6.3/10
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24 user 19 critic

A Prayer for the Dying (1987)

Martin, an IRA 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 IRA 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 IRA 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:

The movement wants his heart. The mob wants his mind. Martin Fallon wants his freedom. 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

IRA stands for Irish Republican Army. See more »

Quotes

Martin Fallon: There's no reason for killing or dying anymore. What's more, there's no reason for living!
Anna: That's a terrible thing to say!
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

Fugue in G Minor (Little Fugue) [BWV 578]
(uncredited)
Music by Johann Sebastian Bach
See more »

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User Reviews

Another Great one for Mickey
23 January 2004 | by fanaticitaSee all my reviews

Gotta admit, I'm on a Mickey Rourke run, having just seen Angel Heart, Barfly, and Francesco. A Prayer for the Dying is a wonderful piece of work -teriffic acting by all, including Bates, Hoskins, etc. Mickey Rourke has to be one of the most under-rated actors in the industry. His "bad-boy" image hasn't helped, as it has helped other actors who fall into the same category. He reminds me a lot of Steve McQueen -subtle, intense, controlled acting, but when the action is needed he delivers. I sincerely hope he has a comeback sometime soon. In the meantime, run to your nearest video store and rent this great film. There are some incredible moments that I won't forget anytime soon. This story has been told before: bad guy trying to get away from the badness. . . but Rourke makes is all new, by adding his own unique charism. See it.


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