In the Name of the Father (1993)
Jim Sheridan's searing In the Name of the Father --based on Proven Innocent by Gerry Conlon-- tells the true story of "The Guildford Four," four men framed for being IRA terrorists. On October 5, 1974, an IRA bomb killed five people in a Guildford, England pub and public demands for bringing the bombers to justice compels Robert Dixon (Corin Redgrave) of the police force to find the responsible parties quickly. Rounding up likely suspects without regard for their innocence or guilt, two squatters -- Gerry Conlon (Daniel Day-Lewis) and Paul Hill (John Lynch) -- are arrested. When Gerry's father Giuseppe (Pete Postlethwaite) finds out about his son's arrest, he travels to London from Belfast to help his son find a lawyer. Instead, he is charged with participating with the IRA terror network and is also arrested. In a high profile trial, four innocent men -- including Gerry, Paul, and Giuseppe -- are sentenced to life imprisonment when the judge can't find a reason to hang them. After the convictions, when evidence is discovered of Gerry and Guiseppe's innocence, the police suppress it. But lawyer Gareth Peirce (Emma Thompson) arrives and uncovers the truth as she attempts to get Gerry and Guiseppe's convictions overturned. … More
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Critic Reviews for In the Name of the Father
In the Name of the Father is a model of this kind of engaged, enraged filmmaking, a politically charged Fugitive that uses one of the most celebrated cases of recent British history to steamroller an audience with the power of rousing, polemical cinema.
At every point, Day-Lewis is at the center of the story, and he carries the film with an impassioned performance. It helps that it's a great part.
The picture turns into a kind of stylized morality play about the right and the wrong ways for Irishmen to respond to distorted portraits of their character, and it's terrifically effective.
Day-Lewis, so intricately repressed in The Age of Innocence, here offers a role reversal in an unreserved and emotional performance that throws caution and inhibition to the winds.
The complicated relationship between the rebellious Gerry and the quietly tormented Giuseppe is one focus of the film. The obvious political implications of the dreadful situation are another.
In the Name of the Father is a deeply stirring film that lessens the moral authority of the I.R.A., English soldiers in Ireland, the British police and the British government.
If Sheridan didn't feel the need to pile on the pedantic subtexts, this would be an absorbing personal drama, rather than a vituperative, question-begging broadside.
This is a stirring and exceptionally well acted, though controversial, dramatisation of Gerry Conlon's book about the grave miscarriage of justice suffered by the Guildford Four.
Day-Lewis outdoes his acclaimed performance in My Left Foot, making Gerry a character of palpable realness and complexity.
In this powerful, Oscar-nominated movie, Jim Sheridan infuses a fact-based social injustice drama with a more intimate family tale of estranged father and son, splendidly played by Daniel Day-Lewis and Peter Postlethwaite.
Sheridan takes a controversial subject and gives it wider appeal by focusing on the family drama of two men who are also political prisoners.
Letter-perfect performances from Day-Lewis and Postlethwaite do a lot more than a dozen editorials to make an unforgettable point about the miscarriage of justice.
Director Sheridan chronicles the father-son relationship perfectly and also handles the courtroom confrontations skilfully without ever falling into movie melodramatics.
Audience Reviews for In the Name of the Father
The collaboration between Jim Sheridan and Daniel Day-Lewis is one that was too short lived in my opinion. My Left Foot was brilliant and this is a great follow up. Although the fact that father and son did not actually share a cell, most of it is factual enough and is an important story to tell. It beggars belief but after 2 stints at jury service nothing would amaze me anymore as far as the British justice system is concerned. A powerful and well told story that needs to be seen.
An explosive and powerful film, it makes you take notice, rooted to the edge of your chair as you watch the senseless prejudice and heartless feeling of the British judiciary system while they imprison four innocent people. Based on the true story of Gerry Conlon and the Guildford Four, director Jim Sheridan winds through the real life events that landed a bunch of hippies in jail for murdering fifteen people at the height of the IRA's power in Ireland. This is a very strong and powerful film, because the cover-up was so huge and the misuse of power is so obvious. Not just the people prosecuted, but their family and friends, were put into prison, and that's what makes this such a nauseous film to watch. Much of what makes this heartbreaking are the great performances from the cast assembled. Daniel Day-Lewis is himself an enigma among actors, and he proves his method acting is tried and true in this role, coming off as a disenchanted young man with sincerity, but also a dogged and tired middle aged man at the offset of his sentence. Pete Postlethwaite as his father, wanting his freedom and yet remaining revered in the face of his sentencing, makes you tear up every time he holds out hope for the future. The supporting cast is also quite sincere with their performances, and the four imprisoned showed the deepest pain and regret as they are carted off to prison. The only performance that seemed off was Emma Thompson, who plays Conlon's lawyer. Though she remains restrained throughout most of the film, she ends up seeming earnestly aghast as an outsider, when she should be more composed and triumphant at the end of the film. Though some minor facts were changed, most of what remains true and gut wrenching is in this film, and it makes you sad to think it's not false.More
Superlative drama, about a group of Irishmen wrongfully imprisoned as terrorists in 1970's England. As is ever the case with him, Daniel Day-Lewis exhibits a tour-de-force performance, that leaves one genuinely gripped. Joined by esteemed thespians like Emma Thompson and the late Pete Postlethwaite, there is excellent acting to be found within the supporting cast as well. Sort of like an Irish version of The Shawshank Redemption and almost as powerful. Certainly not to be missed!More
After the phenomenal picture, My Left Foot that garnered Daniel Day-Lewis a much deserved Academy Award, director Jim Sheridan and Lewis would collaborate again on In the Name of the Father. This is yet again a powerful engaging true story of Gerry Conlon, a man falsely accused of the 1974 Guildford pub bombings orchestrated by the IRA. Sheridan assembles a phenomenal cast here, and each brings something unique to the screen. Daniel Day-Lewis is phenomenal in his performance and he is always captivating to watch in his roles because he is a perfectionist and a true artist of his craft, and he becomes the character he portrays. This is a well constructed drama that is highly entertaining from start to finish. Daniel Day-Lewis delivers yet again with this film, and like I said, he is a dedicated actor who always gives his all in a performance. The story is terrific and is based on true events, which makes for some of the best stories to tell on film. I really enjoyed the film, and when real life stories are adapted to the screen, they make for much more compelling movies. With a great cast of talented actors, effective directing and an engrossing plot, In the Name of the Father is a stellar film that should appeal to any viewer looking for a truly memorable film to watch. This is filmmaking at its very best and is a brilliant film that really can spark an interest in the subject it displays. The Strength of the film lies in its cast and plot, both are wonderful, and will surely interest the most demanding filmgoer. In terms of a great story, In the Name of the Father is terrific and as a whole, I felt it was a flawless film.More
In the Name of the Father Quotes
- Gerald Conlon:
- Our case was so insane, that if you made it up, nobody would believe it.
- Guiseppe Conlon:
- I want you to have some respect.
- Gerald Conlon:
- Respect for who?
- Guiseppe Conlon:
- Respect for yourself.
- Gerald Conlon:
- You see, I don't understand your language. 'Justice.' 'Mercy.' 'Clemency.' I literally don't understand what those words mean. I'd like to put in an application to get all my teeth extracted.That way I could put my fist in my mouth and never speak another word of fuckin' English so long as I live.
- Gerald Conlon:
- I'm a free man, and I'm going out the front door.
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