7.5/10
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49 user 38 critic

The Informer (1935)

Approved | | Crime, Drama | 24 May 1935 (USA)
Trailer
1:26 | Trailer
In 1922, an Irish rebel informs on his friend, then feels doom closing in.

Director:

John Ford

Writers:

Dudley Nichols (screen play), Liam O'Flaherty (from the story by)
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Won 4 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Victor McLaglen ... Gypo Nolan
Heather Angel ... Mary McPhillip
Preston Foster ... Dan Gallagher
Margot Grahame ... Katie Madden
Wallace Ford ... Frankie McPhillip
Una O'Connor ... Mrs. McPhillip
J.M. Kerrigan ... Terry
Joe Sawyer ... Barty Mulholland (as Joseph Sauers)
Neil Fitzgerald Neil Fitzgerald ... Tommy Connor
Donald Meek ... Peter Mulligan
D'Arcy Corrigan ... The Blind Man
Leo McCabe Leo McCabe ... Donahue
Steve Pendleton ... Dennis Daly (as Gaylord Pendleton)
Francis Ford ... 'Judge' Flynn
May Boley ... Madame Betty
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Storyline

Dublin, 1920. Gypo Nolan, strong but none too bright, has been ousted from the rebel organization and is starving. When he finds that his equally destitute sweetheart Katie has been reduced to prostitution, he succumbs to temptation and betrays his former comrade Frankie to the British authorities for a 20 pound reward. In the course of one gloomy, foggy night, guilt and retribution inexorably close in... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 May 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Informer See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$243,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (R C A Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Another reason why RKO was reluctant to make the film was because a version of the story had already been filmed in the UK in 1929, The Informer (1929). See more »

Goofs

The surname Gallagher is pronounced "Galligger" by characters, however, in Ireland the name is always pronounced "Gallaher." See more »

Quotes

Terry: [realizing Gypo's stuck him with the bill as an angry bouncer glowers at him] Oh dear, oh dear. I have a queer feelin' there's going to be a strange face in heaven in the mornin'.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: 1920 "Then Judas repented himself-and cast down the thirty pieces of silver - and departed." See more »

Alternate Versions

Since it's original release, the UK prints of this film have omitted all references to the IRA, but a 1998 release on a budget video label restores these cuts for the first time. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Five Came Back: The Mission Begins (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Rule Britannia!
(uncredited)
Thomas Arne
Arranged by Max Steiner
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Important work of Irish patriotism from Ford still potent...
23 March 1999 | by Don-102See all my reviews

Victor McLaglen, the title character of John Ford's THE INFORMER, reminded me of the circus man from Fellini's LA STRADA. Anthony Quinn played the brutish man, who may have even been influenced by the pug-faced, Oscar-winning performance given by McLaglen. Poverty-stricken Dublin is the true-life, atmospheric setting of the picture, which takes place in 1922. Dense fog and a long damp night are the main elements of a story about deep Irish patriotism and the fight of the Irish Republican Army. The conflict of individuality and the cause is what makes THE INFORMER tick. McLaglen's large, simple character just wants to go to America and we're reminded by signs of the price for a ticket frequently. Two different signs become the psychological centerpiece for the drunken Irishman. One is the previous, the other a WANTED sign. Should he do it and get the money to go?

John Ford once famously said, "My name is Ford. I make Westerns." After seeing this film, he obviously could do a heck of a lot more. The serious social issues dealt with here are heartfelt and ones you will find yourself thinking about. And the look of the piece is amazing, consisting of long dark shadows cutting into a miserable Ireland night. Ford was always known for his luminescent, gorgeous cinematography that helped to foresee the conflicts within his characters. This is hard in color, but he did it in pictures like THE SEARCHERS, painting John Wayne in a sometimes vicious manner. Victor McLaglen's performance not only benefits from the lighting, but by the sheer simplicity of his acting. He shoves a lot. He knocks people out. He is a brute who knows no better. He should, however, know whether or not to cross the IRA.

See the film to find out the gritty details. See it also for McLaglen and Ford's patriotic portrayal of the IRA. Max Steiner's score is innovative in how it matches gestures of the characters, placing more emphasis on them. This was usually only seen in silent films, especially Chaplin. The topic of naming names or "informing" is obviously still important. Just look at how the media covered this year's Oscars, giving much attention to the Elia Kazan scandal.


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