6.7/10
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10 user 8 critic

Cal (1984)

Cal, a young man on the fringes of the IRA, falls in love with Marcella, a Catholic woman whose husband, a Protestant policeman, was killed one year earlier by the IRA.

Director:

Pat O'Connor

Writers:

Bernard MacLaverty (novel), Bernard MacLaverty (screenplay)
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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, a young man on the fringes of the IRA, falls in love with Marcella, a Catholic woman whose husband, a Protestant policeman, was killed one year earlier by the IRA. 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

The film was entered to screen in competition for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1984. See more »

Goofs

When Cal and his father sit on the bed his father has a cup of tea with a spoon. He takes the teabag out with the spoon and puts the spoon on the table. In the next shot the spoon is in the cup. 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

 
Moderately gripping until it becomes too depressing
26 June 2011 | by highwaytouristSee all my reviews

This story is truly a tragedy about Northern Ireland. The protagonist is Cal, a sensitive and aimless working-class Catholic youth in Ulster. Cal holds down various low-paying manual jobs during the day and at night, sometimes performs services for the Irish Republican Army, even though he's only a minor participant. In his most significant job, he becomes the getaway driver for the killer of a Protestant policeman, an assignment which upsets him greatly. A year later, he meets Marcella, a lonely, widowed librarian and becomes infatuated with her, and they drift into an affair. However, he learns to his horror that her late husband was the murdered policeman and can't bring himself to tell her. Meanwhile, both the law and the I.R.A. are beginning to close in on him. The film's intentions are good. It's an attempt to tell the story of ordinary people trapped in a place and time of political violence that damages everyone and everything around it, and forces people to make decisions that inevitably have tragic consequences. Unfortunately, there is too much tragedy, too much sadness, so much that it becomes hard to believe. The lead characters are a problem, too. The are weak and resigned people who can only evoke pity. You certainly cannot cheer them on like you could stronger people, the kinds of people who make good things happen for them. The result is tragedy overkill. Eventually, the viewer will also become resigned and glum.


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