6.9/10
3,283
20 user 22 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... which they soon ... See full summary »

Director:

Ken Loach

Writer:

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

Photos

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Murder... Torture... Corruption... See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

January 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Agenda Secreta See more »

Filming Locations:

Northern Ireland, UK See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$49,827, 25 November 1990

Gross USA:

$1,030,938

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,030,938
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hemdale, Initial (II) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

On not making this picture in the suspense-thriller genre, director Ken Loach said: "We decided to tell the story as straight as possible, without souped-up music or fancy camera angles. I felt if we used thriller technique, it would invalidate the sense of truth. We might get more people on the edge of their seats, but they might not believe it. I thought it more important for people to say, yes, this could be true." See more »

Quotes

Kerrigan: What happened to the film?
Ingrid Jessner: Never got made.
Kerrigan: Too controversial?
Ingrid Jessner: Too honest, I think. It was about how Mr. Kissinger, the CIA and the Pentagon have made Chile safe for democracy.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Face (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
conspiracy of lies
21 February 2014 | by lee_eisenbergSee all my reviews

Ken Loach has made a career out of directing movies about politically charged topics. A lot of his movies have addressed class issues in the United Kingdom, but he has also looked at foreign policy. One example is "Hidden Agenda", about an investigation into the murder of a human rights lawyer in Belfast. Loach not only indicts the British occupation, but also finds time to take a swipe at Margaret Thatcher's government.* While I was watching the movie I assumed that it was based on the murder of solicitor Pat Finucane. It turns out that the movie is a fictional story, but it still makes sure to show the sorts of things that had become commonplace in Northern Ireland. I read that Loach had the cast members meet with people who had gotten abused by British forces to give them an idea of what the movie was dealing with.

Ken Loach also looked at Ireland in "The Wind that Shakes the Barley", about Ireland's war for independence in the early 20th century. Both movies take unflinching looks at what the English did to the Irish for over 800 years. To be certain, "Hidden Agenda" features a scene that should give people pause in the era of the so called war on terrorism: a man sings a song that has the line "you take our land and call us terrorists for resisting". I recommend the movie. Other movies focusing on Northern Ireland that I recommend are "In the Name of the Father", "Bloody Sunday" and "Breakfast on Pluto".

*After Thatcher died, Loach proposed that her funeral should be privatized, since she would've wanted it that way.


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