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In the Name of the Father (1993)

A man's coerced confession to an IRA bombing he did not commit results in the imprisonment of his father as well. An English lawyer fights to free them.

Director:

Jim Sheridan

Writers:

Gerry Conlon (autobiographical book "Proved Innocent"), Terry George (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alison Crosbie Alison Crosbie ... Girl in Pub
Daniel Day-Lewis ... Gerry Conlon
Philip King Philip King ... Guildford Soldier
Emma Thompson ... Gareth Peirce
Nye Heron Nye Heron ... IRA Man 1
Anthony Brophy ... Danny
Frankie McCafferty ... Tommo
Paul Warriner Paul Warriner ... Soldier
Julian Walsh Julian Walsh ... Soldier
Stuart Wolfenden ... Soldier (as Stuart Wolvenden)
Jo Connor Jo Connor ... Bin Lady
Karen Carlisle Karen Carlisle ... Female Rioter
Seamus Moran Seamus Moran ... IRA Man 2
Billy Byrne Billy Byrne ... IRA Man 3
Maureen McBride Maureen McBride ... Mother
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Storyline

Young Belfastian Gerry Conlon admits that he was in London at the time of the incident. He also admits that he is not a model citizen, having committed a petty robbery while in London. He does however profess his innocence when it comes to the bombing of the Guildford Pub in London in 1974, the event which killed several people inside. A self-professed non-political person, he and his three co-accused, dubbed the Guildford Four, are thought to be provisional members of the IRA. Their self-professed innocence is despite each having signed a statement of guilt which they claim were signed under duress. Their case includes having provable alibis for the time frame of the bombing. And eventually, Joe McAndrew, a known IRA member, admits to the bombing. Dubbed the Maguire Seven, seven others, primarily members of Gerry's extended family including his father Giuseppe, are accused of being accessories to the bombing. Following on the work initiated by Giuseppe, Gerry works on a campaign to ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Falsely accused. Wrongly imprisoned. He fought for justice to clear his father's name. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and politically-geneRated violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Ireland | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 February 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

In the Name of the Father See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$109,805, 2 January 1994

Gross USA:

$25,096,862

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$65,796,862
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo | DTS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bono was offered the role of Paul Hill. U2s busy touring schedule prevented him from accepting. See more »

Goofs

When Gerry speaks with the attorney, the guard behind Gerry changes position in each shot. See more »

Quotes

Gerry Conlon: When can I go back to Belfast?
Detective: Next time you'll see Belfast, they'll be flying day trips to the moon.
Gerry Conlon: I always wanted to be an astronaut.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in QI: Film (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Birthday
Written by Patty S. Hill (as Patty Hill) and Mildred J. Hill (as Mildred Hill)
Published by Keith Prowse Music Publishing Co. Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

a timely reminder
19 November 2003 | by QBRSee all my reviews

I do not see this film as being political nonsense at all.Rather it serves as a warning of what can happen when blanket stereotyping is allowed to influence the course of justice.As Gareth Peirce (impressively portrayed by the excellent Emma Thompson) points out, the only reason Giueseppe Conlon and Co were tried in the first place was on the shaky premise that "they were bloody well Irish". As Irish people living in England in the 1970s, they must therefore have been terrorists.Logical?I thought not.The authorities never thought for a second that they might actually have been trying to escape that nonsense through carving out a new life for themselves in England.With a British public baying for blood, the police capitulated by picking up the first "paddies" they found and making an example of them, without making any serious efforts to root out the real perpetrators and ensuring they were rendered incapable of causing more harm through doling out lengthy imprisonments to them, as opposed to ruining the lives of an innocent family.Ironically of course such actions could well have served to make terrorist sympathisers out of the Conlons through the horrific treatment meted out to them!It didn't of course but there is always the danger in that type of case that a person could become embittered to that extent.

Obviously given the unstable climate of the time Irish people in England were sometimes regarded with suspicion,yet the fact remains that the events portrayed in the film were unacceptable in a supposed western democracy committed to the rule of law.While neither side was entirely innocent the fact remains that England was undeniably culpable in this instance, and the judiciary involved in the case must bear full responsibilty for the devestating effects of their knee-jerk ruling, given to appease an irrational and hysterical public.

In this respect the Conlons and Co can viably be seen by some as "Irish martyrs". While I am no fan of Hollywood fare which seeks to glamourise Irish terrorists at the expense of England who is invariably portrayed as the cold and unrelenting oppressor (inaccurate and unfair in the present day I feel) I strongly believe that in this case the criticism and negative portrayal of the English legal system is justified to a considerable extent.The film has especial resonance and significance for us today in the wake of al-Quaeda and the resultant perceptions of Muslims as a whole as being "the enemy" in certain quarters.The recent incarceration of an innocent Syrian who had lived his entire adult life in Canada, and who was imprisoned purely on the basis of his ethnicity, only serves to remind us of the perils of "judging a book by its cover" and making snap judgements, a danger which is admirably illustrated in this well-acted film.


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