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The General (1998)

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.

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Cast

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He was a world-class criminal and a working-class hero. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Official Sites:

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

18 December 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I Once Had a Life  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£286,365 (UK) (29 May 1998)

Gross:

$1,211,865 (USA) (21 May 1999)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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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

After the robbery of the Thomas O'Connor and Sons jewelry manufacturing plant, which occurred in 1983, the van that pulled into the garage with the stolen goods had a license plate with the number 93 D 25920. Under the Irish vehicle licensing system, the 93 at the beginning of the license plate number identifies the model year of the vehicle. There would not have been such a plate number in 1983. See more »

Quotes

Frances: [referring to her sister] Why do go around and see Tina? I don't mind.
See more »

Connections

Version of Ordinary Decent Criminal (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The perfect anti-hero
4 January 1999 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

There are few modern directors whom I respect as well as John Boorman. His biopics are always keenly observed, and he has a great eye for the comic moment. Cahill, history tells us, was a vicious thug - his only redeeming qualities, Boorman tells us, were his love for his family and comrades. Even if a few of Cahill's blemishes were airbrushed out to present him as a modern day Robin Hood, what the hell, it makes great cinema. Cahill is the perfect anti-hero, and with Boorman's decision to show us the ending at the beginning - we know that he ultimately pays the ultimate price for his crimes.

No point in harping on about the use of monochrome photography. I don't particularly think it matters - it just makes me wish I was watching Casablanca. But the principal actors are perfect. Brendan Gleeson and Adrian Dunbar make a fine pairing, and Jon Voight as Cahill's nemesis, Inspector Ned Kenny, is surprisingly good at the Irish accent, and back to his best form as an actor.

Boorman, although not as prolific, deserves to be regarded alongside Scorsese, Coppola and Kubrik for his insight into humanity and the sometimes strange bonds that result. No other modern directors do this as well as the above mentioned.


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