6.1/10
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The Devil's Own (1997)

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A police officer uncovers the real identity of his house-guest, an I.R.A. terrorist in hiding.

Director:

Alan J. Pakula

Writers:

Kevin Jarre (story), David Aaron Cohen (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Harrison Ford ... Tom O'Meara
Brad Pitt ... Rory Devaney / Francis Austin McGuire
Margaret Colin ... Sheila O'Meara
Rubén Blades ... Edwin Diaz
Treat Williams ... Billy Burke
George Hearn ... Peter Fitzsimmons
Mitchell Ryan ... Chief Jim Kelly
Natascha McElhone ... Megan Doherty
Paul Ronan ... Sean Phelan
Simon Jones ... Harry Sloan
Julia Stiles ... Bridget O'Meara
Ashley Carin ... Morgan O'Meara
Kelly Singer Kelly Singer ... Annie O'Meara
David O'Hara ... Martin MacDuff
David Wilmot ... Dessie
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Storyline

A thriller about an IRA gunman who draws an American family into the crossfire of terrorism. Frankie McGuire is one of the IRA's deadliest assassins. But when he is sent to the U.S. to buy weapons, Frankie is housed with the family of Tom O'Meara, a New York cop who knows nothing about Frankie's real identity. Their surprising friendship, and Tom's growing suspicions, force Frankie to choose between the promise of peace or a lifetime of murder. Written by Robert Lynch <docrlynch@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One man trapped by destiny, and another bound by duty. They're about to discover what they're willing to fight, and to die for. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong brutal violence, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 March 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Enemigo íntimo See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$86,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,063,265, 30 March 1997, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$42,868,348

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$81,500,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gordon Willis last film as cinematographer before his retirement. See more »

Goofs

In the opening scenes the film is meant to be set in Belfast, however the road markings are more like that of where it was filmed - Republic of Ireland. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Frankie's Mother: How was your day?
Frankie's Father: It was a bit cold.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dennis Pennis R.I.P. (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

(Somebody) Loan Me A Dime
Written by Fenton Robinson
Performed by Boz Scaggs
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Better if you do not expect an action (and especially not a thriller) film
16 January 2005 | by BrandtSponsellerSee all my reviews

As a child in Ireland, Frankie McGuire (Brad Pitt) sees his dad gunned down for his involvement with the Irish Republican Army (IRA). As an adult, McGuire has followed in his dad's footsteps. When the IRA decides it needs more firepower, they hatch a plan that involves McGuire going to the United States to pick up a shipment of Stinger missiles. Through American IRA contacts, McGuire adopts a false identity and housing is arranged with a non-involved Irish family headed by New York City cop Tom O'Meara (Harrison Ford).

There is an impression that The Devil's Own is an action film. The Internet Movie Database has it listed as "Action/Drama/Thriller". Although there are some action elements in the film, this is really a tragic drama, almost in a classical sense, and it's best to approach the film with only that genre in mind. The plot is fairly complex and the film tends to move slowly--much more slowly than a typical actioner or thriller.

The heart of the story is McGuire's relationship with O'Meara and his family. All of the other material--the IRA stuff, the mob and terrorist stuff, the New York City cop stuff, and so on, are not the focus. Those elements are present to help establish characterization, to build the relationship and understanding between McGuire and O'Meara, and to provide a justification for the developments in the film, and particularly the conclusion, which all have poignant things to say about the decisions that we make and why we make them.

The film largely succeeds if seen from this dramatic perspective. It's not quite a 10, however, as it always seems slightly distanced from the viewer. It's an 8 out of 10 for me.

(This comment was originally posted on January 16, 2005 and ended with the above. The following was added much later after reading through some other user comments:) We should not forget that even though it takes elements from the real world to construct its story, The Devil's Own is NOT intended to be journalistic or a documentary. There is no claim that it is giving an accurate portrayal of political situations, and it's not intended to campaign for one side or another in a real-world political situation. This is fiction, folks, and should be judged _as fiction_. For that, you should forget about what you know of the real world, and assess the story, images and sounds you experience from your television. Does the story work as a self-contained entity? Are the performances good? Is it visually attractive/rewarding? Those are the kinds of things we should be judging.

For me, The Devil's Own succeeded as a drama about relationships, with its poignancy arrived at primarily by making two people from very different worlds, with very different outlooks, learn to see things from different perspectives.

That's great if you're very knowledgeable about Northern Ireland in the real world and if you have strong opinions about terrorism. However, your knowledge and opinions on that stuff have nothing to do with this film.


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