Michael Collins (1996) Poster


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Despite containing several brutal scenes of violence, the film was given a very lenient 'PG' rating in Ireland mainly because of its historical context. The censor issued a press statement defending his decision claiming the film was a landmark in Irish cinema and that he believed "because of the subject matter, parents should have the option of making their own decision as to whether their children should see the film or not". The Film subsequently became the second most successful movie ever released in Ireland.
After he had delivered a hit in the form of Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994) to its studio, David Geffen asked Neil Jordan what he would like to make next. Jordan unearthed a script he had written 12 years earlier - Michael Collins (1996).
Bray Wanderers' Carlisle Grounds substituted for 1920's Croke Park, at a cost of approx IRL£1 million to renovate the ground accordingly.
Tom Cruise was offered the 'Jonathan Rhys-Meyers' cameo of the Assassin
This was originally going to be a Kevin Costner feature.
Liam Neeson was 43 when this movie was made. The real-life Michael Collins was 31 when he died.
Brendan Gleeson, who plays Liam Tobin in the film, played Collins in The Treaty (1992). Liam Neeson consulted with Gleeson during pre-production and on set on portraying the character.
When the film was in production, the IRA exploded a bomb in London's Canary Wharf, thereby ending a ceasefire in the Northern Ireland conflict.
John Turturro turned down the role of Eamon de Valera.
The final piece of score by Elliot Goldenthal in the film, "Funeral/Coda," is actually Goldenthal's rejected finale for Heat (1995), which director Michael Mann replaced with an existing Moby piece.
The character Ned Broy, played by Stephen Rea in the film, is in fact a composite of the historical figures Ned Broy, who was a double agent in the police, and Dick McKee, who was Commandant of the Dublin Brigade of the IRA and hence a central figure in planning intelligence operations with Collins. Broy survived the war, but McKee was captured the night before the attack on British agents and shot, reputedly whilst attempting to escape. Broy, only a Sergeant in the Dublin Metropolitan Police would be rewarded by being made head of the Irish Free State's new police national force, the Garda. Ironically he would go to great lengths to encourage ex-Royal Irish Constubulary officers to join the new force, giving them preference in recruitment and absorb the Dublin Metropolitan Police as a whole into the new organisation.
Director Jordan shows an armored vehicle with a machine gun turret shooting at players and spectators during the Croke Park Massacre in Dublin during a Gaelic Football match. In reality the Black and Tans only used trucks and rifles.
Gabriel Byrne was attached to the role of Michael Collins when Michael Cimino was set to direct.
John Boorman's short segment from Lumière and Company (1995) was filmed on the set of this movie (most precisely the location used for the Easter Rising sequence) and features actors Liam Neeson, Aidan Quinn, Stephen Rea and Alan Rickman.
Matt Dillon was originally up for the part of Harry Boland, later taken by Aidan Quinn.
Mary-Louise Parker was on the point of being signed for the part of Kitty when director Neil Jordan got a call from Julia Roberts expressing interest in the role.


The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

The later-on released DVD was flippable and had two sides, much like an old LP. In one of the first scenes, Michael Collins fought along with the rebellion against the military. After you flip over the DVD, the first scene shown is Collins now on the military side fighting against the new-formed rebellion. The side-change of the DVD dramatically marks the change of Collins' position.

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