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A thriller about an IRA gunman who draws an American family into the crossfire of terrorism. Frankie McGuire is one of the IRA's deadliest assassins. But when he is sent to the U.S. to buy weapons, Frankie is housed with the family of Tom O'Meara, a New York cop who knows nothing about Frankie's real identity. Their surprising friendship, and Tom's growing suspicions, force Frankie to choose between the promise of peace or a lifetime of murder. Written by
Robert Lynch <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The original script for the film was much darker than the version used for the final film. Amongst other elements: Pitt's Frankie the Angel character alternated between slaughtering all of the inhabitants of a crack house and crooning Irish music at a local pub; Ford's Tom O'Meara was a "hair bag cop" who got that unflattering nickname because he's been a uniformed officer for so long; and an entire scene consisted of O'Meara and his partner throwing vile insults at each other. This draft was the one that Brad Pitt read before deciding to sign onto the project. See more »
At the beginning, when Frankie's Mother is dishing out the stew for dinner, she sits down, picks up her napkin and then clasps her hands together for grace without serving herself any food. In the next wide shot there is food on her plate. See more »
A large part of Brad Pitt's genius as a movie star is his ability to pick scripts. "The Devil's Own" certainly indicates a lapse in judgment, but to a Hollywood tough guy, an IRA role is irresistible. You get a leather jacket, a ski mask, a machine gun and a cool accent. The Ulster accent is, as every movie star knows, very easy to master: just randomly scramble your vowel sounds, say "fook's seek" frequently--and you're Oirish!
But far more laughable than the accents are the action scenes, which are so badly choreographed and edited, it's hard to believe the film is a Hollywood product. First there is Sean and Frankie's shootout with "half the fookin' army," which they win. Then they escape because the British forget to watch the back door. Also, there is the mysterious appearance of a vast forest in the middle of downtown Belfast, into which IRA terrorists can easily escape when cornered. Next there is the shootout with Billy Burke, in which Frankie somehow manages to fire three rounds from a double-barrelled shotgun (taking out a sniper who, oddly enough, falls forward from the impact of a shot in the chest), retrieves his pistol and fires the same shot twice--hitting Billy Burke, who for some reason counted to ten before lunging for his own gun.
The biggest mistake was in casting Harrison Ford, a lead man who commands $20,000,000 per film, and putting him in a supporting role, which of course had to be rewritten and elevated to a co-lead. The result: instead of a film about an IRA terrorist who comes to the States to buy munitions (which is a good precept), we get a film about a New York cop who's got an IRA terrorist living in his basement. Anyone who initially proposed such a story to the studio would have been turned down, and that would have been fortunate for all involved.
In fairness to Pitt, he did try to walk away from the project, and in order to save face, ridiculed the movie before it hit the theaters, which suggests that he had more sense than anyone else on the set.
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