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The Boxer (1997)

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Young Danny Flynn is released from prison 14 years after "taking the rap" for the IRA and tries to rebuild his life in his old Belfast neighborhood.

Director:

Jim Sheridan
Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Daniel Day-Lewis ... Danny Flynn
Daragh Donnelly Daragh Donnelly ... Prison Officer
Frank Coughlan Frank Coughlan ... Prison Officer
Sean Kearns Sean Kearns ... Prison Officer
Lorraine Pilkington Lorraine Pilkington ... Bride
Niall Shanahan Niall Shanahan ... Groom
John Wall John Wall ... Priest (as Father John Wall)
Maria McDermottroe Maria McDermottroe ... Betty
Carol Moore ... Wedding Guest (as Carol Scanlan)
Kate Perry Kate Perry ... Wedding Guest
Andrea Irvine Andrea Irvine ... Wedding Guest
Joan McGarry Joan McGarry ... Wedding Guest
Theresa McComb Theresa McComb ... Wedding Guest
Catherine Dunne Catherine Dunne ... Wedding Guest
Kerrie Duggan Kerrie Duggan ... Wedding Guest
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Storyline

Nineteen-year-old Danny Flynn is imprisoned for his involvement with the I.R.A. in Belfast. He leaves behind his family and his sixteen-year-old girlfriend, Maggie Hamill. Fourteen years later, Danny is released from prison and returns to his old working class neighborhood to resume his life as a boxer, fighting and opening a boxing club training aspiring boxers. Maggie has since married Danny's best friend, who is also imprisoned for his I.R.A. activities. Although he has not denounced the I.R.A. or denigrated his I.R.A. colleagues, Danny has decided to live a life free of political violence. His boxing club is nonsectarian, open to both Catholics and Protestants. This move irks some of his old I.R.A. colleagues since they feel working with the Protestants will not resolve their David versus Goliath struggle. Danny's old I.R.A. colleagues, especially their unofficial leader Harry, resort to traditional tactics of violence to stop Danny. Maggie's father, Joe, also an I.R.A. activist, ... Written by Artemis-9

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Love is always worth fighting for.

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Universal

Country:

USA | Ireland

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 January 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bokser See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$129,915, 4 January 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$5,799,672, 15 February 1998

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,400,000, 8 March 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | SDDS | DTS-Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Eddie Carroll is the name of an actual Canadian hall-of-fame welterweight boxer who fought in the '30s and '40s. See more »

Goofs

During the televised boxing match in Londonderry, no TV cameras are seen around the ring area. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Policeman at Checkpoint: Where are you going?
Maggie: We're going home.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ausverkauft! (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

IF YOU'RE IRISH, COME INTO THE PARLOUR
Written by Shaun Glenville & Frank Miller
Performed by The Phoenix Youth Band
Published by B. FELDMAN & CO. LTD.
See more »

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User Reviews

Day-Lewis and Watson: Outstanding!
2 April 2003 | by intuitive7See all my reviews

Jim Sheridan's films are always powerful. Shakespearian in their intensity of character conflict, they bristle with grit, are masterfully acted, and propel themselves the way John Ford's best films do. I consider him, even with his limited output, one of the great A list directors. No, his camera work isn't stunning crane and rail ballet, it's old school - but GREAT old school - Zinneman, Ford. And if you're a filmgoer who likes to care deeply about characters, Sheridan makes your kind of film.

Acting doesn't get better or more truthful than Daniel Day Lewis and Emily Watson working together. They're absolutely believable - inspiring actually - as a couple struggling through forbidden love after 14 years apart. The dialogue they work with is A plus and written by Sheridan; thus it's probably tuned collaboratively during rehearsal. Very organic. Great (!) work by Gerard McSorley, Brian Cox (L.I.E.) and David Stott as Ike.

Yep, Northern Ireland as Sheridan portrays it can be dreary, as commented here. But it's also full of humanity, drunkeness, hope, cruelty, love, loyalty, oppression, and a desperate longing for change - all the stuff of true drama. The action commences at the moment Ireland is on the cusp of real but fragile peace. Boxing and the IRA? A one two punch.

I love this film and I'd watch it again with any friend who wanted to see an excellently written and played picture. If you want your blood to boil from some fine performers playing strongly written characters, check this out. Not quite "Elizabeth", but powerful. Good enough dramatically (albeit not quite visually) to sit on the same shelf with Raging Bull.


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