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The Dawning (1988)

An I.R.A. gunman (Sir Anthony Hopkins) on the run from the government. He meets up with an idealistic young woman (Rebecca Pidgeon) and attempts to win her support for his cause.


Robert Knights


Jennifer Johnston (novel), Moira Williams
2 wins. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Anthony Hopkins ... Cassius / Angus Barrie
Rebecca Pidgeon ... Nancy Gulliver
Jean Simmons ... Aunt Mary
Trevor Howard ... Grandfather
Tara MacGowran ... Maeve
Hugh Grant ... Harry
Ronnie Masterson Ronnie Masterson ... Bridie
John Rogan John Rogan ... Mr. Carroll
Joan O'Hara Joan O'Hara ... Maurya
Charmian May ... Celia Brabazon
Ann Way ... George Brabazon
Mark O'Regan Mark O'Regan ... Joe Mulhare
Brendan Laird Brendan Laird ... Tommy Roche
Adrian Dunbar ... Capt. Rankin
Geoffrey Greenhill Geoffrey Greenhill ... Cpl. Tweedie


An I.R.A. gunman (Sir Anthony Hopkins) on the run from the government. He meets up with an idealistic young woman (Rebecca Pidgeon) and attempts to win her support for his cause.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


His war will never end. Her love will never die.


PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Final theatrical movie of Trevor Howard (Grandfather). See more »


Nancy Gulliver: Aunt Mary, what do you think of men?
Aunt Mary: Ordinary men, or Irish men?
See more »


References Riders to the Sea (1935) See more »

User Reviews

Lovely little movie...
28 August 2001 | by sam66See all my reviews

No big drama. No overblown action. Just a beautifully-filmed little movie that tells a simple story against a background of Irish political upheaval. Rebecca Pidgeon plays a sheltered, shabby-genteel girl just turning eighteen, who still has a bit of the outward appearance and behavior of a child. Orphaned young but raised by a loving aunt, grandfather, and housekeeper, she knows her mother is well and truly dead but has doubts about her father and tries to place him among the men she casually observes around town. When a man of suitable age appears on the beach near her rural home, she takes great interest--especially as his secretive nature offers few clues to his identity. Anthony Hopkins, eternally superb, plays the multi-layered character of the "tramp," and the relationship that develops between the two is the heart of the film. Look also for fine performances by Jean Simmons and Hugh Grant, as well as a host of familiar faces in small roles, and take the time to appreciate the lovely wind-whipped seaside locale and green inland vistas. A movie like this relies on character and scenery--The Dawning is a treasury of both.

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Release Date:

18 November 1988 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Fremde am Strand See more »

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