In the Name of the Father (1993) Poster

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Extremeley Powerful, With Superb Performances
jcanettis2 September 2005
A film fully deserving to be in IMDb's top 250, Jim Sheridan's "In The Name of the Father" is an excellent piece of work. Based on a true and very touching story, the film recounts the story of Gerry Conlon (Day-Lewis) who is wrongly accused as an IRA terrorist. Not only are the police bending the facts to prove their case, but in the process they also implicate members of his friends and family, including his father Giuseppe (Postlethwaithe) whose health condition is rather frail. Gerry is a rebellious and mildly delinquent boy who does not seem to have grown up, and his attitude toward his father is not the appropriate one; however, as they start to go through the ordeal together, Gerry gradually matures, and starts feeling a deep affection and respect for Giuseppe.

The story is heart-breaking and shocking at the same time, all the more so when one realizes that these things actually DID happen. Although there have been some minor modifications for the purpose of the film, the backbone of the story is left completely intact.

The two protagonists, Daniel Day-Liewis and Pete Postlethwaithe are delivering powerful performances, and they both deserved the Oscar hands-down. However, it would be unfair not to mention that virtually everyone in the film is great in his/her role.

Jim Sheridan's direction is also very good, giving the plot a fair and balanced perspective; although the film might initially appear as pro-Irish / anti-English, in fact I consider it as quite objective. Granted, it vividly shows that some key figures in the London police were profoundly biased and manipulated maliciously the case against the Conlons; yet, it also shows that English public attitudes turned highly supportive for the Conlons' freedom when it started to become clear that they were not the culprits for the atrocities they had been charged with. We have always to remember that the film depicts a period of big tensions, with emotions running high to levels of hysteria, so we have to understand the events within this context.

Of course, what happened to the Conlons is totally deplorable and unjustifiable; and it is real shame that the people who conspired against them have not been punished yet for their crimes. Still, one should understand the hostile attitude shown by those who were not part of this conspiracy (such as the judge, for example), who were influenced by the climate of terror and the outrage of the public. The Conlons had the terribly bad luck to be at the wrong place, in the wrong time, and with the wrong nationality; the also have the great misfortune to be captured by people who in their quest to show results were shamelessly willing to risk indicting people who could possibly be innocent.

"In the Name of the Father" is a fantastic film, which one should not miss. 10/10.
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Ignores major facts to make its case but is still a good film and an effective piece about injustice
bob the moo23 August 2004
Gerry Conlon is a small time Belfast thief who gets excluded from Northern Ireland by the IRA for anti-social behaviour and goes to live in England with his old school friend Paul Hill. They are in London when the mainland bombing campaign becomes more intense and they are both picked up for the bombing despite their claims of innocence. After more than week of beatings, abuse and threats, the two men break and sign confessions, longing for the beatings to stop and hoping the courts would see through the lies. However they are found guilty and, along with other relatives, sentenced to time ranging from 14 years to life. As time goes on Gerry and his father campaign for their case to be reopened until, eventually, the lawyer Gareth Pierce takes up the case.

I came to this film having not seen it since its release in the early 90's, at which time I was still living in Northern Ireland in a mostly Protestant area. Given the subject matter the film was well received in this area. I decided to rewatch the film last night so that I could review it for this site and, since first seeing it, I have actually more of an insight on the subject matter since I had been held without charge under the same legislation that held the Guildford Four and had been taken to court twice before the charges were entirely dropped. I say this not as some claim to having a more valid opinion than anyone else but simply as a counter to those who will accuse me of being biased on the basis of being a Protestant.

While I can see myself that the majority of reviews here for this film are slanted and full of political bias I will attempt to keep my review as free of this as I can (either one way or another).

Despite the fact that the film leaves out glaring facts, none of these facts actually affect the film's main thrust – that these men were (for this crime) unjustly accused, tried and convicted. The facts that are ignored are those which would have made the film a bit more complex (eg Hill's membership of the IRA) and I can understand why the makers decided to just make the subject as clean cut as they could and not present the audience with anything that may cause them to be in any doubt about what they are meant to be feeling. I can understand why they did it – but that does not make it right and I would have welcomed a more complex film because those of us from Northern Ireland know that nothing is ever as simply as right/wrong, black/white – but Hollywood is not there to inform but to entertain and hence the facts get lost on the road to a good film. And it is a good film.

It is frustrating that people take what it tells them as fact but this doesn't take away from the fact that this is a well made, engaging and quite moving film. Regardless of political beliefs, the idea of a justice system that would do this is interesting and worrying to me, and the film does a good job (albeit it overegged) of letting us see the extent that the police went to to get, if not 'their man', then at least 'a man'. The film does well to deliver characters (although simplified) that are easy to get behind and they helped me get involved in a story that was already pretty involving in its own right. The direction feels professional and injects enough emotion and sense of anger into the film to give it a solid sense of pace without it ever really tipping over into sentimentality or out and out preaching/ranting. Of course the material also helps from a great cast that deliver well and do their bit to keep it edgy and not sentimental.

Day-Lewis is a very good actor and he does well here making his Gerry go through the stages of being a cheeky young man, frightened, shell-shocked, defeated, angry and then driven without us ever thinking he is a different character. If anything it is a shame that the film did paint his character so clean because I think Day-Lewis could have easily handled the moral complexities that would have come with that territory. Postlewaite is the real emotional heart of the film in many ways and he does very well with a role that could easily have been cloying and sentimental – but Postlewaite plays it straight till the end. Thompson is all too simple and upright and her performance is little more than a cameo; this is made worse by the fact that the vast majority of English people are biased and corrupt according to the film – again, like leaving facts out, just an attempt by the film to simplify things to make the audiences' emotions clearer and stronger.

Overall I like this film but it is not a perfect piece of cinema nor should it be taken as the whole story. The film has dropped facts and directed its presentation to ensure that we, the audience, are in no doubt over what we should be feeling and thinking throughout. This does not change the message of the film or the injustice of the things that happened but it doesn't do justice to the always-complicated situation that is my country. The film as a film is very good – well acted, well paced, well directed and engaging from the early realistic shots of Belfast in the 1970's through to the 'I'm going out the front door' finale that is no less impacting for us knowing it is coming.
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Howlin Wolf29 March 2001
Words cannot accurately describe how affecting this movie is.

The story itself is harrowing, but the way in which Day Lewis portrays Gerry Conlon is heartbreaking at times. Several scenes in the film may be hard to take for those with a sensitive nature.

Captures the mood and the time perfectly for someone like me, who is not Irish, lives nowhere near Guildford and wasn't even alive at the time of the pub bombings.

I really wasn't expecting anything special when I sat down to watch this. I could not have been more wrong.

The soundtrack is great without exception too!

A total and utter classic.
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A Very Sharp Film
genius-1525 July 1999
What a clever film this was. Quite modest yet remarkably entertaining. Instead of blaring political bias, viewers are treated to a compassionate human drama without the preachings and irritating banter of most other "social dramas" (Dog Day Afternoon, All the President's Men, Norma Rae). It's shameful that this film didn't receive at least two academy awards, despite it having been nominated for 7. Now considering that this was the same year that Schindler's List and The Piano, two outstanding dramas, were released, it isnt surprising nor unreasonable that they beat In the Name of the Father for many of the awards.

The acting in this film is terrific. Lewis is low key and quite effective as the petty Irish thief Gerry Conlon. Pete Postlethwaite is spectacular as Gerry's father Guiseppe (certainly better than oscar winner tommy lee jones was in the fugitive). Emma Thompson's portrayal of attorney Gareth Pierce received much acclaim, and properly so. Beatie Edney, who had a small part as a wrongfully accused British teenage hippie, was so enamoring that its a wonder we don't see more of her.

Of course much of this film is exagerrated and perhaps fabricated for the purposes of entertainment (as all movies which are "based on a true story" tend to be) but it's so finely done that it doesn't seem to matter. Some terrific scenes include the beginning, when Gerry and his friends are chased by British soldiers after being mistaken for IRA snipers, the trial in London, the prison scenes (which expose the loneliness and honesty of the characters rather than the crude violence and gang rapes of so many other pathetic prison movies), and of course the powerful ending, where the marvelous dramatic talents of all the actors are evinced in a final crescendo. Be sure to see this film if you haven't, it will definitely stir your emotions and renew your faith in the human spirit. And for those who eschew political films, give it a try anyways, the acting and craftiness outweigh the civic themes.
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Terrorism hurts everyone.
TOMASBBloodhound18 February 2007
In watching this fine film, on idea kept running though my mind. That being terrorism often hurts the innocent much more than the declared enemy. In the Name of the Father is a powerful, well-acted drama about terrorism and injustice. And also the love one man feels for his father. Some of the events in this film are factual, and others are not. Despite some liberties taken with history, the film still makes a strong point, however.

Daniel Day-Lewis plays Gerry Conlon, a young man falsely accused along with several other friends and family members, of bombing a London pub in 1974. The bombing, performed by the IRA, killed a few persons and wounded several others. Conlon and his friends just happen to be near by when the bombing takes place. Through police torture, Conlon and his best friend confess to the crime, thinking a trial will exonerate them. Trouble is, there had been so many recent bombings that the legal system in Britain was just crying out for a scapegoat. Conlon and four friends are given life sentences. Several members of Conlon's family are also given stiff jail sentences. Even his own father who seems to be the most righteous and kind person imaginable and who never set foot in England at all during the time of the bombing!

The film starts out like a shot from a cannon, as we see just how violent and chaotic Blefast was during the early seventies. Just living a normal life looked impossible. If the British troops weren't after you, then the IRA members were. The film also scores when we see Conlon head off to London to presumably make a better life for himself. He and a friend force themselves into a commune and enjoy a brief period of free love and decadence. The film gets very heavy once Conlon is arrested and tortured. And the last hour detailing his time behind bars is just plain somber. We watch his father just sort of waste away with him behind bars while an aggressive lawyer (Emma Thompson) fights to get them out. Pete Postletwaite is exceptional as Gerry's father, and seeing him grow sicker and weak is very difficult for the viewer.

The film tries to shift gears down the stretch and show how Conlon has become determined and more radicalized, but these scenes are nothing spectacular. Even the conclusion seems a little anti-climatic, but at least we see some justice finally get done. The acting is very, very good. Lewis is as good as ever, and nobody looks out of their league. There are some historical liberties taken. Gerry and his father never actually lived in the same cell, for instance. Overall, this film will stick with you, though.

In watching this film, one cannot help but feel for the victims of terrorism. I have personally not much knowledge of the conflict between the IRA and Britain, except to say that I'm well aware of how long and deep the scars run between the English and Irish peoples. That said, there is simply no excuse for terrorism. Look at how many victims that pub bombing created. Not only those who perished or were injured. That act of terror sent several innocent people to jail and ruined their lives! The British legal system is certainly to blame for sending the wrong people to jail, but would this have even happened if the IRA had not bombed that pub? A similar situation can be seen in the Middle East today. Radical Muslims look to strike out at Western interests, but their actions often hurt scores more other Muslims than any actual Western interests! Will we ever all learn to get along on this planet?

8 of 10 stars.

The Hound.
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Innocence Is Not An Absolute
Theo Robertson9 August 2002
Like MIDNIGHT EXPRESS , IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER is a an extremely well made film , but like MIDNIGHT EXPRESS much of it is total invention . Reviewers on this page have already pointed out the numerous errors such as Guiseppe and Gerry Conlon never being imprisoned in the same jail or the " Guilford four " and " Mcguire seven " trials taking place in completely seperate court cases but no one seems to have pointed out the erroneous backgrounds this film paints of Gerry Conlon and Paul Hill. In their book THE PROVISIONAL IRA authors Patrick Bishop and Eamon Mallie state the facts quite clearly that Paul Hill was a member of the Belfast brigade of the provisonal IRA ( And Hill later did confess to being a member ) while Conlon had been a member of Na Fianna Eireann which is the youth section of the provisionals though Conlon was quickly kicked out ( Literally ) due to his heavy drinking and drug taking . They didn`t meet on the ferry as shown in the film but Conlon bumped into Hill in Southampton where Hill was staying . What was Hill doing in Southampton ? He was on the run from the IRA who wanted to question him about guns going missing and about the possibility of Hill being an informer , something that is always punishable in IRA ranks with death and prior torture . When Conlon returned to Belfast in December 1974 he did drunkenly mention to IRA acquaintances in pubs that he`d met Hill in England and in order to punish Hill for his suspected crimes against the organisation and to take the heat off their own cells active in Britain at the time it was the IRA themselves who deliberately leaked the false information to the intelligence services about Conlon and Hill being involved in the Guilford bombings , not as the film shows a jealous boyfriend . Hill was also later found guilty of the murder of a former soldier though is never shown in the film and it`s this playing hard and loose with the facts that almost threatens to destroy the film . It could have been worse though , there might have been the suggestion that the bombing could have been a mass suicide

Well that`s the bad points out of the way . What`s IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER`s good points ? Well Jim Sheridan directs with a real kinetic force especially the early scene where Conlon is pursued by the Brits against a voodoo chile soundscape . Sheridan also gets the very best out of his cast . Emma Thompson is good as the crusading lawyer , Pete Postlethwaite is very good as Guiseppe Conlon , but the outstanding performance is by Daniel Day Lewis as Gerry Conlon . Has anyone noticed the bitter Irony of a film about injustice features one of the greatest injustices commited by the Oscar board voters where they gave that year`s best actor Oscar to a very average performance by Tom Hanks ? No wonder more and more people view the Oscars as a popularity contest . And despite my above criticisms about the facts - or lack of them - IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER can in no way be described as a pro IRA film in the way that THE DEVIL`S OWN or SOME MOTHER`S SON are
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Disquieting great film
michelerealini5 October 2005
The movie is based on a true story. Belfast guy Gerry Conlon is suspected of being one of the IRA terrorists responsible for a bomb in Guilford, London, in 1974, which killed several people. He spends 15 years in jail, fighting for his innocence and for truth.

After working with Daniel Day Lewis in "My left foot", director Jim Sheridan teams again with the actor for this drama. The strong cast is completed by Emma Thomson and Pete Postlewaite. The result is a brilliant, passionate feature which tells about injustice. It's a disquieting film.

This is doubtless the most achieved collaboration between the director and the main star. The other pictures as well are very good, but here we have a film of accusation -the story is more involving. Day Lewis performance in "My left foot" was awarded with an Oscar, but the actor could have been given the same prize for his play of Gerry Conlon.

Strong screenplay, actors and soundtrack -with music of Gavin Friday and Maurice Seezer and songs of Irish stars Bono and Sinead O'Connor.
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In the Name of the Father- and of the Son
James Hitchcock14 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Although considerable liberties have been taken with historical facts, this film is based upon true events. In 1974 an IRA bomb in a pub in Guildford, England, killed several people. Four young Irish people ("the Guildford Four") were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. Several others ("the Maguire Seven") were convicted of assisting them and sentenced to lengthy prison terms. All were innocent of this crime, and were later exonerated and released from prison when fresh evidence was discovered, particularly evidence that their confessions had been obtained under duress.

Although all the main characters are Catholics, some devout, some only nominally so, the title does not have any real religious significance. Rather, it alludes to the film's central relationship, that between Gerry Conlon, one of the "Four" and his father Giuseppe, one of the "Seven". The two are very different. Gerry is a wild and rebellious young man, unemployed, a petty criminal and a drug-user. He wears his hair long, something fashionable in the early seventies but often regarded by the older generation as the sign of a hooligan. Giuseppe, by contrast, is a conservative figure; deeply religious, hard-working, law-abiding and honest.

A key moment comes when Gerry recalls a football match in which he played as a boy. His team won, but instead of congratulating him on his victory, Giuseppe reproached his son for a foul committed during the match. This encapsulates the difference in their characters. For Gerry, winning and success are all that matters. Because he has achieved little success, he has no faith in himself and has always drifted through life. For Giuseppe, adherence to moral values is more important than achieving outward success, and it is these values which enable him to retain his self-respect. Because of these differences in character and outlook, the two men's relationship is a difficult one. Beneath their differences, however, they also have a deep love for one another; Gerry is persuaded to confess to the bombing, after the police have failed to obtain a confession through bullying and violence, by the threat that his father will be killed if he does not. Later, Gerry's love for his father is strengthened by the realisation that although the older man is physically frail, his religious faith and self-belief enable him to cope with the injustice of his plight.

Daniel Day-Lewis has been much praised for his performance as Gerry, and he was certainly good, if at times too showy. For me, however, the real star was Pete Postlethwaite as the long-suffering but dignified Giuseppe. The strongest scenes were those between Gerry and Giuseppe; the weakest were those when Gerry, in prison, befriends Joe McAndrew, an IRA man who claims actually to have planted the Guildford bomb. McAndrew is an invented character, and psychologically this did not seem likely; Gerry was, after all, as much a victim of the bomb as those killed and injured by it. Had there been no bomb, there could have been no conviction, wrongful or otherwise, for planting it. Moreover, by associating himself with the IRA's cause, even temporarily, Gerry, although legally innocent, makes himself seem morally guilty.

There were other things that did not ring true. I was unsure why Giuseppe's lawyer thought that Inspector Dixon, the policeman who originally investigated the crime, would be responsible for deciding whether her ailing client should receive compassionate parole, or why so much attention was paid to Gerry's alibi that he was in London on the night of the bombing. As the bomb would have had a delayed-action timer, he could easily have returned before it exploded; the "Horse and Groom" pub (I used to live in Guildford) is only a short walk from the station, about half an hour by train from London. (The brutal and corrupt Dixon is another invented character; the name may refer ironically to the popular British TV show, "Dixon of Dock Green", which featured an honest and decent "bobby" named Dixon).

It surprises me that some have criticised the film as being "pro-IRA". If one were setting out to make a pro-IRA propaganda film, one would not make it about the Guildford bombing, an event in which the IRA cold-bloodedly murdered several innocent civilians without warning. Nor does the film ignore the IRA's violence towards the Irish Catholic community it supposedly represents. At the time of the Guildford bombing, Gerry is living in London, having been forced to flee Northern Ireland by IRA threats; like most terrorist organisations it has a sternly moralistic attitude to all crimes other than those committed by its own members and punishes with mediaeval severity those who, like Gerry, are guilty of petty larcenies. The fact that the "Four" and the "Seven" were undoubtedly treated unjustly by the British authorities does not retrospectively justify the IRA's crimes of which they were wrongly accused.

The film does not attempt to be a comprehensive statement about the Northern Ireland situation- the Unionist community, for example, is not even mentioned. Indeed, given the complexities of that situation, and the even greater complexities of Irish history from which it springs, it would not be possible to make such a statement in a film. Nevertheless, "In the Name of the Father" is a very good film, both as a study of father-son relationships and as a warning of the possibilities for injustice inherent in any criminal justice system. 7/10 A goof. In the early scenes, set in 1974, Gerry, while driving along London's Lower Thames Street passes a set of orange and white barriers designed to stop vehicles from entering "The City" (London's central financial district). These barriers did not exist in 1974; they were erected following a later IRA bombing campaign
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Perhaps a bit too black and white but still very impressive.
Philip Van der Veken1 January 2005
Even though this movie seems a bit too black and white from time to time I must say that it still is an impressive piece of cinema. Too black and white because I sometimes had the feeling that they had left out some parts to make it all a lot easier for the viewer. I can't help believing that Conlon and Hill weren't the nicest guys either, but the movie shows them almost as saints (except for the fact that they steal some lead from the roofs, they never really do anything wrong). Does that mean that this movie isn't any good? Certainly not! It still remains very impressive and the idea that injustice in the name of protecting the country should be allowed is awful and so it is good that at least some movie makers aren't afraid to protest against it.

The movie tells the story about Gerry Conlon and his old school friend Paul Hill. They both are small time criminals and because of their own safety they have to live in London for a while. Otherwise they might get shot by the IRA. In London they stay in a community of hippies, but aren't welcomed by everybody. As a bomb explodes in a pub, one of the members from the community goes to the police and accuses them of the crime. They are immediately apprehended, together with Conlon's father, his aunt and her family. What follows is a process full of corruption and false accusations, putting them in jail for many years even though they haven't done anything wrong.

The film is very good. It's well acted, well paced and well directed. The story is touching and I never got bored when watching it. Therefor I give it an 8/10.
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Powerful and Touching
Rob11 April 2004
Name of the Father came out one year before The Shawshank Redemption and is bar none the better film. Shawshank is a great film but Name of the Father has more of human story to it. Daniel Day Lewis is a great actor with more potential now than he did when he won his first Oscar for My Left Foot and since then he has never starred in a film which he has acted badly in. Some of the stories have not been amazing but his acting makes up for it. This was the second time That Daniel Day Lewis and Jim Sheridan have come together to make a film. In all they have done three but Name of the father is by far the best. Pete Postlethwaite is another example of fine acting as he is the best actor in England since who ever was the last greatest actor.

Daniel Day Lewis plays Gerry Conlon who is a seventies hippie who doesn't want to grow up. He has had so many troubles at home his father

Giuseppe played by Postlethwaite decides to pack him off to London for his own safety and not become a lost soul amongst the troubles in Belfast. But when Gerry gets there he might as well wish he never went there in the first place as the trouble from Belfast follows him and before you know it a bomb goes off in a pub near to where he is staying and is not long arrested for the bomb along with his friends and family including his father.

From there we are taken into this grieving story of strength, hope, tragedy and family. The story between father and son in jail is more touching and compelling than any love story you will ever see because these two men who have never really seen eye to eye are forced to confront each other's feeling and face up to where they stand in the world. Also Pete Postlewaite reminds me of my own father and my grandfather and yours two. He plays Giuseppe so well so would have thought he was the old guy living next door to you or the man you look up to as a father and spend time with as a granddad. What you have to remind yourself is that the movie is a true story of the Guilford Bombing and the men who paid the price for it. Whether or not you believe Gerry and Giuseppe were guilty of the Guilford Bomb is not the case in the film as it's more about the characters and there trials and tribulations.

One film that will always be remembered in my mind about making a difference with your life not matter where you are in the world.
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In the Name of the Father and the Truth
Chrysanthepop14 November 2008
Jim Sheridan's astonishingly fantastic 'In the Name of the Father' tells the brutally direct story of a wrongfully accused family who are tortured into making a false confession and imprisoned by the British justice system. Sheridan has a way of telling his stories where he gets straight to the point and does not fear to show the reality of the situation while keeping us viewers at the edge of our seats. The film is based on Gerry Conlan's autobiography where Daniel Day-Lewis plays the central character. Sheridan effectively portrays Gerry and Giuseppe's struggle and fight against injustice and his portrayal of the corrupt British justice system is frightening. Just the idea that people could get away with such things in a country like the UK is chilling and Sheridan skillfully brings that across on screen. Terry George's brilliant screenplay with rich characters and solid dialogues forms a good backbone for the film. I also liked how the humour was infused in a modest dose as not to interfere with the intensity of the story. There are some excellent performances. Daniel Day-Lewis delivers a suitably explosive performance as he breathes fire into the role while Pete Postlethwaite is sublime and equally outstanding as Gerry's father, Giuseppe. Though father and son do have issues to fight over, it is Giuseppe who is Gerry's conscience and Postlethwaite's heartbreaking act really touches the heart. Emma Thompson holds her own and she is simply excellent. The rest of the cast do a superb job (watch out for Tom Wilkinson in a bit role). The soundtrack fits the mood of the film and the cinematography is good, especially in the prison sequences, where it creates that feeling of claustrophobia which gets stronger after Gerry is alone in his cell. I have liked all of Sheridan's ' films that I have seen so far and 'In The Name Of The Father' is another remarkable film from this fine director. It is a difficult movie to watch due to some disturbing themes and scenes (though most of them are rather suggestive it is the idea behind that sends chills down the spine) but it is definitely worth watching.
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Some Reflections On My Country
Hang31 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
(English is my second language, so please excuse my language problems:)

Yes, I cried when other prisoners threw lighted papers from the window; yes, Daniel-Day Lewis and Pete Postlethwaite were great actors; but other than that, what impressed me most was the complete change of attitudes of the public between the two trials. At first, audience in the court were yelling "hang these Irish bastards", they were throwing all their hatred to the Guildford Four, even the judge said "I wonder why you are not charged as treason". They were biased, cheated by the prosecutes who fabricated lies to cater to the public, because the loss of 5 lives needed someone to be responsible for. But after 15 years, when the truth was presented, the public went to parade, they plead the court to free the four, they wanted to right the wrong. They were becoming rational, they felt for the innocent, so they acted.

But this is not what happens here in China. The government is never transparent to the public, the media is censored so that cases like the Guildford 4 (especially if it is injustice) will never be known to the general public unless you are "in the business". Because the public is banning from first-hand information, people are unaware of government's wrongdoings; even if they are aware, there is almost nothing they can do (party monopoly, corruption all lead to this). So they kept silent, pretending nothing ever happened. I once read on a book, saying "silence is the most terrifying weapon". Today I have to admit this fact; but I want to say and plea to all my fellow citizens: pretending to be deaf doesn't mean that there is no voice in the society to be heard. They are merely sunk in the indifferent public. So please pay attention to politics, to events taking place in courts. Maybe someday we also will make cardboards with slogans on then and march in streets. Efforts from individuals could gather to really make change.
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'In the Name of the Father': a moving masterpiece
irwina12 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
'In the Name of the Father' is a compelling portrayal of the harrowing ordeal faced by Gerry Conlon, his family and friends, who were wrongfully imprisoned for the Guildford Pub bombing in the 1970s.

The film is skilfully manipulated to show a myriad of contrasts and juxtapositions, such as when Gerry is being tortured and interrogated in his cell, the police in the hallway are unconcerned as they celebrate someone's birthday with a cake.

The framing of shots and camera angles used emphasise the helplessness Gerry and the others experience. There is also a particularly moving scene in which prisoners show their respect when Gerry's father dies by dropping flaming material from their windows, like a waterfall of burning tears.

The soundtrack uses music which is carefree or haunting in all the right places, perfectly mirroring the scenes and adding to the mood of the film.

The themes of injustice and corruption are heightened through irony in the dialogue, and are representative of the problems faced by Irish Catholics in the 1970s and beyond.

'In the Name of the Father' is a beautifully constructed film which is a credit to the actors, direction and production crew.

I challenge you not to be moved by this film.
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Incredible father and son story
SnoopyStyle16 December 2014
It's 1974. The IRA bombs a pub in Guildford, England. Gerry Conlon (Daniel Day-Lewis) is an aimless petty thief. His father Giuseppe (Pete Postlethwaite) is a straight-arrow soft-spoken man. He and his friend Paul Hill (John Lynch) are in London staying with hippies. They leave the flat when the pub bombing happens. A prostitute drops her keys and Gerry breaks in. The parliament passes the Prevention of Terrorism Act which allows for suspects to be held for 7 days. Gerry, Paul and others are arrested and coerced into false confessions. Giuseppe and other relatives are also implicated. The actual bomber Joe McAndrew (Don Baker) is arrested and tells the police. However the police refuses to admit its mistake. Gerry befriends Joe in prison while ignoring the peaceful faith of his father. Joe becomes the leader of the prison as Giuseppe declines in health. British attorney Gareth Peirce (Emma Thompson) works to free the falsely imprisoned. After Joe burns the lead guard, Gerry saves him and turns on Joe.

This is a meticulous telling of a compelling life wrongly convicted. It's a bit up and down at times. The first trial is not the most compelling. The results are preordained and not that compelling. The most compelling is the father son relationship. When Joe get into the middle, it's a great turn in the story. These are two great performances from Daniel Day-Lewis and Pete Postlethwaite. The two of them in prison is a terrific movie filled with emotions and character growth. The final court case is theatrical as heck.
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a timely reminder
QBR19 November 2003
I do not see this film as being political nonsense at all.Rather it serves as a warning of what can happen when blanket stereotyping is allowed to influence the course of justice.As Gareth Peirce (impressively portrayed by the excellent Emma Thompson) points out, the only reason Giueseppe Conlon and Co were tried in the first place was on the shaky premise that "they were bloody well Irish". As Irish people living in England in the 1970s, they must therefore have been terrorists.Logical?I thought not.The authorities never thought for a second that they might actually have been trying to escape that nonsense through carving out a new life for themselves in England.With a British public baying for blood, the police capitulated by picking up the first "paddies" they found and making an example of them, without making any serious efforts to root out the real perpetrators and ensuring they were rendered incapable of causing more harm through doling out lengthy imprisonments to them, as opposed to ruining the lives of an innocent family.Ironically of course such actions could well have served to make terrorist sympathisers out of the Conlons through the horrific treatment meted out to them!It didn't of course but there is always the danger in that type of case that a person could become embittered to that extent.

Obviously given the unstable climate of the time Irish people in England were sometimes regarded with suspicion,yet the fact remains that the events portrayed in the film were unacceptable in a supposed western democracy committed to the rule of law.While neither side was entirely innocent the fact remains that England was undeniably culpable in this instance, and the judiciary involved in the case must bear full responsibilty for the devestating effects of their knee-jerk ruling, given to appease an irrational and hysterical public.

In this respect the Conlons and Co can viably be seen by some as "Irish martyrs". While I am no fan of Hollywood fare which seeks to glamourise Irish terrorists at the expense of England who is invariably portrayed as the cold and unrelenting oppressor (inaccurate and unfair in the present day I feel) I strongly believe that in this case the criticism and negative portrayal of the English legal system is justified to a considerable extent.The film has especial resonance and significance for us today in the wake of al-Quaeda and the resultant perceptions of Muslims as a whole as being "the enemy" in certain quarters.The recent incarceration of an innocent Syrian who had lived his entire adult life in Canada, and who was imprisoned purely on the basis of his ethnicity, only serves to remind us of the perils of "judging a book by its cover" and making snap judgements, a danger which is admirably illustrated in this well-acted film.
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very good movie
shark7panico23 August 2000
Before seeing this movie I thought it was more about the crimes committed by IRA during the "hot" period, a sort of documentary. IRA plays indeed an important rule in the events, but the main thing is that this movie is the true story of a family that has been destroyed by the madness of the time, by the need of a scapegoat to pay for all the crimes that were committed. Very well directed. A very famous prison in Dublin, that had an important rules during the independence from England, has been chosen as setting. Watch it, you will be satisfied!
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Powerful Cinema!
Hardeep Pathak13 May 2012
A powerful intro and a stylish ending! The story is so well told and so realistic that you're bound to get involved in the conflict and the case. The direction is superb and the acting is superior. Daniel Day- Lewis is a true chameleon, he's flawless in adopting to Irish culture & accent in the same way he's unflinching as native American in Gangs of New York. His acting earned half a star extra from me for the movie!

With some heart-wrenching, tear-jerking and hatred intimidating one- liners, I just couldn't help but fall in love with the movie. I rate it higher than 'The Shawshank Redemption'. Highest recommendations!

A wee list of awesome one-liners: "I'm a free man and I'm going out of the front door"

"They ought to take the word 'compassion' out of the English dictionary"

"You're not looking me in the eye when you're speaking to me"

"I don't understand your language. 'Justice.' 'Mercy.' 'Clemency.' I literally don't understand what those words mean."

"From all the places the English tried to rule, they've been beaten to be moved out."

"I will fight on. In the name of the father and the truth"
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Terrifying but biased premise with a superb performance by Pete Postlethwaite
Rameshwar IN1 December 2012
A movie not without its flaws with a biased unidimensional perspective based on the biography by Gerry Conlon one of the accused from Guildford Four. While the overall story is commercialized and worked around for dramatic effect, Pete Postlethwaite's performance as the protagonist's father was too good in some scenes. Though it is competently performed, well written and executed, the battle is already half won with just the knowledge on the premise and the ordeal the Guildford four and Maguire seven have been through in real life.

Based on real life events following Gerald Conlon ( Daniel Day-Lewis) a carefree wild youth who is accused of the Guildford bombing and imprisoned after coerced confession. This leads to arrests of his aunt's family infamously known as the Maguire Seven along with his father Guiseppe Conlon (Pete Postlethwaite), a just man trying to protect his son. After his father's death due to harsh prison environment and depression, he vows to fight back on the system with the help of a convinced lawyer Gareth Peirce (Emma Thompson).

The initial riot sequence was exhilarating pepped by a solid background score and hysterical atmosphere. The arrests, torture, trial and sentences leaves an emotional impact on the unjust treatment and fate of all the accused and some performances here are to be commended. But Pete Postlethwaite's portrayal of Conlon's father breaks the shackles, elevates the emotional depth in the movies and justifies the title. The initial scene where Guiseppe pleads the IRA men to forgive his son, the expression on his face when Gerald returns from England, the conversations inside the prison cell and the scene just before he dies are a few examples of his masterful performance. I can understand at a biographical point of view for a very biased approach, but as a movie which deals with other characters as well should have shown some elements of thoughts leading up to the characters in the system do what they do. Daniel Day-Lewis is reliable as ever playing a real-life character that goes through a transformation from an energetic wild youth to an introspective determined son.

Terrifying but biased premise with a superb performance by Pete Postlethwaite
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An Involving, Sometimes Brutal Story
ccthemovieman-110 October 2006
I might have rated this higher had Emma Thompson had a bigger role. I am a fan of hers, plus I think most people would agree she's an excellent actress, so it was disappointment to see her appear much until the last 15 minutes of the film. That's especially misleading when she gets second or third billing in this movie.

Nonetheless, it's an involving true-story of an Irishman, his dad and some of their relatives who are all sent to prison for a bombing they had nothing to do with. Filmmakers LOVE these kind of stories in which they can make their country and police into the bad guys. Here, the British look bad - very bad - as they railroad "Gerry Conlon" (Daniel-Day Lewis). The latter makes a convincing hot-headed Irishman, but he's no killer. The tone of the movie softens not in the last half hour as Lewis' character begins to appreciate his father. Until then, it's a rough film that is not always easy to watch and hear because of the accents, some police brutality and corruptness and general group of nasty characters.

By the way, despite the billing, Pete Postlewaite is the second star of the film. He doesn't get the recognition he deserves for his acting contribution in this movie.
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Will stir your soul and disturb you
gcd707 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
In 1974 a London pub in the town of Guildford was hit by I.R.A. activists with a terrorists bomb, and no warning was given. Five people were killed and several others maimed and injured in a tragedy which sent shock waves through a then terrified and outraged public who demanded police bring the culprits to justice.

Director and co-writer Jim Sheridan (scripting with Terry George) brings us the story of a group of young people from Ireland who were brought forward by police to face the charges of murder that related to the bombing. They were unceremoniously tried and found guilty, then sentenced to between fifteen years and life. Pleading their innocence to an unsympathetic jury and public had got them nowhere, so they were left to fight for their freedom from the inside.

As father and son Giuseppe and Gerry Conlon, both Pete Postlethwaite and Daniel Day-Lewis give passionate and outstanding performances as they struggle with both their failed relationship and the battle to prove their innocence. Emma Thompson gives a strong performance too as lawyer Gareth Peirce, the woman who has taken up the appeal. All other cast members are impressive.

Sheridan presents a highly charged, emotional drama which tells a horrifying tale in what is a black period in Irish and English history that continues even today. While he perhaps could have shown us more of the people's reaction and the feeling of the time, he instead concentrates on the Conlon's plight and their never ending fight for justice. Due credit must also go to Jim Sheridan for keeping what would have to be an incident and an issue that is close to his heart, very evenly balanced, as both sides are portrayed as equally guilty of terrible and unspeakable acts.

Backed up by some very good cinematography, editing and set direction, "In the Name of the Father" is certainly a movie that will stir your soul and disturb you. It is truly frightening what men in power are capable of, and even more frightening are the devastating effects they can have on so many people's lives.

Saturday, June 18, 1994 - Greater Union Melbourne

Director Jim Sheridan's account of one of the most ruthless bombings undertaken by the IRA is jam-packed with emotion. The tragic, moving story of how the "Guildford Four" lost their freedom, and fifteen years of their lives, for something they were never a part of makes for a most upsetting and aggravating film.

The powerhouse performances from leads Day-Lewis and Postlethwaite are sensational, as is Emma Thompson's showing as compassionate lawyer Gareth Pierce.

Not seeing this film would almost be as grave an injustice as was that which befell these innocent people.

Monday, June 12, 1995 - Video
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A powerful story with one of the best performances of all time.
dead4754830 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
An emotionally wrenching and immensely powerful true story of an innocent man who is put in prison for fifteen years, after being forced by interrogators to sign a confession out of the threat that they'd kill his father if he didn't, and this man's fight to clear his name and his father's. Due to an incident with the IRA, Gerry Conlon (Daniel Day-Lewis) moves to London and after a chance opportunity to rob a prostitute he returns to his home in Belfast, coincidentally the day after a huge bombing committed by the IRA in London. His best friend, who was with him that night, Paul Hill is arrested and after being forced to confess with a gun in his mouth he lists Conlon and two other friends as members of the IRA. Now known as the Guildford Four, these innocent people were all sentenced to very lengthy jail sentences and, after painful torture, the government plants false accusations on members of Conlons' family including his father Giuseppe (Pete Postlethwaite). Gerry has to deal with pent-up aggression that he has built up against his father for years while also trying to survive in a British prison as an accused IRA member.

Even after Joe McAndrew (Don Baker) is arrested and confesses to the police that he was behind the Guildford bombing and the people they have in prison were innocent, Gerry and Giuseppe remain in prison suffering more and more by the day. Eventually Giuseppe begins working with Gareth Pierce (Emma Thompson) to investigate their case and prove the innocence of the Conlons and the other members of the Guildford Four. After Giuseppe dies of natural causes, Gerry gains a new drive to prove their innocence and takes over the task of working with Gareth. The film is a powerful character study of a man put under unimaginable circumstances and has the discipline to rise up and, along with Pierce, prove the innocence of not only himself but of his father and the other three members of the Guildford Four. It's an immensely heart-wrenching, emotional story that had me in tears several times throughout.

Highlighting this sensational film is Daniel Day-Lewis who further proves that he is the greatest actor of all time and delivers what I believe is the best performance of his career. Taking on the role of Gerry Conlon requires the ability to subtly flow from a naive, immature young man to a disciplined adult working to clear the name of his father. Along that journey there are several highly emotional scenes that could have felt melodramatic or silly if another actor were portraying the man, but Day-Lewis brings a power to Conlon that no one else could. His brilliance is unparalleled. Pete Postlethwaite and Emma Thompson also deliver fantastic performances that rank among the best of the 90s. In the Name of the Father is a phenomenal film that studies the torture that one man had to go through due to the government and the journey he took to clear his name and the name of his father. It's the best film of 1993, in my eyes and Day-Lewis' portrayal is very high among the best performances of all time.
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Stunningly well told story.
Spikeopath4 March 2008
In 1974 the Irish Republican Army bombed two public houses in Guildford, England-The Horse & Groom and the Seven Stars. 5 people were killed and 65 people were seriously injured. During the wave of public hatred for all things Irish, the police round up Belfast rogue Gerry Conlon and his mate Paul Hill and interrogate for 7 days with brute force to obtain a confession... This is Gerry Conlon & the Guildford 4's story.

This is real powerful stuff that thankfully is directed with careful hands. Director Jim Sheridan is equal in his demonizing of the police and the IRA here because it's crucial for us to focus on the Guildford 4. Focus on the Conlon family, for they are victims of injustice when they have no political, or nationalistic affiliations. He centres in on the relationship between Gerry & his father Guiseppe as they find themselves both wrongly imprisoned. It's that family heartbeat that drives this film on, and it's testament to the makers talents that it never comes across as maudlin, it's all very potent and is the films major axis point.

Based on a true story the picture has a finale that will not surprise anyone, but come the last reel you feel emotionally drained, you have come thru the mangler, and myself personally felt both joy and anger in equal measure. Containing brilliant performances from Pete Postelthwaite & Daniel Day Lewis as father & son Conlon respectively, In The Name of The Father is a truly great film that demands not only your head, but also your heart. 9/10
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Whatever side of the divide you may sit...
Koncorde30 July 2004
...this film is spot on. For the sake of this film I sit on the British side of the line, for I've seen the terror and the immediate fall out even though I had nothing to do with the history leading up to it. Regardless, the acts of a mindless few doesn't ever justify the gross abuse of power seen and portrayed in this film.

The British who view it can't help but be appalled at the behaviour of their own because we do pride ourselves on having a fair and balanced legal system. The Irish who view it can't help but applaud the rare nature of a film making a stand from their side.

But one side shouldn't attack the other over opinions on a film such as this; neither the British for the inaccuracies or the Irish for the Brits apparent refusal to accept something very wrong was done in our name.

Instead it should just be appreciated as a film that makes a very valid point, in a very effective manner.
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Rivetting but biased...
Matt Smith15 August 2000
Ok, this is a good film in as much as it is well acted and directed from the outset. Unfortunately it is marred by glaring pro-Irish bias and historical inconsistencies. The British are, yet again, portrayed as "the bad guys" which happens all to often these days as our "once were colony" film distributors try and alter the truth to suit. I feel that if our transatlantic cousins had had as much blood shed on their soil through terrorism as we have over the years they maybe more hesitant when making films like this.

Day-Lewis is a fine actor but he is outshone by veteran Postlethwaite in every scene they do together.
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