A faithful depiction of how the Anglo-Irish Treaty between the unrecognised Irish Republic, represented by Michael Collins, and the British government was concluded after high-stakes negotiations in 1921.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Patrick Condren ...
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...
...
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Joe McGrath
Joshua Losey ...
Roadblock Captain
Richard Michaelis ...
Roadblock Sergeant
Liam O'Callaghan ...
Anne Byrne ...
Tim Wylton ...
Tom Jones
Barry McGovern ...
John Warner ...
Wesley Murphy ...
British Civil Servant
Mal Whyte ...
Colonel
Alan Stanford ...
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A faithful depiction of how the Anglo-Irish Treaty between the unrecognised Irish Republic, represented by Michael Collins, and the British government was concluded after high-stakes negotiations in 1921.

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Drama | History

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5 December 1991 (Ireland)  »

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Barry McGovern reprises his role as Eamon de Valera from Caught in a Free State (1984). See more »

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Thoughtful look at how we ended up where we are
7 March 2004 | by (New York, NY USA) – See all my reviews

I agree completely with the reviewer from Cork that this is a fascinating movie. It's a dramatization of the agonizing negotiations that led to the creation of the Irish Free State in 1922. This is a subject that is pretty much jumped over in the Neil Jordan film "Michael Collins" but which lies at the heart of the current divisions in Ireland. As a result of these negotiations came the bitter Irish civil war and the partition of the island that has caused so much grief in the years since. If you listen you will note the manipulation of events by the principal characters (especially DeValera and Lloyd George) and the betrayals, small and large,and the failure of promises made that led to the divided Ireland of the years since.

Brendan Gleason's portrayal of Collins seems far more reliable and realistic than the one done by Liam Neeson. Gleason's Collins, far from being a "yob from West Cork" is revealed as an intelligent, realistic individual who was well able to hold his own in the company of the British cabinet as well as the sophisticated guests at a dramatized dinner party held by Hazel, Lady Lavery.

Some of the other performances a very good as well. I especially like Ian Bannen's foxy Lloyd George and the late Tony Doyle's portrayal of Arthur Griffith. As an aside about historical accuracy. Griffith was the actual leader of the Irish delegation, as shown here. The Neil Jordan movie incorrectly implies that Collins himself was the leader.

So, if Hollywood fiction and romantic interest are your cup of tea, by all means watch the Neil Jordan movie. But if you really want to learn something about the reasons things are the way they are, try to find a copy of this film. This won't be easy as it doesn't seem to exist in any commercailly available edition. My own copy was taped from a TV broadcast. I hope that one day it will be available for purchase.




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