22 user 23 critic

Hidden Agenda (1990)

When an American human rights lawyer is assassinated in Belfast, it remains for the man's girlfriend, as well as a tough, no nonsense, police detective to find the truth.


Ken Loach


Jim Allen
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Frances McDormand ... Ingrid Jessner
Brian Cox ... Kerrigan
Brad Dourif ... Paul Sullivan
Mai Zetterling ... Moa
Bernard Archard ... Sir Robert Neil
John Benfield ... Maxwell
Bernard Bloch Bernard Bloch ... Henri
Michelle Fairley ... Teresa Doyle
Patrick Kavanagh ... Alec Nevin
Des McAleer Des McAleer ... Sgt. Kennedy
Ian McElhinney ... Jack Cunningham
Jim Norton ... Brodie
Maurice Roëves ... Harris
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Maureen Bell Maureen Bell ... Mrs. Molloy
Stephen Brigden Stephen Brigden ... Army major


When an American human rights lawyer is assassinated in Belfast, it remains for the man's girlfriend, as well as a tough, no nonsense, police detective to find the truth... which they soon discover to be contained in an audio tape which the man had with him, exposing political manipulations at the highest levels of government. But such underlying agendas require careful considerations to avoid worse things than murder. Written by BOB STEBBINS <stebinsbob@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The most talked about thriller in years! See more »


Drama | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Government, political, intelligence, and military agencies and organizations, real or fictional, featured and/or referenced, in this film include: MI5, MI6, the CIA, the IRA, the IUC, the RUC, the SAS, the CID, the SSU, the Pentagon, Army Intelligence, the British Army, British Intelligence, British Security Services, the Conservative Party [GB], and the Royal Ulster Constabulary. See more »


Supt. Fraser: Do you mind if I smoke?
Kerrigan: Yes, I do.
[the stenographer lady grins at Kerrigan's challenge of a superior officer]
See more »


Referenced in Face (1997) See more »


Joe McDonnell
Written by Brian Warfield
Re-arranged by Ron Kavana
Performed by Ron Kavana and Terry Woods
Published by Skin Music
See more »

User Reviews

16 May 2002 | by preppy-3See all my reviews

Just great political drama. It takes place in 1987 Belfast. A human rights activist (Frances McDormand) investigating British brutality against the Irish, and a police inspector (Brian Cox) are investigating the murder of one of her colleagues. They find a huge conspiracy that leads to the highest people in government.

I know only the basics of the conflict in Northern Ireland, but I was able to follow the story. They shot on location and the accents are, at times, incomprehensible, but it actually adds to the movie. The movie looks grimy and bleak...as it should. The movie is VERY critical of England. McDormand and Cox are superb and the movie is very realistic...especially the ending.

Sadly, this movie bombed big in America. It came out before McDormand hit it big with "Fargo" and Cox before "In the Name of the Father". Still, this is well worth seeing. Don't miss it!

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Release Date:

January 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hidden Agenda See more »

Filming Locations:

Northern Ireland, UK See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$49,827, 25 November 1990

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hemdale, Initial (II) See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo


Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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