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Michael Collins (1996)

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Neil Jordan's historical biopic of Irish revolutionary Michael Collins, the man who led a guerrilla war against the UK, helped negotiate the creation of the Irish Free State, and led the National Army during the Irish Civil War.

Director:

Neil Jordan

Writer:

Neil Jordan
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ian Hart ... Joe O'Reilly
Julia Roberts ... Kitty Kiernan
Richard Ingram Richard Ingram ... British Officer
Liam Neeson ... Michael Collins
Aidan Quinn ... Harry Boland
John Kenny John Kenny ... Patrick Pearse
Ronan McCairbre Ronan McCairbre ... Thomas MacDonagh
Jer O'Leary ... Thomas Clarke (as Ger O'Leary)
Mike Dwyer ... James Connolly (as Michael Dwyer)
Martin Murphy ... Captain Lee-Wilson
Alan Rickman ... Eamon de Valera
Sean McGinley ... Smith
Gary Whelan ... Hoey
Frank O'Sullivan Frank O'Sullivan ... Kavanagh
Stephen Rea ... Ned Broy
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Storyline

Neil Jordan's depiction of the controversial life and death of Michael Collins, the "Lion of Ireland", who led the IRA against the UK and helped found the Irish Free State in 1922. Written by Dawn M. Barclift

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Ireland, 1916. His dreams inspired hope. His words inspired passion. His courage forged a nation's destiny. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Ireland | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 October 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El precio de la libertad See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$28,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$187,052, 13 October 1996, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$11,092,559

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$16,900,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Black and White | Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

After he had delivered a hit in the form of Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994) to its studio, David Geffen asked Neil Jordan what he would like to make next. Jordan unearthed a script he had written twelve years earlier - Michael Collins (1996). See more »

Goofs

Joe O'Reilly was not with Collins in Beal na mBlath on 22 August 1922. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Joe O'Reilly: [dictating a letter] You've got to think of him the way he was... He was what the times demanded. And life without him seems impossible. But he's dead. And life is possible. He made it possible.
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Crazy Credits

Opening scroll: At the turn of the century Britian was the foremost world power and the British Empire stretched over two-thirds of the globe. Despite the extent of its power its most troublesome colony had always been the one closest to it, Ireland For seven hundred years Britain's rule over Ireland had been resisted by attempts at rebellion and revolution, all of which ended in failure. Then, in 1916, a rebellion began, to be followed by a guerilla war which would change the nature of that rule forever. The mastermind behind that war was Michael Collins. His life and death defined the period, in its triumph, terror and tragedy. This is his story. See more »

Connections

Featured in The South Bank Show: Michael Collins (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Low whistle and Uilleann pipes
Played by Davy Spillane
Courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment (U.K.) Limited
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Deeply flawed but compelling
6 March 2006 | by poc-1See all my reviews

I saw this first in the now defunct Capitol Cineplex in Cork. I was surprised to see so many senior citizens in the cinema. The cineplex was so scummy it had to be something special to draw them in. Some of them might have been old enough to remember the civil war or at least to have had a close family member killed in it. Many of them were clearly moved by it particularly the end with its archive footage. It is a moving film, but you have to be careful.

One should never confuse history with entertainment and this is not a history lesson. All the major events are there, but there is a horrible bias from the director. I don't like DeValera or what he stood for, but what was hinted at the end in this movie is a travesty. If such a thing is true, you have to prove it, you can't slyly hint at it. There are other insidious things such as mortars and car-bombs which are clear reference to the 1970s-90s Northern conflict. Such weapons did not exist in 1916. To me this is an oblique way of implying that the Provos are somehow the legitimate heirs of the IRA in 1916 which of course they are not.

Despite this I enjoyed the movie a lot. The production values and acting was so good, it really felt like a timewarp. Neil Jordan is a great director, Neeson and Rickman are superb in their parts. Rickman looks so much like DeValera it is uncanny. I even liked Julia Roberts. It looks like she made a fair attempt at a Dun Laoghaire accent and of course it sounded phony. Southside Dublin accents all sound phoney to me anyway so I didn't mind. The best moment was the scene where Collins starts the civil war sitting behind a howitzer aimed at the Four Courts and fires. You can see a huge explosion and bits coming out portico. I actually felt scared that they had damaged this famous Dublin landmark. This won't mean much to someone from overseas, but anyone familiar with the Four Courts and the resident lawyers (sorry "barristers") in their eighteenth century costumes would surely enjoy firing an artillery piece at the overpaid clowns. I wish I had a howitzer like that.


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