7.3/10
7,223
48 user 53 critic

The General (1998)

Trailer
0:33 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

The real-life story of Dublin folk hero and criminal Martin Cahill, who pulled off two daring robberies in Ireland with his team, but attracted unwanted attention from the police, the IRA, the UVF and members of his own team.

Director:

Writers:

, (novel)
9 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

After a chance encounter, a Dubliner (Gleeson) is stalked by a murderous facsimile of himself.

Director: John Boorman
Stars: Brendan Gleeson, Kim Cattrall, Ciarán Hinds
The Field (1990)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

"Bull" McCabe's family has farmed a field for generations, sacrificing endlessly for the sake of the land, and when the widow, who owns the field, decides to sell the field in a public ... See full summary »

Director: Jim Sheridan
Stars: Richard Harris, John Hurt, Sean Bean
I Went Down (1997)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Fresh out of prison, Git rescues a former best friend (now living with Git's girlfriend) from a beating at the hands of loan sharks. He's now in trouble with the mob boss, Tom French, who ... See full summary »

Director: Paddy Breathnach
Stars: Brendan Gleeson, Peter McDonald, Antoine Byrne
In My Country (2004)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Langston Whitfield is a Washington Post journalist. His editor provocatively sends him to South Africa to cover the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings, in which the perpetrators ... See full summary »

Director: John Boorman
Stars: Juliette Binoche, Samuel L. Jackson, Brendan Gleeson
Leo the Last (1970)
Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Prince Leo, last in the line of rulers of a long-deposed monarchy on continental Europe and jaded with the frenetic search for kicks with the European jet-set, returns to his father's ... See full summary »

Director: John Boorman
Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Billie Whitelaw, Calvin Lockhart
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A semi-autobiographical project by John Boorman about a nine year old boy called Bill as he grows up in London during the blitz of World War 2. For a young boy, this time in history was ... See full summary »

Director: John Boorman
Stars: Sarah Miles, David Hayman, Sebastian Rice-Edwards
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Francie and Joe live the usual playful, fantasy filled childhoods of normal boys. However, with a violent, alcoholic father and a manic depressive, suicidal mother the pressure on Francie ... See full summary »

Director: Neil Jordan
Stars: Stephen Rea, Fiona Shaw, Eamonn Owens
The Van (1996)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The third installment of Irish author Roddy Doyle's 'Barrytown Trilogy', following 'The Commitments' and 'The Snapper', depicts the hilarious yet poignant adventures of Bimbo. Upon being ... See full summary »

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Colm Meaney, Donal O'Kelly, Ger Ryan
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Stewart McBain (Coleman) is a real-estate mogul who spends his living blowing up old buildings to make room to erect new buildings. All goes as planned for a new subdivision, until a group ... See full summary »

Director: John Boorman
Stars: Dabney Coleman, Uma Thurman, Joanna Cassidy
Biography | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

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
Stars: Liam Neeson, Aidan Quinn, Julia Roberts
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

After the son of engineer Bill Markham is abducted by an aboriginal tribe on the edge of the rain forest, the engineer spends the next 10 years searching for him.

Director: John Boorman
Stars: Powers Boothe, Meg Foster, Yara Vaneau
Comedy | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A tailor living in Panama reluctantly becomes a spy for a British Agent.

Director: John Boorman
Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Geoffrey Rush, Jamie Lee Curtis
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Gary
...
...
...
Inspector Ned Kenny
Eanna MacLiam ...
Jimmy
Tom Murphy ...
Willie Byrne
...
Anthony
Tommy O'Neill ...
Paddy
John O'Toole ...
Shea
...
Tommy
...
Gay
Vinny Murphy ...
Harry (as Vinnie Murphy)
Roxanna Nic Liam ...
Orla (as Roxanna Williams)
Edit

Storyline

The real-life story of Dublin folk hero and criminal Martin Cahill, who pulled off two daring robberies in Ireland with his team, but attracted unwanted attention from the police, the IRA, the UVF and members of his own team.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The extraordinary true story of the rise and fall of the gangster, Martin Cahill. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and pervasive language | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

18 December 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I Once Had a Life  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£286,365 (United Kingdom), 31 May 1998, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$26,771, 20 December 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,211,865, 23 May 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The home of director John Boorman was robbed by the real life Martin Cahill. Among other things, he stole a gold record that Boorman had on the wall, which inspired Boorman to include that scene in the movie. See more »

Goofs

Set in 1984, the background of the anti-drug march features a car with a license plate beginning with "96," indicating 1996. See more »

Quotes

Martin Cahill: [to Gary, who just admitted to having sex with his own daughter] You're a prick. Criminals don't molest kids. Leave that to the priests will ya?
See more »

Connections

References Deliverance (1972) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Excellent movie, well acted but perhaps which serves perhaps to glorify an otherwise utterly contemptable character
7 May 1999 | by See all my reviews

In terms of acting, direction and entertainment value, the general certainly delivers. Its is well paced, humorous and the performances of all the main actors, in particular Brendan Gleeson and Jon Voight, are excellent. I'm not sure why the film is shot in black and white, I don't think this adds particularly to the film.

My one reservation about the film is the portrayal of the main character, Martin Cahill, whom I think is overly glamorised. I remember before Cahills death his exploits as I saw them in the newspapers and television, and from the many stories which circulated around Dublin at that time of his criminal activity. This was no latter day Robin Hood. He was an unusually successful thief, no doubt, but with none of the charitable spirit. He was also extremely cruel, at one time breaking into the home of a social welfare officer and torturing him for hours simply because he had refused Cahill welfare payments.

I would recommend people to see this film, but at all times remember that the man it portrays was no one to be admired, but an example of the most vile thugs that Ireland has had the shame to produce in recent years. But then they say, "The devil has the best tales".


12 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 48 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page