6.6/10
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Cal (1984)

Cal (John Lynch), a young man on the fringes of the I.R.A., falls in love with Marcella (Dame Helen Mirren), a Catholic woman whose husband, a Protestant policeman, was killed one year ... See full summary »

Director:

Pat O'Connor

Writers:

Bernard MacLaverty (novel), Bernard MacLaverty (screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Helen Mirren ... Marcella
John Lynch ... Cal
Donal McCann ... Shamie
John Kavanagh ... Skeffington
Ray McAnally ... Cyril Dunlop
Stevan Rimkus Stevan Rimkus ... Crilly
Catherine Gibson Catherine Gibson ... Mrs. Morton
Louis Rolston Louis Rolston ... Dermot Ryan
Tom Hickey Tom Hickey ... Preacher
Gerard Mannix Flynn Gerard Mannix Flynn ... Arty
Seamus Forde Seamus Forde ... Mr. Morton
Edward Byrne Edward Byrne ... Skeffington Sr
J.J. Murphy ... Man in Library
Audrey Johnson Audrey Johnson ... Lucy
Brian Munn Brian Munn ... Robert Morton
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Storyline

Cal (John Lynch), a young man on the fringes of the I.R.A., falls in love with Marcella (Dame Helen Mirren), a Catholic woman whose husband, a Protestant policeman, was killed one year earlier by the I.R.A. Written by Mark Whitnall <whitnall@rockroseweb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Out of Ireland's struggle, a passionate love is born.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 August 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cal - Memórias de um Terrorista See more »

Filming Locations:

Drogheda, County Louth, Ireland See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie was released one year after its source novella of the same name by Bernard MacLaverty was published. MacLaverty also penned the screenplay. See more »

Goofs

Cal buys a present and puts it in his coat pocket but it disappears as he continues to walk. See more »

Quotes

Marcella: Cal... I'm sorry. I feel bad for hurting you the other night. Will you forgive me?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Lost Boys (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

 
feels real to an outsider
28 February 2015 | by jhowar1See all my reviews

It's interesting to see Irish reviewers' takes on movies like this. I haven't seen Cal in years, but I still listen to the beautiful soundtrack by Mark Knopfler. I put it on this morning, which is why I thought to look up the movie here.

I remember being captivated by the drama of this young kid in over his head, both with the IRA and in his romance with an older woman. The scenes had a raw grittiness that felt very real to me when I saw it in the theater, back in the mid-1980s.

So it's surprising to me to hear the film described by at least one reviewer here as both unlikely and clichéd. And I can't argue with that, in terms of history or culture or politics, because I wasn't there. Anyone who lived in Belfast at the time would surely have a more realistic view of the IRA and of Irish culture than I do.

But this morning, my young son looked up when that first song came on, and gave me a look, like, "What in the world is this?" After the song ended, he said, "Dad, it's so beautiful, it almost hurts." That's how I always felt about Cal. I'm a sucker for anything that's both beautiful and sad. That's how I remember the movie.


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