MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 607 this week

The General (1998)

7.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 5,953 users  
Reviews: 49 user | 51 critic

The real-life story of Dublin folk hero and criminal Martin Cahill, who pulled off two daring robberies in Ireland with his team, but attracted unwanted attention from the police, the IRA, ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

, (novel)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 27 titles
created 03 Mar 2011
 
a list of 41 titles
created 20 Oct 2011
 
a list of 38 titles
created 10 Apr 2012
 
a list of 29 titles
created 22 Aug 2013
 

Related Items

Search for "The General" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The General (1998)

The General (1998) on IMDb 7.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The General.

User Polls

15 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

After a chance encounter, a Dubliner (Gleeson) is stalked by a murderous facsimile of himself.

Director: John Boorman
Stars: Brendan Gleeson, Kim Cattrall, Ciarán Hinds
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Laura is trying to pick up the pieces of her life after the murder of her husband and son, and goes on vacation with her sister to Burma. After losing her passport at a political rally, she... See full summary »

Director: John Boorman
Stars: Patricia Arquette, U Aung Ko, Frances McDormand
Leo the Last (1970)
Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Prince Leo, last in the line of rulers of a long-deposed monarchy on continental Europe and jaded with the frenetic search for kicks with the European jet-set, returns to his father's ... See full summary »

Director: John Boorman
Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Billie Whitelaw, Calvin Lockhart
In My Country (2004)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Langston Whitfield is a Washington Post journalist. His editor provocatively sends him to South Africa to cover the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings, in which the perpetrators ... See full summary »

Director: John Boorman
Stars: Juliette Binoche, Samuel L. Jackson, Brendan Gleeson
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A semiautobiographical project by John Boorman about a nine year old boy called Bill as he grows up in London during the blitz of World War 2. For a young boy, this time in history was more... See full summary »

Director: John Boorman
Stars: Sarah Miles, David Hayman, Sebastian Rice-Edwards
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Stewart McBain (Coleman) is a real-estate mogul who spends his living blowing up old buildings to make room to erect new buildings. All goes as planned for a new subdivision, until a group ... See full summary »

Director: John Boorman
Stars: Dabney Coleman, Uma Thurman, Joanna Cassidy
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

After the son of engineer Bill Markham is abducted by an aboriginal tribe on the edge of the rain forest, the engineer spends the next 10 years searching for him.

Director: John Boorman
Stars: Powers Boothe, Meg Foster, Yara Vaneau
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

During World War II, an American pilot and a marooned Japanese navy captain are deserted on a small uninhabited island in the Pacific Ocean. There, they must cease their hostility and cooperate if they want to survive, but will they?

Director: John Boorman
Stars: Lee Marvin, Toshirô Mifune
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An Englishman who grew up in London during World War II joins the military to fight in the Korean War.

Director: John Boorman
Stars: Callum Turner, Caleb Landry Jones, Pat Shortt
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An Irish journalist is assassinated by drug dealers she wrote about in a series of stories.

Director: Joel Schumacher
Stars: Cate Blanchett, Colin Farrell, Brenda Fricker
I Went Down (1997)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Fresh out of prison, Git rescues a former best friend (now living with Git's girlfriend) from a beating at the hands of loan sharks. He's now in trouble with the mob boss, Tom French, who ... See full summary »

Director: Paddy Breathnach
Stars: Brendan Gleeson, Peter McDonald, Antoine Byrne
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A tailor living in Panama reluctantly becomes a spy for a British agent.

Director: John Boorman
Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Geoffrey Rush, Jamie Lee Curtis
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Gary
...
...
...
Inspector Ned Kenny
Eanna MacLiam ...
Jimmy
Tom Murphy ...
Willie Byrne
...
Anthony
...
Paddy
John O'Toole ...
Shea
Ciarán Fitzgerald ...
Tommy
...
Gay
Vinny Murphy ...
Harry (as Vinnie Murphy)
Roxanna Nic Liam ...
Orla (as Roxanna Williams)
Edit

Storyline

The real-life story of Dublin folk hero and criminal Martin Cahill, who pulled off two daring robberies in Ireland with his team, but attracted unwanted attention from the police, the IRA, the UVF and members of his own team. Written by Andrew Wong <andreww@unforgettable.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The extraordinary true story of the rise and fall of the gangster, Martin Cahill. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and pervasive language | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

18 December 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I Once Had a Life  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$26,771 (USA) (18 December 1998)

Gross:

$1,211,865 (USA) (21 May 1999)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The home of director John Boorman was robbed by the real life Martin Cahill. Among other things, he stole a gold record that Boorman had on the wall, which inspired Boorman to include that scene in the movie. See more »

Goofs

The movie shows the raid on the jewelry manufacturers Thomas O'Connor and Sons in Harold's Cross, Dublin, which took place July 27th, 1983. The raiders use a Volkswagen T4 Transporter in the movie that wasn't in production in 1983 - this model was introduced onto the market in 1991. See more »

Quotes

Martin Cahill: We never should have bought this house. You never own things. You never own things. The things own you.
See more »

Connections

References Deliverance (1972) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Another accomplished performance by Brendan Gleeson, Ireland's Depardieu
28 July 2000 | by (Belfast, Northern Ireland) – See all my reviews

John Boorman's 'The General' was always going to be a controversial movie and a tough sell for its filmmakers.

It's anti-hero, Martin Cahill was Ireland's most infamous criminal of recent times - so much so that there has been four screen depictions of him (Ken Stott in The Vicious Circle, Kevin Spacey in Ordinary Decent Criminal, Pete Postlethwaite in When The Sky Falls and Brendan Gleeson in The General).

He was guilty of some of the country's most outrageous crimes and capable of real brutality - most notably, injuring a forensic scientist in a car bomb and literally nailing one of his gang members to the floor.

Add into the mix the fact that the film has a largely Irish cast deploying thick Dublin accents and that Boorman chose to shoot it in black and white and you have a movie which wasn't exactly going to jump out at international and especially, US audiences demanding to be loved.

The result is perhaps Boorman's finest work, certainly on a par with the wonderful 'Hope and Glory'.

The film is also by a furlong the best of the four movies depicting Cahill's life.

This is in large part due to the brilliant performance of Irish actor, Brendan Gleeson in the central role.

The Irish Depardieu not only physically transforms himself into Cahill but captures the rebellious spirit, the intelligence and the charm.

It would have been easy to depict Cahill as a monster.

However, Gleeson and Boorman treat their audience with respect, building up a character with shades of darkness and light.

On one hand, viewers are given an appreciation of how "The General" was able to command the love of two sisters, his children and the adulation of his criminal associates.

However, Boorman's film is certainly no love letter to Cahill. We also see his sadistic side as in the bombing of the forensic scientist's car and crucifixion of one of his gang members, his lack of consideration and compassion for the 100 workers laid off at a storeroom he has robbed, his cold bargaining with the sexually abused daughter of one of his gang members.

The supporting cast also put in fine performances too.

Jon Voight not only masters the rural Irish brogue of the Garda (police) inspector bedevilled by Cahill but also the attitudes. It is a tough but ultimately sympathetic performance of a cop dragged unwillingly into the gutter.

Maria Doyle Kennedy and Angeline Ball give charming performances as the sisters who were also the women in Cahill's rather unorthodox life, with Ciaran Fitzgerald also making a sympathetic son.

Adrian Dunbar, Sean McGinley and Eanna MacLiam all put in spirited performances as members of Cahill's gang. McGinley, in particular, creates another memorably seedy performance as Gary.

Special mention should also go to Pat Laffan as a brutish Garda sergeant.

With it's cracking script, Richie Buckley's musical score and the black and white camerawork, 'The General' is easily up there with the best of modern movies made in Ireland (certainly, up there with Neil Jordan's 'The Butcher Boy' and Alan Parker's 'The Commitments').

It is a must see - a film which demands cult status.


15 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Do many people actually admire Cahill ?? Huntinghighandlow
shooter... annibz
Jon Voight scottthedrunk
Robin Hood? grahamk-1
Cahills crimes celticforce10
when did he ever outwit the guards ? theperfectten
Discuss The General (1998) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?