Day-Lewis), a young Northern Irishman from Belfast who is living a life surrounded by IRA-led activity in the 1970s without ever directly being involved, but he is the sort of guy who gets caught in the cross-fire; a sort of 'wrong place, wrong time' scenario-led life that will catch up with him in horrific ways later on. When we first see Gerry, the likable rouge attitude and relatively odd choice of song by way of Jimi Hendrix sees him get chased by British troops that mistake him for an IRA sniper – the scene has a fair amount of 'fun' to it; something that is brought back down to Earth later on.

There is a sad irony and that is that it is proposed Gerry should move away from Northern Ireland following these scenes in order to get away from the troubles. Gerry agrees and takes a boat over to England with a friend named Paul Hill (Lynch), before briefly settling down in London. Initially, the film plays on Gerry being a bit of a misfit in this new setting; he mixes mostly with casual drug takers, hippies and devout, air headed female vegetarians. This unconnected and grounded realism driven segment in the film is impressive and mysterious. Having no knowledge of who these people are and what eventually happens to them will have you see the film as this wandering and series of supposedly random events in a specific time setting as Gerry wanders the streets; talks to tramps, thieves from the homes of those that accidentally drop their keys right outside the front door and looks for short stay accommodation here and there.

But what follows is a change in gear and a change in study, indeed a change that encompasses desperation; mistaken identity; the hunt for redemption and the forcing of confronting issues regarding the relationship with one's father. A bomb is detonated within the vicinity of Gerry's general area one night and he is singled out by the police for his Irish roots and the fact he has only very recently arrived in England. He is jailed, with his father, as a part of the 'Maguire Seven', before desperately trying to claim justice. As a lead character, Gerry later embodies all the innocent and necessary traits for a victim just trying to survive. The film's point of attack takes special care in painting a wavy image for Gerry, one that sees him rob apartments of money, joke about with his mates and come across as quite antagonistic at times.

Gerry and his father's, named Giuseppe (Postlethwaite), coming together in prison provide some of the more fascinating scenes in the film; a forced period of bonding during which they humblingly make peace and mend the past problems that they shared from years gone by. There is enough in the film to get caught up in, a sense of tragedy and mis-justice; a sense of pain and desperation. As far as prison set dramas go, this is one of the more impressive I've seen.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

An addictive story with breath taking performances make for a quality film

Author: mulhollandman from Ireland
11 September 2006

In the name of the father is the story of Gerry and Giuseppe Conlon, a father and son who along with nine other innocents, were wrongly accused and convicted in relation to the Guildford Bombings in 1974. Gerry Conlon became apart of a group that were known world wide as the Guildford Four and Giuseppe became apart of a group that were lesser known as the Maguire Seven. In the Name of the Father is set during the time that relations between England and Ireland were most strained.

The film begins in 1974 Belfast and it immediately establishes Gerry's character as a tearaway. He is a tearaway for many reasons too many to list in this comment but it is evident that one of the reasons that he refuses to lie down and become like his father. His father Giuseppe is a likable man. A loving father whose hard work to provide for his family during a time where Catholics had no rights results in him developing severe asthma. When Gerry is blamed with his friends Paul Hill, Paddy Armstrong and Carol Richards for the Guildford Pub bombing, Giuseppe drops everything and goes to London to help his son. When staying with his relations the Maguire's he is also picked up and charged with them for being involved in Terrorist activity. They are found guilty and sentenced. Gerry receives life and Giuseppe get 14 years. While in prison the turbulent relationship between Gerry and his father worsens to the point where they are not speaking. Despite their natural stormy relation ship this situation is worsened by the arrival of Joe McAndrew who is the real Guildford Bomber. In McAndrews, Gerry sees the man who his father should be. A man that is a fighter and who does not take things lying down as opposed to quiet conservative Giuseppe who has turned his cheek all his life and has been repaid in bad health for it. But as time goes by and maturity sets in, Gerry revises his opinion on Giuseppe and discovers that he always will have a friend in his father. The final chapter sees Gerry discarding his troublesome persona in favor of one that is similar to his fathers and together begin to fight to clear their names.

This film was Jim Sheridan's first in relation to the situation that had engulfed Northern Ireland and to be honest it is his best so far. Sheridan once again uses an addictive storyline (father and son in miscarriage of justice) to further investigate the theme of father/son relations. Despite it's political setting and use of ethnic sides to tell the story what Sheridan wants us to asses is the relationship between Gerry Conlon and his father and how Gerry's resistance to become like his father leads to his downfall but it is through the worst part of his life that he gets to know his father properly. Through the claustrophobic atmosphere of their prison cell Gerry realizes that he has more in common with his father and despite past arguments Giuseppe becomes not only his father again but his best friend.

Day-Lewis is on form yet again with his performance and I have yet to see him in a film where he does not give a solid performance. This time he has the very strong support from Postlewaithe as his father Giuseppe. Postlewaithe is superb as the ill Giuseppe who never gives up hope. Emma Thompson is someone I have been very keen on. But in this film she delivers a spectacular performance and like Posthlewaithe it is worthy of the Oscar nomination they received and in both cases they should have won. Sheridan must also be praised for his script and direction of this film. He took a story that at the time was still sore on the minds of both the Irish and British people. It was also a time where the situation in Northern Ireland looked as if it would never stop and the films release could further the cause of fighting for both paramilitary sides. It did however make the world sit up and pay attention because every country has had at some time a severe miscarriage of justice.

If you want facts about the cases of the Guildford Four and the Maguire Seven I suggest you don't watch this film. At the time of it's release it was heavily accused of not painting an accurate description of the case but the reality is that if you want details the film would not run at just over two hours but it would run for 15 years. I suggest you ask your local television stations to commission a Docu-Drama. This story is about the Conlon's. If I had faults with it I would say that my biggest hate of this film is the republican bomber Joe McAndrews. It is a very wooden performance that is down to bad acting and nothing else. He is too open about the whole affair which leaves a very bad taste in my mouth. If all Republican terrorists talked and acted like this the troubles of Northern Ireland would have lasted 10 minutes. There is a saying in Ireland that those who talk about it, no the least about it. On a whole it is very unbelievable. But despite this the film is very good, hard going to watch and very hard to walk away from without having some emotions evoked inside you. 8 out of 10.

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