6.3/10
232
8 user 1 critic

The Gentle Gunman (1952)

In 1941 in wartime UK, two Irish brothers working for the IRA come against their local leader's ruthless methods.

Director:

Basil Dearden

Writers:

Roger MacDougall (play), Roger MacDougall (screenplay) (as Roger Macdougall)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
John Mills ... Terence Sullivan
Dirk Bogarde ... Matt Sullivan
Robert Beatty ... Shinto
Elizabeth Sellars ... Maureen Fagan
Barbara Mullen ... Molly Fagan
Eddie Byrne ... Flynn
Joseph Tomelty Joseph Tomelty ... Dr Brannigan
Liam Redmond ... Connolly
James Kenney ... Johnny Fagan
Michael Golden Michael Golden ... Murphy
Jack MacGowran ... Patsy McGuire (as Jack McGowran)
Gilbert Harding Gilbert Harding ... Henry Truethome
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Storyline

IRA member Terry modifies his violent views after working undercover in wartime London. When his co-conspirators are arrested, he ensures that his brother Matt escapes back to Ireland. Terry follows and the local group have to decide what to do about him and about their imprisoned colleagues being shipped to Belfast. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They Branded Him a Coward...and paid in full for their mistake. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 October 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bombe im U-Bahn-Schacht See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Edward Byrne, Michael Golden, and E.J Kennedy had also featured in a 1950 TV play in different roles. See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: NORTHERN IRELAND 1941 See more »

Connections

Featured in Irish Cinema: Ourselves Alone? (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Moonshiner
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Delia Murphy
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Ealing take on the Irish Troubles.
4 May 2014 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

Directed by Basil Dearden and adapted to screenplay from his own play by Roger MacDougal, The Gentle Gunman finds John Mills and Dirk Bogarde as brothers in the IRA circa 1941. Matt (Bogarde) is the young and hungry in the name of the cause brother, Terence (Mills) has grown tired of the violence and questions the IRA's methods. This puts a strain on their relationship, whilst it also puts Terence on a collision course with the IRA superiors who brand him as a traitor.

The Irish Troubles has never been an easy subject to broach in movies, the political stand point of the film makers invariably leaning towards bias. Whilst critics and reviewers have to battle with their own convictions when trying to stay firmly on the fence. The Gentle Gunman is an attempt at being an anti violence movie, one with a "gentle" pro British slant from that most British of film studios, Ealing. Unfortunately it's tonally all over the place, awash with a mixed bunch of characters that range from apparent comic relief, to rabid Irish terrorists and a town crier like British bigot. Things are further put into the realm of the unbelievable by Mills and Bogarde trying to hold down Irish accents, a shame because without the fluctuation of the vocal chords the performances are rather good.

It's also a bit too stagey and the pace often drags itself into a stupor, making the adequate action scenes act more as a merciful release than anything truly exciting. On the plus side the film looks amazing at times, with Gordon Dines (The Blue Lamp) on cinematography dealing firmly in film noir filters. Which goes some way to explain how the film has come to be in a couple of reference books about British noir. But really it's a marginal entry and all told it's just a routine drama from a Studio who were much better in other genre spheres. 6/10


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