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Down Came a Blackbird (1995)

Helen McNulty is a journalist struggling to regain control of her life a year after she was abducted and tortured in Central America. She goes to a clinic for survivors of torture, where ... See full summary »



3 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tomas Ramirez
Helen McNulty
Anna Lenke
Nick the Greek
Jan Talbeck
Rob Rubenstein
Falconer Abraham ...
Von Flores ...
Miguel Fernández ...
Captain Alonso Delacrux
Sergeant Manuel Ortega
Secret Police Agent
Man at Train Station
Ángel Jara ...
Torturer #1


Helen McNulty is a journalist struggling to regain control of her life a year after she was abducted and tortured in Central America. She goes to a clinic for survivors of torture, where she reflects on her experiences and learns about others who have suffered similar experiences. She is drawn to Professor Ramirez, another patient at the clinic, who is still being pursued by his attackers. She thinks he can relate to her suffering, and she begins to learn why. Written by Sean Lahman <sean@baseball1.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


One would save them, one would expose them, and one would betray them.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for depictions of torture, and some sexuality | See all certifications »




Release Date:

22 October 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ramirez  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Final film appearance of Raul Julia. In poor health throughout filming, he died from a stroke two weeks after filming ended, and one year before its release. See more »


The train that Raul Julia is on is VIA Rail, a Canadian only rail company but the police officers in the station have American flag patches on their uniforms. See more »


Helen McNulty: [screaming] I miss him!
See more »


Referenced in Showbiz Today: Episode dated 21 October 1995 (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

Redgrave is wonderful, Julia is good, Dern...well?
22 June 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film had so much potential. Just so much. Vanessa Redgrave was deserving of a Golden Globe nomination and Emmy, if this is a t.v. film, and Raul Julia was good as well. It's our lead actress that gives me the trouble. Laura Dern switches the moods and attitudes of her character almost all the time, sure she has her moments, but when you have bad ones, they tend to over shadow the good. The ending left me wanting more, it just...ended so suddenly, I think I'll have to blame Dern for that since her performance was so shaky. Redgrave was born to play this role was was wonderful in it. Especially with her German accent. It was flawless. As is 95% of Redgraves work.

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