6.9/10
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38 user 75 critic

Fifty Dead Men Walking (2008)

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Based on Martin McGartland's shocking real life story. Martin is a young lad from west Belfast in the late 1980s who is recruited by the British Police to spy on the IRA. He works his way ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(inspired by the book "Fifty Dead Man Walking"), (inspired by the book "Fifty Dead Man Walking") | 1 more credit »
7 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Fergus
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Martin
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Sean
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Lara
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Tom Collins ...
Mickey
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Ray
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Robbie
Laura Hughes ...
Mary
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Kieran
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Donovan
Joe Doyle ...
Quinn
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Frankie (as Connor McNeill)
Evan Harte ...
Little Patrick (as Evan)
Oscar Harte ...
Little Patrick
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Storyline

Based on Martin McGartland's shocking real life story. Martin is a young lad from west Belfast in the late 1980s who is recruited by the British Police to spy on the IRA. He works his way up the ranks as a volunteer for the IRA whilst feeding information to his British handler and saving lives in the process. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

When you cross the line there's no going back.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong brutal violence and torture, language and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

21 August 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

50 Dead Men Walking  »

Box Office

Budget:

£6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£99,440 (UK) (10 April 2009)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When Marty is driving the taxi at night in the early part of the film a car can clearly be seen in front of his. This is supposed to be set in 1988 yet the car in front is a Ford which dates 2006 at least. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Fergus: His name is Martin McGartland, and when I met him he was an unemployed Catholic hood selling stolen goods.
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Connections

References Sesame Street (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

The Swan
Composed by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performed by John Friesen on Cello & Stephen Smith on Piano
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User Reviews

 
Uncovering More Irish History
18 January 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

50 DEAD MEN WALKING is an unusually powerful film that brings to the screen the real life story of Martin McGartland on whose book it is based (with co-writer Nicholas Davies). Director Kari Skogland has managed to recreate the flavors of the 1980s in Ireland at war with the British. The violence in the film may be difficult for some viewers but it so integrated with the story that it would not seem as fine a film without it.

Martin McGartland (Jim Sturgess) was a fly-by-night, door-to-door salesman in Belfast in the 80s. He is bonded with mates such as Sean (Kevin Zegers) among others and they manage to get into all manner of trouble until they are united with the IRA (Irish Republican Army) to defeat the British: of note at the end of the film, the British were in Ireland as occupiers for a total of 38 years, ending only in 2008 with a peace treaty! Martin feels a sense of duty with the IRA and is observed by the British intelligence, namely one Fergus (Sir Ben Kingsley) who convinces Martin to join forces as a 'tout' or informer within the IRA. It is this play of double lives that brings McGartland to a terrifying life, a life made whole only by his love for his girlfriend Lara (Natalie Press) and their children (born and unborn). The struggle Martin endures between loyalty to his mates and loyalty to the British who see Martin's role as one that could save the lives of at least '50 Dead Men Walking' is the line of the film that never lets up for a moment of rest in its demonstration of the futility of 'war', no matter what level.

Jim Sturgess is superb as Martin and the large supporting cast is as fine as any casting director could find. This is a very intense film, a film so true to the Irish brogue that subtitles are necessary to understand much of the story. It is a film well worth viewing, especially if the confusion about the long Irish/British war is not clearly understood by the viewer.

Grady Harp


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