A rookie Yorkshire journalist sets out to solve the case of a child murderer.


Julian Jarrold


David Peace (novel), Tony Grisoni (screenplay)
4 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Andrew Garfield ... Eddie Dunford
David Morrissey ... Maurice Jobson
John Henshaw John Henshaw ... Bill Hadley
Anthony Flanagan ... Barry Gannon
Warren Clarke ... Bill Molloy
Jennifer Hennessy ... Mrs Kemplay
Mary Jo Randle ... Eddie's Mum
Rachel Jane Allen Rachel Jane Allen ... Susan Dunford
Rita May ... Aunty Win
Graham Walker Graham Walker ... Uncle Eric
Berwick Kaler ... George Greaves
Katherine Vasey Katherine Vasey ... Steph (as Katharine Vasey)
Danny Cunningham Danny Cunningham ... Gaz
Michelle Dockery ... Kathryn Tyler
Robert Sheehan ... BJ


In 1974, Eddie Dunford, comes home from South England and gets a job as a cub reporter for the Yorkshire Post. A schoolgirl has gone missing, and Eddie suspects it's one of several crimes dating back six years; the police think not and blame gypsies. Eddie digs; the police stonewall him then two of them beat him after he visits the widowed mother of one of the girls missing for a few years. When a child's body turns up at a construction site of local building magnate John Dawson, Eddie has another thread to pull. By now, he's begun an affair with Paula, the widowed mother, and he suspects collusion among Dawson, the police, and his newspaper - but what are they covering up? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


An epic tale of murder, corruption and obsession.


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The curry house Sean Bean uses was the 'kor-I-noor' in Bradford on Simes st.the building still stands but it's use has changed. See more »


[first lines]
Eddie Dunford: Little girl goes missing, the pack salivates. If it bleeds it leads, right? Eddie Dunford, crime correspondent, back home to take the north. Business first. Dad won't mind waiting.
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Sad Sweet Dreamer
Written by David Parton
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User Reviews

An absorbing film noir
6 November 2010 | by klusebaSee all my reviews

This is the first part of a trilogy about a serial murderer that kidnaps, rapes and kills little girls. As a young and emotional rookie journalist does his own investigations concerning the most recent and third murder, local police officers, entrepreneurs and even his own boss try do everything to hide a mysterious secret surrounding the murders. No one is innocent in this circle of corruption, power and abuse.

The first part of this trilogy is a very atmospheric film noir. It is a slow paced investigation that takes place in a rainy, grey and desperate entourage and where the main character discovers the evil that men do. While the beginning of the movie is a little bit boring and doesn't explain enough the first murders of the possible serial killer, the film gets more profound, intense and even shocking towards the ending and you really get absorbed by a dark and destructive atmosphere during the last thirty minutes of this movie that makes you watch the follow-up immediately.

The story is complex and many characters are introduced in the frustrating beginning but towards the end of the movie, you get used to all those characters and are able to create connections between them and that helps you to understand and appreciate the movie more and more. The actors are doing a quite well and authentic job and not only because of the very particular accent and entourage. Andrew Garfield plays a solid role as a young, naive and emotional journalist that does many mistakes during his quest for the truth. Rebecca Hall is doing a great job and plays the role of a disturbed and mysterious femme fatale with a tragic destiny. Sean Benn does an incredible job by playing the role of a rich, cold and dangerous businessman.

The best part of the movie is its very brutal and yet twisted ending that is filmed in a very intense way. The director did a great overall job in this movie and created some very intense footages that add a lot to the atmosphere of the movie. The way he cuts the final scenes and also the dream or hallucination sequences is very eerie and special. Concerning the end of the movie, I would like to give you the advice to check out the three deleted scenes on the DVD that add a special something to the atmosphere of the movie and to its end. I don't understand why those scenes have been deleted because they are all very strong and not filler material.

I've mentioned a lot of positive points and you might ask yourself why I didn't give eight or even nine stars to the movie. That's because of the slow paced beginning, the cliché that everything and everybody is corrupted, evil and brutal and that some events during this movie are too predictable because of that. The movie is intense and absorbing but up to the last thirty minutes there isn't much tension. There is also especially one scene that I found strange, as the young journalist gives the life's work of his deceased partner and friend to a young police officer. This scene has simply a lack of logic in my opinion and doesn't fit with the behaviour of the journalist that did everything on his own without caring about laws or instructions and that had some very bad experiences with the police.

But all in all, this is a very absorbing and authentic film noir with an excellent ending that makes me look forward to watch the follow-up quickly. If you like this genre, this movie is a most-have and highlight for you and if you like ordinary movies about criminal investigations you may get disturbed by the dark and brutal ending of the movie that distinguishes this film from the ordinary ones. No matter in which category you fit, I would highly recommend you this film and encourage you to not give up during the overlong introduction because the second part of the movie is more than worth the wait.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Official Sites:

Channel 4 [UK]





Release Date:

11 November 2009 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Red Riding: The Year of Our Lord 1974 See more »


Box Office


$9,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,526, 7 February 2010

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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