The Boxer (1997)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance, Sport  |  9 January 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 13,515 users   Metascore: 75/100
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Young Danny Flynn is released from prison after 14 years after "taking the rap" for the IRA and tries to rebuild his life in his old Belfast neighborhood.


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Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Daragh Donnelly ...
Prison Officer
Frank Coughlan ...
Prison Officer
Sean Kearns ...
Prison Officer
Lorraine Pilkington ...
Niall Shanahan ...
John Wall ...
Priest (as Father John Wall)
Maria McDermottroe ...
Carol Scanlan ...
Wedding Guest
Kate Perry ...
Wedding Guest
Andrea Irvine ...
Wedding Guest
Joan McGarry ...
Wedding Guest
Theresa McComb ...
Wedding Guest
Catherine Dunne ...
Wedding Guest
Kerrie Duggan ...
Wedding Guest


Nineteen-year-old Danny Flynn is imprisoned for his involvement with the I.R.A. in Belfast. He leaves behind his family and his sixteen-year-old girlfriend, Maggie Hamill. Fourteen years later, Danny is released from prison and returns to his old working class neighborhood to resume his life as a boxer, fighting and opening a boxing club training aspiring boxers. Maggie has since married Danny's best friend, who is also imprisoned for his I.R.A. activities. Although he has not denounced the I.R.A. or denigrated his I.R.A. colleagues, Danny has decided to live a life free of political violence. His boxing club is nonsectarian, open to both Catholics and Protestants. This move irks some of his old I.R.A. colleagues since they feel working with the Protestants will not resolve their David versus Goliath struggle. Danny's old I.R.A. colleagues, especially their unofficial leader Harry, resort to traditional tactics of violence to stop Danny. Maggie's father, Joe, also an I.R.A. activist, ... Written by Artemis-9

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Love is always worth fighting for.


Drama | Romance | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality, language, drugs and violence | See all certifications »


Official Sites:




Release Date:

9 January 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bokser  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$129,915 (USA) (2 January 1998)


£1,173,148 (UK) (27 February 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Eddie Carroll is the name of an actual canadian hall of fame welterweight boxer that fought in the 30's and 40's. See more »


The cut above Danny's left eye disappears in some scenes. See more »


Joe Hamill: It's as though the Brits want this ceasefire to fail.
See more »


Referenced in V.I.P.: Raging Val (1999) See more »


Written by Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
Worldwide Copyright Owner ABKCO MUSIC INC.
Performed by The Long John Jump Band (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

Punches a Light into Dim Situation of N. Ireland
9 August 1998 | by (Toronto, Ontario) – See all my reviews

The Boxer is dark movie about a seemingly unsolvable problem. It's filmed in a constant dark, dreary, depressing light; this light reflects not only the weather but the mood of Northern Ireland.

This expose of "the troubles" in N. Ireland uses a story about a boxer who returns to his home after being released after 14 years of imprisonment. His goal is to take his most usable asset (boxing) and make something of himself and his former coach.

Like everything in N. Ireland, living normally is laced with problems when you're in the middle of a war. His interest in his now-married former girlfriend is forbidden, since prisoners of war wives are off limits to honor the prisoner. Accepting gifts from the police force is also a sign of capitulation, and as such carries penalties.

The film clearly shows that those that wish to make peace (however passively) and live normal lives are marked as disloyal and targeted by the Irish Mafia (alluded to as the IRA in the film).

It's a sad commentary on a desolate group of trouble makers in a growing desolate land.

14 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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