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A Sense of Freedom (1979)

The life and imprisonment of Glasgow hard man and gangster Jimmy Boyle.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jimmy Boyle
Jake D'Arcy ...
Sean Scanlan ...
Jackie (as Sean Scanlon)
John Murtagh ...
Roy Hanlon ...
Chief Officer
Martin Black ...
Bobbie Dugan
Inspector Davidson
Hector Nicol ...
Uncle Jody
Bill Barclay ...
Alexander West ...
Lesley Mackie ...
Malkie's Wife
Frank Welshman ...
Kate Gardiner ...
Boyle's Mother
Jan Wilson ...
Mrs. Docherty


The life and imprisonment of Glasgow hard man and gangster Jimmy Boyle.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Thriller


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Release Date:

18 October 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Katkera matka vapauteen  »

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Did You Know?


Due to non-co-operation by the Scottish Prison Service in allowing a film crew access to their property, Hayman's scenes in prison were filmed in Dublin's Kilmainham Jail. See more »


Referenced in Empire of the Censors (1995) See more »


A Sense Of Freedom
Written By Frankie Miller
Performed by Frankie Miller and Rory Gallagher
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User Reviews

A hard-hitting film based on an ex-gangster's true story
1 November 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Although the video description is a little misleading as it suggests Jimmy Boyle was an innocent man, the movie, based on Jimmy's autobiography, tells the story of Jimmy's life as a brutal gangster and is amazing from beginning to end. There's a lot of violence and a lot of blood, but some very emotional moments as well which make you re-evaluate your opinion of a person.

After terrorising people for ages, eventually Jimmy starts to get a taste of his own medicine - but this guy is too hot to handle.

The emotions are raw in this movie and though there is some music, none is needed. The lack of music adds to the intensity of the film and David Hayman's acting as the star of the movie is better than brilliant

  • he shows us pure evil, anger, sadness, and compassion, and every
emotion seems as real as the other.

People say that beatings work against criminals so they think such violence should be used as a deterrent - this film proves exactly THE OPPOSITE - when Jimmy is treated like a human instead of being beaten, there is a drastic change which leads to him running a rehabilitation centre and preaching against gangs and violence.

The fact that VIOLENCE DOESN'T WORK AS A DETERRENT is what this film proves, evidenced by a man who's suffered loads of it.

Jimmy's 'sense of freedom' is when he is treated like a human instead of being beaten.

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