6.3/10
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25 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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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:

They want his heart, his mind, his blood. He 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

To research his role as I.R.A. activist Martin Fallon, Mickey Rourke spent time with some real-life I.R.A. personnel. See more »

Quotes

Billy Meehan: I do what I fucking want, when I fucking want! I'm Jack Meehan's brother!
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

Angelus
(uncredited)
Traditional
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Flawed film, with ambition.
12 July 2004 | by ninfilmsSee all my reviews

A Prayer For The Dying is one of those films which had the ambitions to be well made film like many classic, but it falls on it face.

It read stories that the film was re-edited behind the directors back and both Mike Hodges and Mickey Rourke have disowned the theatrical release. This is problem with the film, producers don't make good editors. There are some scenes which doesn't gel, and also the Bill Conti music is too melodramatic. Originally Mike Hodges hired John Scott too compose the soundtrack, then Samuel Goldwyn Jr didn't like it and got in Conti.

I read that Mickey Rourke's Irish accent was badly criticized by critics. I actuality thought that Rourke accent was convincing enough and also he is an Irish-American. Rourke is one most under estimated actors around.

Alan Bates is good as the Meehan, Bob Hoskins is reasonable as Costa even though at times he looks like he going to explode as a cockney gangster.

According to Mike Hodges there is his cut of the film and that MGM own the rights and that there were going to release film on DVD in its correct form.

I would like to see that happen as I said earlier it's an ambitious film along with Get Carter, but whereas Get Carter is a classic, A.P.F.D. falls on it face, because of people who meddled with the film not knowing what they are doing.


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