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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

After the robbery of the Thomas O'Connor and Sons jewelry manufacturing plant, which occurred in 1983, the van that pulled into the garage with the stolen goods had a license plate with the number 93 D 25920. Under the Irish vehicle licensing system, the 93 at the beginning of the license plate number identifies the model year of the vehicle. There would not have been such a plate number in 1983. 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

Superbly drawn character study of infamous Irish criminal
14 August 1999 | by pooch-8See all my reviews

Brendan Gleeson's performance as notorious Irish master criminal Martin "The General" Cahill is a small miracle. Alternating between a brash swagger and a sullen fatalism, Gleeson utterly transforms himself (I love how he hides his face simply by cocking his head down and shielding it with his hand, peeking out between splayed fingers) into the charismatic thief. Director and screenwriter John Boorman, who delighted in revealing that he had once been robbed of a gold record by the real-life Cahill (he references it anecdotally in the film) has done some of his best work here, creating a totally engrossing character study that includes tense robberies, playful confrontations with the police, and eyebrow-raising relationships, but he never forgets to maintain the delicate balance between the light-hearted (and light-fingered) humor and the danger and desperation inherent in a high-profile life of crime.


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