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The General (1998)

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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 I.R.A., the U.V.F., and members of his own team.

Director:

John Boorman

Writers:

John Boorman, Paul Williams (novel)
9 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Brendan Gleeson ... Martin Cahill
Adrian Dunbar ... Noel Curley
Sean McGinley ... Gary
Maria Doyle Kennedy ... Frances
Angeline Ball ... Tina
Jon Voight ... Inspector Ned Kenny
Eanna MacLiam Eanna MacLiam ... Jimmy
Tom Murphy Tom Murphy ... Willie Byrne
Paul Hickey ... Anthony
Tommy O'Neill Tommy O'Neill ... Paddy
John O'Toole John O'Toole ... Shea
Ciarán Fitzgerald ... Tommy
Ned Dennehy ... Gay
Vinny Murphy Vinny Murphy ... Harry (as Vinnie Murphy)
Roxanna Nic Liam Roxanna Nic Liam ... Orla (as Roxanna Williams)
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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 I.R.A., the U.V.F., and members of his own team.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He was a world-class criminal and a working-class hero. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Official Sites:

Sony Pictures Classics

Country:

UK | Ireland

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 December 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

I Once Had a Life See more »

Filming Locations:

Wicklow Mountains, Ireland See more »

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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 IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The house of Writer and 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: [looking at himself on television] It makes me look fat.
Tina: You're not fat. You're cuddly.
See more »

Alternate Versions

On the Region 1 Sony DVD the 2.35:1 desaturated colour print is edited for content, reducing the f-bomb count to 2. There also seem to be problems with the word "scumbag" which is largely changed to "ratbag" or "dirtbag". This version also only run 118 minutes. The 1.85:1 b&w print on the other side of the disc runs the full 124 minutes, and is unedited. There does not seem to be an unedited, 2.35:1 b&w print available. See more »

Connections

Version of Ordinary Decent Criminal (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Gritty and Brutal Portrayal
2 March 2003 | by gbheronSee all my reviews

"The General" is the nickname of the real-life, contemporary Irish criminal, Martin Cahill. Brilliantly played by Brendan Gleeson, director John Boorman dramatizes Cahill's odd career as a very successful thief and robber. Shot in black and white the movie has a gritty realism that doesn't glamorize Cahill and his gang. But Cahill, as portrayed by Gleeson and Boorman, is a likable and quirky eccentric who does things his own way, a characteristic which causes him to fall afoul of both the police and the IRA.

Not your typical A-List Hollywood crime melodrama, this movie is not for everyone, especially those looking for the typical Vin Diesel or Al Pacino crime flick. This is more like the Sopranos in the Irish slums. And, I recommend it highly for a Saturday night rental; just be forewarned that it is quite brutal and intense at times.


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