In the Name of the Father (1993)

R | 132 mins | Drama | 29 December 1993

Producer:

James Sheridan

Cinematographer:

Peter Biziou

Editor:

Gerry Hambling

Production Designer:

Caroline Amies

Production Company:

Hell's Kitchen
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HISTORY

The film was originally titled The Gerry Conlon Story, as noted in the 6 Oct 1992 DV and 10 Feb 1994 HR.
       A 3 Oct 1993 LAT article stated that executive producer Gabriel Byrne acquired film rights to “Guildford Four” member Gerry Conlon’s ghostwritten autobiography, Proved Innocent (London, New York, 1991), in early 1990. Producers Martin Bregman and Kathleen Kennedy had previously attempted Guildford-bombing-related projects that had not come to fruition. By mid-1992, first-time screenwriter Terry George’s fifty-page treatment for In the Name of the Father, partly based on interviews with Gerry Conlon, elicited the interest of director Jim Sheridan and actor Daniel Day-Lewis, who was cast as “Gerry Conlon” – the role Gabriel Byrne originally intended to play. The film marked Daniel Day-Lewis’s second collaboration with Jim Sheridan after 1989’s My Left Foot, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
       A 7 Dec 1992 news item in The Times (London) reported that, after a two-year search for U.S. funding, director Sheridan had obtained $10 million in financing from Universal Pictures. Auditions were slated to begin the following week. The budget eventually grew to between $14 million and $15 million, according to items in the 3 Oct 1993 LAT and 6 Feb 1994 issue of The Observer (London).
       Principal photography began either 8 Mar 1993 or 18 Mar 1993, according to various Mar 1993 HR production charts. Filming took place on location in Dublin, Ireland, and Liverpool, England, and at Ardmore Studios in Ireland. Dublin locations included Kilmainham Gaol, ... More Less

The film was originally titled The Gerry Conlon Story, as noted in the 6 Oct 1992 DV and 10 Feb 1994 HR.
       A 3 Oct 1993 LAT article stated that executive producer Gabriel Byrne acquired film rights to “Guildford Four” member Gerry Conlon’s ghostwritten autobiography, Proved Innocent (London, New York, 1991), in early 1990. Producers Martin Bregman and Kathleen Kennedy had previously attempted Guildford-bombing-related projects that had not come to fruition. By mid-1992, first-time screenwriter Terry George’s fifty-page treatment for In the Name of the Father, partly based on interviews with Gerry Conlon, elicited the interest of director Jim Sheridan and actor Daniel Day-Lewis, who was cast as “Gerry Conlon” – the role Gabriel Byrne originally intended to play. The film marked Daniel Day-Lewis’s second collaboration with Jim Sheridan after 1989’s My Left Foot, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
       A 7 Dec 1992 news item in The Times (London) reported that, after a two-year search for U.S. funding, director Sheridan had obtained $10 million in financing from Universal Pictures. Auditions were slated to begin the following week. The budget eventually grew to between $14 million and $15 million, according to items in the 3 Oct 1993 LAT and 6 Feb 1994 issue of The Observer (London).
       Principal photography began either 8 Mar 1993 or 18 Mar 1993, according to various Mar 1993 HR production charts. Filming took place on location in Dublin, Ireland, and Liverpool, England, and at Ardmore Studios in Ireland. Dublin locations included Kilmainham Gaol, a former prison.
       The 29 Jan 1994 issue of People magazine stated that Day-Lewis spent a week in a closed-down Belfast, Ireland, prison, to prepare for his role. Prior to filming an interrogation scene, he slept overnight in a prison cell and had a crewmember interrupt his sleep every few hours to induce sleep deprivation.
       Post-production began in Jun 1993, according to a 26 Aug 1993 LADN item, and moved to Sheridan’s hometown of Dublin sometime in Aug 1993.
       The film’s title song, “In The Name Of The Father,” co-written by Irish poet Gavin Friday, was not recorded by the band U2 in time to be used in movie trailers; thus, U2’s “Pride (In The Name Of Love)” was used instead, as stated in the 29 Nov 1993 Var.
       According to a 14 Jan 1994 HR “Hollywood Report” column, Jim Sheridan directed a music video for the original song “(You’ve Made Me The) Thief Of Your Heart,” also co-written by Gavin Friday with U2’s Bono, and Maurice Seezer, which was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song – Motion Picture. The music video featured Pete Postlethwaite in character as “Guiseppe Conlon,” and a fairy tale narrative about a young girl on trial for killing a bird.
       Universal planned a “slow rollout” for the film, as noted in the 10 Feb 1994 HR, beginning with a platform release in New York City; Los Angeles, CA; and Toronto, Canada, as noted in a 6 Oct 1993 HR item. In mid-Feb 1994, the release widened to 500 screens.
       Critical reception was largely positive. As noted in the 18 Mar 1994 Chicago Tribune, the film grossed $19 million in its first eleven weeks of domestic release. Overseas, it was particularly successful in Ireland, where it became the second-highest grossing film in the country’s history after Jurassic Park (1993, see entry), according to the 10 Feb 1994 HR.
       In the Name of the Father received seven Academy Award nominations, including Actor in a Leading Role (Daniel Day-Lewis), Actor in a Supporting Role (Pete Postlethwaite), Actress in a Supporting Role (Emma Thomspon), Directing, Film Editing, Writing (Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published), and Best Picture. A 3 Oct 1994 DV brief noted it was the first film backed by a Hollywood studio to be nominated for the Felix prize for European Film of the Year.
       A 1 Feb 1994 screening at the British House of Commons, prior to the 11 Feb 1994 U.K. theatrical release, sparked controversy, according to articles in the 4 Feb 1994 LAT and 6 Feb 1994 The Observer (London). Filmmakers were accused of oversimplifying and taking dramatic license with facts, by showing the “Guildford Four” and “Maguire Seven” on trial at the same time; Guiseppe and Gerry Conlon sharing a prison cell; “Gareth Peirce” representing Guiseppe Conlon; “Paul Hill” meeting “Annie Maguire” at her home instead of a social club; and “Joe McAndrew,” based on real-life IRA bomber Joe O’Connell, setting a prison guard on fire. Critics included the real-life Annie Maguire and her family, who believed, according to a 20 Jan 1994 LAT item, that the picture’s “documentary style” misled viewers, and failed to credit many real-life advocates involved in overturning the convictions. When asked about the controversy, Sheridan conceded he would do some things differently if given the chance, including setting the scene in which Paul Hill meets Annie Maguire at a social club instead of her home. Gerry Conlon defended the film, stating that the alterations did nothing to obscure the fundamental truth of the story. Screenwriter Terry George also voiced his opinion in a 7 Mar 1994 LAT column, stating that detractors were driven by anti-Irish political agendas. A 20 Feb 1994 article in The Sunday Times (London) revealed Terry George’s criminal history and “links to the Irish National Liberation Army.” In the mid-1970s, George served three years in a Northern Ireland prison for “possession of a loaded gun with intent to endanger life.” Filmmakers responded to the news by saying they had never tried to hide George’s criminal history, and noted that the Belfast-born screenwriter was arrested at a time when strict measures were in force that stipulated anyone in an automobile where guns were found was treated as “collectively guilty.”
       The film concludes with the following title cards: “Gerry Conlon lives in London. Upon his release from prison, he, along with Gareth Peirce and Sarah Conlon, campaigned to clear Guiseppe Conlon’s name. Paddy Armstrong returned to Ireland. Presently, he lives in Dublin. Carole Richardson lives in England. She is married with one child. Paul Hill recently married Courtney Kennedy, daughter of Robert Kennedy. They live in New York”; “A government inquiry was ordered into the convictions of Guiseppe Conlon and the Maguire family. The inquiry discovered evidence affecting the reliability and credibility of the prosecution forensic scientists and determined that on this basis alone, the Court of Appeal conviction should be overturned”; “The IRA men who admitted they were responsible for the Guildford pub bombing have never been charged with the offense. They remain in British prisons to this day. Three ex-detectives were acquitted of conspiring to pervert the course of justice after their trial May 19, 1993. No policeman has been convicted of any crime in this case. Guiseppe Conlon is buried in Milltown Cemetery, Belfast.”
       End credits include the following acknowledgments: “The following individuals were instrumental in gaining freedom for the Guildford four: Alastair Logan, Sister Sarah Clarke, Errol & Theresa Reilly, Grant McKee & Ros Franey, Robert Kee, Mike Fisher, Cardinal Basil Hume, Lord Devlin, Lord Scarman”; and, “Thanks to: Jane Abernathy; Chris Blackwell; Gerry Browne; Joe Dapello; Eric Darnas; Department of An Taoiseach; Department of Defence, Ireland; Department of Justice, Ireland; Dublin Corporation; Graham Easton; Gerry Fay; Gerry Fleming; Film Office, Liverpool; Barbara Galavan; An Garda Siochana; Marie George; Governor Bernard Power, Staff & Prisoners, St. Patrick’s Institution; Governor John Lonergan, Staff & Prisoners, Mountjoy Jail; Hannah Greenfield; Guinness (Ireland) Ltd.; Billy Hinshelwood; Declan McGonagle, Frank Brennan & Staff Irish Museum of Modern Art; Niall Irwin; Sue Jacobs; Willie Kane; Pat Keenan; Anne Louise Kelly; George Lamon; Finn Lawless; Tiernan McBride & Pat Murphy; Larry McEvoy, Celtic Productions (NY); Merseyside Police; Paddy Mulryan; Charlie O’Neill; Paddy O’Toole; Pat Cooke/John Toolin, Office of Public Works; Gareth Peirce; People of Liverpool; People of Sheriff Street, Dublin; George Roe; Fran, Naomi, Kirsten & Tess Sheridan; Paddy Teahon; Telecom Eireann; Karl Unger; Gail Clark; Gerry Edemann; Keith Edemann; Alfie L. Florence; Albert Gasser; Leonard Geschke, MPSE; Nils Charles Jensen; Gary Krivacek; Donald J. Malouf; Rod Rogers; Phil Slattery; Bud Smith; Whiting; Kerry Dean Williams”; “Chief of Morale – Mick Tohill”; “Scene from ‘The Godfather’ courtesy of Paramount Pictures. Special thanks to Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Francis Ford Coppola”; and, “Filmed on location in Dublin & Liverpool and at Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin and Ardmore Studios, Ireland.”
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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
Apr 1994.
---
Chicago Tribune
18 Mar 1994.
---
Daily Variety
6 Oct 1992.
---
Daily Variety
20 Dec 1993
p. 12.
Daily Variety
3 Oct 1994.
---
Hollywood Reporter
10 Mar 1993.
---
Hollywood Reporter
6 Oct 1993.
---
Hollywood Reporter
20 Dec 1993
p. 6, 16.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jan 1994
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Feb 1994
p. 6, 47, 49.
Los Angeles Daily News
26 Aug 1993.
---
Los Angeles Times
3 Oct 1993
Calendar, p. 28.
Los Angeles Times
29 Dec 1993
Calendar, p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
20 Jan 1994
Calendar, p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
29 Jan 1994
Calendar, p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
4 Feb 1994
Calendar, p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
7 Mar 1994
p. 3.
New York Times
29 Dec 1993
Section C, p. 11.
Newsday
28 Jan 1993
p. 11.
People
24 Jan 1994.
---
The Observer (London)
6 Feb 1994.
---
The Sunday Times (London)
20 Feb 1994.
---
The Times (London)
7 Dec 1992.
---
Variety
29 Nov 1993.
---
Variety
27 Dec 1993
p. 50, 52.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
and introducing
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Universal Pictures presents
A Hell's Kitchen/Gabriel Byrne production
A Jim Sheridan film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
3d asst dir
Dir, 2d unit crew
A.D., 2d unit crew
A.D., 2d unit crew
Prod mgr, UK crew
1st asst dir, UK crew
3d asst dir, UK crew
PRODUCERS
Co-prod
Asst co-prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Co-exec prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Focus puller
Clapper loader
Key grip
Cam trainee
Stills photog
2d cam op
Video crew
Video crew
Chief lighting tech
Gaffer
Elec
Genny op
Genny op
Practical elec
Rigging gaffer
Chargehand rigger
Rigger
Rigger
Rigger
Rigger
Asst to stills photog
Op, 2d unit crew
Focus puller, 2d unit crew
Focus puller, 2d unit crew
Focus puller, 2d unit crew
Loader, 2d unit crew
Loader, 2d unit crew
Genny op, 2d unit crew
Grip/Driver, 2d unit crew
Gaffer, 2d unit crew
Focus puller, UK crew
Clapper loader, UK crew
2d cam op, UK crew
2d cam focus, UK crew
2d cam loader, UK crew
Genny op, UK crew
Genny op, UK crew
Elec, UK crew
Elec, UK crew
Elec, UK crew
Elec, UK crew
Elec, UK crew
Elec, UK crew
Elec, UK crew
Elec, UK crew
Elec, UK crew
Elec equip
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Asst art dir
Asst art dir
Murals
Art dept asst
Art dept trainee
Art dir, UK crew
FILM EDITORS
Addl ed
2d asst ed
3rd asst ed
3rd asst ed
Trainee ed
Trainee ed
Ed intern
SET DECORATORS
Const mgr
Prop buyer
Prop buyer (UK)
Draughtsman
Scenic artist
Asst to buyer
Prop master
Chargehand props
Dressing props
Dressing props
Dressing props
Dressing props
Dressing props
Standby props
Standby props
Trainee props
Armourer
Chargehand carpenter
Chargehand carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Machinist
Master painter
Painter
Carpenter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Chargehand plasterer
Plasterer
Plasterer
Plasterer
Plasterer
Stagehand
Stagehand
Stagehand
Stagehand
Stagehand
Stagehand
Metal worker
Prop master, UK crew
Prop master, UK crew
Dressing props, UK crew
Props, UK crew
Props, UK crew
Const mgr, UK crew
COSTUMES
Cost des
Ward supv
Ward supv
Asst ward
Asst ward
Ward trainee
Ward trainee
Ward trainee
Ward intern
MUSIC
Orig song by
Orig song by
Orig song by
Mus consultant
Mus performed by
Synthesisers performed by
Synthesisers performed by
Synthesisers programmed by
Solo Ewi performed by
Mus cond by
Rec and mixed by
Asst eng
Asst eng
Temp mus
Mus rec/Mixed at
Mus rec/Mixed at
Mus rec/Mixed at
Mus rec/Mixed at
Mus rec/Mixed at
Copyist
Assoc prod for Contemporary Media Music Production
Mus co-ord for Contemporary Media Music Production
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Sd trainee
Sd ed
Asst sd ed
Dial ed
ADR ed
ADR mixer
Foley ed
Foley mixer
Foley artist
Foley artist
Addl sd ed
Addl sd ed
Addl sd ed
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Sd, 2d unit crew
Sd, 2d unit crew
Boom op, UK crew
Post prod & ADR rec at
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff supv
Sr SFX tech
Sr SFX tech
Sr SFX tech
Sr SFX tech
Asst SFX tech
Titles and opticals
Title des
MAKEUP
Make-up artist
Asst make-up
Make-up trainee
Make-up trainee
Make-up trainee
Hairdresser
Asst hairdresser
Trainee hairdresser
Trainee hairdresser
Make-up/Hair asst, UK crew
Make-up/Hair asst, UK crew
Make-up/Hair asst, UK crew
Make-up/Hair asst, UK crew
Make-up/Hair asst, UK crew
Make-up/Hair asst, UK crew
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
Playback op
Scr supv
Loc mgr
Prod accountant
Prod coord
Dial coach
Asst to buyer
Extras P.A.
Trainee A.D.
Trainee A.D.
Trainee A.D.
Trainee A.D.
Prod office runner
Set asst
Dir's asst
Dir's asst
Dir's secy
Mr. Day-Lewis' asst
Transport capt
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Researcher & spec extras
Unit nurse
Unit pub
Asst casting dir
Asst casting dir
Asst loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Loc asst
Loc asst
Loc scout
Asst accountant
Accounts asst
Loc mgr, 2d unit crew
Cont, 2d unit crew
Loc mgr, UK crew
Loc mgr, UK crew
Asst loc mgr, UK crew
Asst loc mgr, UK crew
Co-ord, UK crew
Co-ord, UK crew
Scr supv, UK crew
Loc accountant, UK crew
Crowd casting, UK crew
Asst, UK crew
Asst, UK crew
Trainee A.D., UK crew
Trainee A.D., UK crew
Trainee A.D., UK crew
Office runner, UK crew
Courtroom adv, UK crew
Courtroom adv, UK crew
Catering mgr, UK crew
Catering, UK crew
Caterer, UK crew
Transport mgr, UK crew
Driver, UK crew
Driver, UK crew
Driver, UK crew
Driver, UK crew
Courier
Caterers
Travel agent
Insurance broker
Insurance broker
Prod counsel
Prod counsel
Bankers
Completion guarantor
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stand-in
Stand-in
Stand-in
Stand-in, UK crew
Stand-in, UK crew
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Lab consultant
Col by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the autobiographical book Proved Innocent by Gerry Conlon (London
New York, 1991).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"In The Name Of The Father," performed by Bono and Gavin Friday, written by Bono/Friday/Seezer, published by Blue Mountain Music (UK), Mother Music/Blue Mountain Music (Eire), Taiyo Music/Blue Mountain Music (Japan), Polygram Music/Blue Mountain Music (ROW), ⓟ
1993 Island Records Limited
"Voodoo Child (Slight Return)," performed by The Jimi Hendrix Experience, written by Jimi Hendrix, ⓟ
+
SONGS
"In The Name Of The Father," performed by Bono and Gavin Friday, written by Bono/Friday/Seezer, published by Blue Mountain Music (UK), Mother Music/Blue Mountain Music (Eire), Taiyo Music/Blue Mountain Music (Japan), Polygram Music/Blue Mountain Music (ROW), ⓟ
1993 Island Records Limited
"Voodoo Child (Slight Return)," performed by The Jimi Hendrix Experience, written by Jimi Hendrix, ⓟ
1968 Polygram International Music BV (Baarn), © 1968 Bella Godiva Music, Inc. (ASCAP), administered for the world by Don Williams Music Group Inc., courtesy of Elber B.V.
"Like A Rolling Stone," performed by Bob Dylan, written by Bob Dylan, published by Special Rider Music, courtesy of Columbia Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
"Billy Boola," performed by Gavin Friday and Bono, written by Bono/Friday/Seezer, published by Blue Mountain Music (UK), Mother Music/Blue Mountain Music (Eire), Taiyo Music/Blue Mountain Music (Japan), Polygram Music/Blue Mountain Music (ROW), ⓟ
Island Records Limited
"Tiger Feet," performed by Mud, written and produced by Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman for Chinnichap, published by BMG Music Publishing Ltd., courtesy of EMI Records and Arista Records Inc.
"Dedicated Follower Of Fashion," performed by The Kinks, written and composed by Ray Davies, used by kind permission of Davray Music Ltd. and Carlin Music Corp., courtesy of Castle Copyrights Ltd.
"Leader Of The Gang," composed by Glitter/Leander, published by MCA Music Ltd.
"Happy Birthday," written by Patty Hill and Mildred Hill, published by Keith Prowse Music Publishing Co. Ltd.
"Is This Love," performed by Bob Marley, composer/writer - Bob Marley, publisher Bob Marley Ltd./Blue Mountain Music, courtesy of Tuff Gong/Island Records, Inc.
"In The Name Of The Blues," performed by Pete Cummins & John Fitzgibbon, writers Cummins/Fitzgibbon
"The Godfather," composed by Nino Rota, © Famous Music Corporation, by kind permission of Warner Chappell Music Ltd.
"Whiskey In The Jar," performed by Thin Lizzy, composer/writer Lynott/Bell/Downey, publisher Polygram Music Publishing Ltd., ⓟ
1972 Decca Record Co. Ltd., courtesy of Polygram Record Operations Ltd.
"(You Made Me The) Thief Of Your Heart," performed by Sinéad O'Connor, written by Bono/Friday/Seezer, published by Blue Mountain Music (UK), Mother Music/Blue Mountain Music (Eire), Taiyo Music/Blue Mountain Music (Japan), Polygram Music/Blue Mountain Music (ROW), ⓟ
1993 Island Records Limited. Sinéad O'Connor's performance by courtesy of Ensign Records Limited.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Gerry Conlon Story
Release Date:
29 December 1993
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 29 December 1993
Production Date:
began early or mid March 1993
Copyright Claimant:
Universal City Studios, Inc.
Copyright Date:
24 January 1994
Copyright Number:
PA662707
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo in selected theatres; The digital experience DTS in selected theatres
Color
Lenses
Filmed with JDC® cameras & lenses
Duration(in mins):
132
MPAA Rating:
R
Countries:
United Kingdom, Ireland, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
32820
SYNOPSIS

In 1989, British solicitor Gareth Peirce reviews an audiocassette recorded by Gerry Conlon, explaining the events leading up to his wrongful conviction for the 1974 Irish Republican Army (IRA) bombing of the Guildford Pub in London, England. In 1970s Belfast, Ireland, as British troops comb the streets for IRA insurgents, young Gerry Conlon, a petty thief, is mistaken for an IRA sniper. Gerry and his accomplice, Danny, incite a riot as British tanks chase them, and neighborhood friends and acquaintances come to their aid. Later, Gerry’s father, Guiseppe Conlon, gets word that the IRA has taken his son. Guiseppe comes to Gerry’s rescue. Although an IRA operative is willing to release the young men, he forbids Gerry from causing any more trouble with the British army. Gerry is sent to stay with his Aunt Annie Maguire in London. On the boat ride there, he reunites with childhood friend Paul Hill. Instead of staying with Annie, Gerry looks up his friend, Paddy Armstrong, who has joined a hippie commune in a dilapidated “squat.” Gerry and Paul join the commune. However, with terrorist IRA bombings in London on the rise, tensions mount between Irish and British commune members. One day, Paul gets into a shouting match with “Deptford Jim,” and Gerry announces they are leaving. The young men go to a park, where they share a bench with a homeless man named Charlie Burke. Nearby, the Guildford Pub is bombed. Gerry and Paul leave the park to wander the streets. Gerry breaks into the apartment of a high-class prostitute and steals £700. Dressed in flamboyant clothes purchased with the stolen cash, Gerry goes home to Belfast for a visit. Meanwhile, police ... +


In 1989, British solicitor Gareth Peirce reviews an audiocassette recorded by Gerry Conlon, explaining the events leading up to his wrongful conviction for the 1974 Irish Republican Army (IRA) bombing of the Guildford Pub in London, England. In 1970s Belfast, Ireland, as British troops comb the streets for IRA insurgents, young Gerry Conlon, a petty thief, is mistaken for an IRA sniper. Gerry and his accomplice, Danny, incite a riot as British tanks chase them, and neighborhood friends and acquaintances come to their aid. Later, Gerry’s father, Guiseppe Conlon, gets word that the IRA has taken his son. Guiseppe comes to Gerry’s rescue. Although an IRA operative is willing to release the young men, he forbids Gerry from causing any more trouble with the British army. Gerry is sent to stay with his Aunt Annie Maguire in London. On the boat ride there, he reunites with childhood friend Paul Hill. Instead of staying with Annie, Gerry looks up his friend, Paddy Armstrong, who has joined a hippie commune in a dilapidated “squat.” Gerry and Paul join the commune. However, with terrorist IRA bombings in London on the rise, tensions mount between Irish and British commune members. One day, Paul gets into a shouting match with “Deptford Jim,” and Gerry announces they are leaving. The young men go to a park, where they share a bench with a homeless man named Charlie Burke. Nearby, the Guildford Pub is bombed. Gerry and Paul leave the park to wander the streets. Gerry breaks into the apartment of a high-class prostitute and steals £700. Dressed in flamboyant clothes purchased with the stolen cash, Gerry goes home to Belfast for a visit. Meanwhile, police question Deptford Jim about the Guildford pub bombing, and he suggests Paul and Gerry might have been involved. The Prevention of Terrorism Act, which allows suspects to be held for seven days without formal charges, is passed days before Paul and Gerry are arrested. British police inspector Robert Dixon and Detective Pavis subject the young men to coercion, mental and physical torture, and sleep deprivation to elicit confessions. Commune members Paddy Armstrong and Carole Richardson are also brought in for questioning. Gerry maintains his innocence until Det. Pavis threatens to kill his father, at which point he signs a false confession. Paul, Paddy Armstrong, and Carole Richardson also give false confessions, and with Gerry, they come to be known as “the Guildford Four.” Meanwhile, Guiseppe Conlon, Annie Maguire, and members of Annie’s family are arrested under suspicion of aiding and abetting the Guildford Four. Gerry and his father are held in the same jail cell. A guilt-ridden Gerry insists he is innocent, then blames his father for never recognizing his accomplishments, only his failures. Gerry believes this is what drove him to become a petty thief. He hits himself in the head until Guiseppe comforts him. Gerry, Guiseppe, and the nine other defendants are tried simultaneously. The prosecution submits evidence that traces of nitroglycerine were found in Annie Maguire’s home, where they suggest the bomb was built and stored. When Gerry is called to the witness stand, he states that he was in the park with Paul and Charlie Burke at the time of the bombing, and he confesses to robbing a prostitute’s home. He claims he only signed a confession after police tortured him and threatened to kill his father. Inspector Dixon refutes Gerry’s testimony, and the jury finds all eleven defendants guilty. The Guildford Four are sentenced to life in prison, with a minimum of thirty years, and the others receive shorter sentences. Gerry and his father are sent to the same maximum-security prison, where they are ostracized and forced to eat meals in their cell. Meanwhile, Joe McAndrew, an IRA operative, is arrested. Charged with other crimes, he confesses to the Guildford pub bombing and informs Inspector Dixon and Det. Pavis that they convicted the wrong men. Although Pavis, who is originally from Belfast, wants to address the mistake, Dixon forbids him from doing so. Joe McAndrew is assigned to the same prison as the Conlons. Upon arrival, he tells the innocent men that he committed the Guildford pub bombing, and claims police cannot afford to face the truth. McAndrew offers to help them as long as they are incarcerated, but Guiseppe does not want help from a murderer. Gerry accuses his dad of having a victim mentality. Gerry begins following McAndrew, who organizes a prisoner uprising. The protest makes news, and brings attention to the Conlons’ claims of innocence. Riot police are sent to the prison, where Guiseppe, Gerry, and McAndrew are singled out as ringleaders. Guiseppe is badly beaten, and his already poor health declines even further. After order is restored, solicitor Gareth Peirce visits the prison and speaks to Guiseppe about an appeal. Gerry does not trust lawyers and refuses to speak with her. Meanwhile, McAndrew orchestrates an attack on Barker, the chief prison officer. With help from other inmates, McAndrew sets Barker on fire during a movie screening. Gerry is horrified and uses a blanket to put out the fire. Disillusioned with McAndrew and worried about his father’s failing health, Gerry changes his mind and begins recording audiocassettes for Gareth Peirce, to help with the appeal. Concerned that Guiseppe might die in prison, Gareth Peirce pleads for “compassionate parole,” but Inspector Dixon is unwilling to grant it. One night, while lying in bed, Gerry hears his father stop breathing and calls for help. Guiseppe is taken away. Hours later, Gerry is told his father has passed away. A protest is held to free the Guildford Four. Gerry is transferred to a Scottish prison, making it harder for Gareth Peirce to visit. During her investigation, Gareth stumbles upon secret documents in police archives showing that the homeless man, Charlie Burke, was interviewed, and provided Gerry and Paul an alibi, but prosecutors hid the information from the defense. Gareth presents the evidence in court, arguing that Inspector Dixon knew all along that Gerry and his fellow defendants were innocent; but, he was under pressure to convict the bombers, and filed charges anyway. Inspector Dixon is speechless on the witness stand, and the judge dismisses the case. Finally free, Gerry, Paul Hill, Paddy Armstrong, and Carole Richardson are met by jubilant protestors outside the courthouse. Gerry vows to continue fighting until the names of his father and other relatives are cleared. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.