6.3/10
4,184
24 user 19 critic

A Prayer for the Dying (1987)

Martin, an I.R.A. hitman, is seen by a Catholic priest while carrying out a hit. He grows a bond with the priest and his niece. But his past and his former employers put all their lives in danger.

Director:

Mike Hodges

Writers:

Jack Higgins (novel), Edmund Ward (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mickey Rourke ... Martin Fallon
Bob Hoskins ... Father Michael Da Costa
Alan Bates ... Jack Meehan
Sammi Davis ... Anna
Christopher Fulford ... Billy Meehan
Liam Neeson ... Liam Docherty
Leonard Termo ... Bonati
Camille Coduri ... Jenny Fox
Maurice O'Connell Maurice O'Connell ... Superintendant Miller
Alison Doody ... Siobhan Donovan
Karl Johnson ... Fitzgerald
Ian Bartholomew Ian Bartholomew ... Kristou
Peggy Aitchison Peggy Aitchison ... Mrs. Orton
Cliff Burnett Cliff Burnett ... Fred Varley
Anthony Head ... Rupert
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Storyline

Martin Fallon is an I.R.A. bomber who tries to blow up a troop truck, but instead kills a bus load of school children. He loses heart and quits the movement and goes to London trying to leave the U.K. and start a new life. The I.R.A. wants him back (he knows too much) and the local crime boss, Meehan, will only help him if he performs one last hit, on a rival crime boss. When Fallon does perform the hit, he is seen by a Catholic priest. He refuses to kill an innocent again, and must find a way to escape the police without killing the priest who can identify him. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Freedom always comes with a price. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 September 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Auf den Schwingen des Todes See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,432,687
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After Director Mike Hodges had a successful release with Croupier (1998), there was talk that there was going to be a release of a Director's Cut of this movie, but this never happened. See more »

Quotes

Anna: You turned your back on killing. So has Martin Fallon.
Father Michael Da Costa: I'm not so sure he has!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits begin to roll up from behind the amusement park rides on the horizon. See more »

Alternate Versions

There's an unknown director's cut for which Mike Hodges originally had John Scott to compose the music. However the producers decided that they didn't like it and hired Bill Conti to redo the music. Also, after watching Hodges' cut, Samuel Goldwyn recut the film for American audience who wanted an action movie. Both Hodges and Mickey Rourke publically disowned the theatrical cut. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Boondock Saints (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Ave Maria
(uncredited)
Music by Franz Schubert
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Rourke's linguistic opus
12 June 2005 | by radiobirdman32See all my reviews

Mickey Rourke is a much deeper and more dedicated actor than he gets credit for. His accent in " A Prayer.." is spot on and that is quite an accomplishment that takes months of dedication. He takes his place up in the front row with Gary Oldman, Pete Postlewaithe (sp.?) and I even have to include Brad Pitt after his amazing performance in Snatch. Rourke's Bad Boy image makes the moral dilemma he creates for himself or finds himself in even more effective. Brilliant scene when Hoskins becomes increasingly irate and at the peak of his fury we see him from Rourke's POV and his dark outline eclipses the first few letters of a "Courage" beer sign and only the flashing red neon letters RAGE remain.


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