IMDb > "Rebel Heart" (2001)

"Rebel Heart" (2001) More at IMDbPro »TV mini-series 2001-


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Release Date:
7 January 2001 (UK) See more »
The move towards independence in Ireland, from the 1916 Easter Rising until the 1922 civil war is seen through the eyes of a naive idealistic young man
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(2 articles)
Susan FitzGerald obituary
 (From The Guardian - TV News. 10 September 2013, 4:05 PM, PDT)

James D'Arcy: feeling Perkins
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 31 January 2013, 11:00 PM, PST)

User Reviews:
Ronan Bennett penned drama on the Irish War of Independence See more (2 total) »


 (Series Cast Summary - 27 of 33)

James D'Arcy ... Ernie Coyne (4 episodes, 2001)

Frank Laverty ... Kelly (4 episodes, 2001)

Vincent Regan ... Tom O'Toole (4 episodes, 2001)

Paloma Baeza ... Ita Feeney (4 episodes, 2001)
Dawn Bradfield ... Ursula Feeney (4 episodes, 2001)

Brendan Coyle ... Michael Collins (4 episodes, 2001)

Vincent Walsh ... Gallagher (3 episodes, 2001)
Susan Fitzgerald ... Mrs. Coyne (3 episodes, 2001)

Marion O'Dwyer ... Aunt Maeve (3 episodes, 2001)
Brendan McNamara ... Davy (3 episodes, 2001)

Michael McElhatton ... Cathal Brugha (3 episodes, 2001)
Kieran Hurley ... Dempsey / ... (3 episodes, 2001)

Paul Ronan ... Liam Lynch (3 episodes, 2001)

Lorcan Cranitch ... Inspector Nelson (2 episodes, 2001)
Nuala O'Neill ... Eileen O'Toole (2 episodes, 2001)

Dermot Crowley ... Mr. Coyne (2 episodes, 2001)

B.J. Hogg ... Sergeant Black (2 episodes, 2001)
Shane Hagan ... Joe (2 episodes, 2001)
Lloyd Hutchinson ... Joe O'Neill (2 episodes, 2001)
Demien McAdam ... Robert (2 episodes, 2001)
Marie Jones ... Mrs. Feeney (2 episodes, 2001)

Johnny O'Donnell ... Tony Feeney (2 episodes, 2001)
Michael Colgan ... Liam O'Toole (2 episodes, 2001)

Alan O'Neill ... National Army Officer / ... (2 episodes, 2001)

Anthony Brophy ... Mulcahy (2 episodes, 2001)
Olivia Fahy ... O'Toole Sister (2 episodes, 2001)
Paul Tall-Order Ritchie ... IRA (2 episodes, 2001)

Series Directed by
John Strickland (4 episodes, 2001)
Series Writing credits
Ronan Bennett (4 episodes, 2001)

Series Produced by
Robert Cooper .... producer (unknown episodes)
Malcolm Craddock .... producer (unknown episodes)
Series Original Music by
Debbie Wiseman (unknown episodes)
Series Film Editing by
Jerry Leon (unknown episodes)
Series Production Design by
Tom McCullagh (4 episodes, 2001)
Series Art Direction by
Mike Stallion (unknown episodes)
Series Set Decoration by
Susie Cullen (unknown episodes)
Series Costume Design by
Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh (unknown episodes)
Series Makeup Department
Audrey Doyle .... assistant makeup artist (4 episodes, 2001)
Martina McCarthy .... key hair stylist (4 episodes, 2001)
Series Production Management
Paul Munn .... production manager (unknown episodes)
Series Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Clare Keogh .... trainee assistant director (4 episodes, 2001)

Catherine Dunne .... second assistant director (unknown episodes)
Richard Lingard .... first assistant director (unknown episodes)
Owen Magee .... trainee assistant director (unknown episodes)
Brian 'Joker' Mulvey .... third assistant director (unknown episodes)
Nick Thomas .... trainee assistant director (unknown episodes)
Series Art Department
Mick Flood .... property master (4 episodes, 2001)
Tyrone Monaghan .... props (4 episodes, 2001)

Conor Dennison .... draftsman (unknown episodes)
Darren Kearney .... painter (unknown episodes)
Gerard Lanigan .... stand-by props (unknown episodes)
Brendan Rankin .... draughtsman (unknown episodes)
Series Sound Department
Peter Slater .... boom operator (4 episodes, 2001)

Dave Sloss .... foley recordist (unknown episodes)
Series Special Effects by
David Beavis .... special effects supervisor (unknown episodes)
Graham Hills .... special effects foreman (unknown episodes)
Andrew Nolan .... special effects technician (unknown episodes)
Kevin Nolan .... special effects technician (unknown episodes)
Series Visual Effects by
Olly Tyler .... digital compositor (4 episodes, 2001)
Series Stunts
Paul Burke .... stunt double: Vincent Reagan (4 episodes, 2001)
Terry Forrestal .... stunt coordinator (4 episodes, 2001)
Martin White .... stunt double: Vincent Regan / stunts (2 episodes, 2001)

Gerry Behan .... stunts (unknown episodes)
Joe Condren .... stunts (unknown episodes)
Norman Kelly .... stunts (unknown episodes)
Donal O'Farrell .... stunts (unknown episodes)
Frank Reilly .... stunts (unknown episodes)
Gary Robinson .... stunt double (unknown episodes)
Paul Valentine .... stunts (unknown episodes)
Series Camera and Electrical Department
Niall Mannion .... best boy (4 episodes, 2001)
Philip McKeon .... first assistant camera (4 episodes, 2001)

Graeme Haughton .... electrician (unknown episodes)
Series Transportation Department
Paul Cullen .... transportation coordinator (unknown episodes)
Series Other crew
Kevin Jackson .... assistant head of drama, BBC northern Ireland (unknown episodes, 2001)
Fionnuala Dorney .... accounting assistant (unknown episodes)
Sile Dorney .... production accountant (unknown episodes)
Catherine Geary .... location assistant (unknown episodes)
Eoin Holohan .... location assistant (unknown episodes)
Paddy McCarney .... location manager (unknown episodes)
John McKenna .... master armorer (unknown episodes)
Rachel Murrell .... script editor (unknown episodes)
Seamus Porter .... assistant location manager (unknown episodes)
Edmund Sampson .... location manager (unknown episodes)

Production CompaniesOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
196 min (4 parts)
Sound Mix:


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10 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
Ronan Bennett penned drama on the Irish War of Independence, 2 March 2001
Author: dan-476 from Belfast, Northern Ireland

Ronan Bennett's four part television drama for the BBC and RTE was already controversial before it reached British and Irish television screens. Ulster Unionist leader and leader of the Northern Ireland power sharing government, David Trimble berated the BBC for making the drama at a sensitive time in the far from steady peace process. He claimed the series would be used as a propaganda for modern day Irish republicans, he attacked Bennett's own political convictions and a number of alterations made to actual historical events in the series.

But setting aside the argument over whether it was wise for David Trimble to attack the series before it was even screened, it has to be said 'Rebel Heart' is a bit of a disappointment. Unusually for Bennett (who penned the Robert Carlyle gangster flic FACE and the excellent pre-IRA ceasefire Maze Prison drama, LOVE LIES BLEEDING) it is an uneven work, painted in broad brush strokes.

Compressing six years of Irish history into four episodes, the drama tells the story of Ernie Coyne (James D'Arcy), a young idealistic middle class Dubliner drawn into the 1916 Easter Rising. During the Rising, he falls for a Belfast republican volunteer Ita Feeney (Paloma Baeza) and falls in with working class Dubliners, Kelly (Frank Laverty) and Tom O'Toole (Vincent Regan). His subsequent imprisonment after the Easter Rising and the disapproval of his family does not deter him from joining Michael Collins' bloody guerilla war against the British. His involvement in the IRA takes him to Belfast and Cork but is also intertwined with his romance with Ita. Along the way, he rubs shoulders with real life Irish historical figures like Collins (Brendan Coyle), Eamon de Valera (Andrew Connolly), Padraig Pearse (Frank MacCusker) and James Connolly (Bill Patterson).

So what's the problem? REBEL HEART starts off like Ken Loach's amazing Spanish Civil War drama LAND AND FREEDOM but never really sustains the momentum. One can't help feeling that four episodes are not really sufficient to do this kind of story justice and Bennett should really have been given two more episodes to flesh out his characters, storyline and properly examine a seminal moment in Irish history. The series is beautifully shot and the acting is committed. Special praise should go to Vincent Regan, Frank Laverty and Frank MacCusker. There is also an all too brief cameo from Liam Cunningham who continues to impress on the small or big screen. James D'Arcy is a suitably stiff lead and Paloma Baeza's feisty west Belfast republican (complete with accent) is spot on.

To Bennett's credit, this no dewy eyed, one sided hymn to Irish republicanism. The 1916 Rising is anything but glorious and there is a brutality to not just the Ulster police's massacres but also to Ernie's violence. REBEL HEART is not without its merits. It's just a pity that with a little bit more time it could have been so, so much better.

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