18 user 6 critic

Lamb (1985)

An Irish reform school priest questions his calling as a young, epileptic runaway arrives. Each recognizes the other as kindred spirits and escape together. As police close in and money dwindles, the desperate priest makes bad decisions.


Colin Gregg


Bernard MacLaverty (novel), Bernard MacLaverty (screenplay)
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Liam Neeson ... Michael Lamb
Harry Towb ... Priest
Hugh O'Conor ... Owen Kane
Frances Tomelty ... Mrs. Kane
Ian Bannen ... Brother Benedict
Ronan Wilmot ... Brother Fintan
Denis Carey Denis Carey ... Mr. Lamb
Eileen Kennally Eileen Kennally ... Neighbour Woman
David Gorry David Gorry ... O'Donnell
Andrew Pickering Andrew Pickering ... Murphy
Stuart O'Connor Stuart O'Connor ... O'Holloran
Ian McElhinney ... Maguire
Bernadette McKenna Bernadette McKenna ... Jeweller's Assistant
Jessica Saunders Jessica Saunders ... Bank Teller on Boat
Robert Hamilton Robert Hamilton ... Stranger at Holyhead


"Lamb" focuses on the relationship between Brother Michael Lamb (Liam Neeson), a teacher in a Roman Catholic-run institution for troubled boys in Ireland, and 10-year-old Owen Kane (Hugh O'Conor), the school's most unruly pupil. Dumped into the institution by his abusive mother, Owen is an incorrigible mess who smokes cigarettes, curses, wets his bed, picks fights and has epileptic seizures. Written by mrwarcriminal

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




Did You Know?


Liam Neeson, who plays Michael Lamb in the film, later portrayed a character with the same last name called Dr. Fergus Lamb in Ruby Cairo (1992). See more »


Referenced in Wogan: Episode #10.87 (1990) See more »


I Luvs Yer
Written by Simon Park and Gordon Chambers
De Wolfe Music Ltd
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User Reviews

Before "Schindler's List" And "Taken", Liam Neeson Was A Young Priest In "Lamb"
2 March 2021 | by Desertman84See all my reviews

Before Liam Neeson gained international prominence as an actor as Oskar Schindler in the Holocaust classic "Schindler's List" and a late-career action hero as Bryan Mills in the "Taken" trilogy, he starred in this 1985 Irish film directed by Colin Gregg in "Lamb". Hugh O' Connor co-stars.

This film adapted by Bernard MacLaverty from his novel of the same title tells that story of a young priest Brother Sebastian,whose real name is Michael Lamb, works in a Catholic reform institution for young boys. Over there,he gets in touch with a young 10-year-old bully Owen Kane,who also happens to be an epileptic. Things begin to change that Michael decided to leave the Catholic institution and take the young Owen and raise him. But things turn badly during their journey that the end leads to a tragic conclusion.

The movie definitely touches a lot of themes from the virtues of pride and faith which was exhibited by Michael which affects the decisions that he has made in the film. Also, we get to see themes of humanism and familial life particularly that of both Michael and Owen in their characters. Finally, we also get to see how the Catholic Church has become different especially in the era of modernism.

The conclusion will definitely affect the viewer as to how they would view this movie. But one must realize that both major characters are flawed,limited, and weak as individuals. Finally,one must not look forward to happy endings on all movies that they watch for life is always far from a bed of roses and tragedies are part of life.

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Release Date:

10 October 1986 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

Deixe-me Viver See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,070, 26 February 1995

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)
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