Based on the true story of accused IRA bomber Gerry Conlon, Jim Sheridan's IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER is the powerful saga of an unlikely Irish martyr wrongfully imprisoned by the British government. Sheridan takes a controversial subject and gives it wider appeal by focusing on the
family drama of two men who are also political prisoners.
In 1974, the Irish Republican Army bombs a pub in Guildford, England, killing five people. British police detain a number of suspects, including Gerry Conlon (Daniel Day-Lewis)--who has recently moved to London from Belfast--and his friend Paul. Gerry returns to his family in Belfast, and the
police arrest him and three of his commune friends. The Guildford Four are ruthlessly interrogated for seven days until they each sign bogus confessions; Gerry's relatives--including his father Giuseppe (Pete Postlethwaite)--are unjustly charged with abetting the IRA and given harsh sentences.
Father and son are imprisoned together; Giuseppe dies after years of cruel confinement, and Gerry pours his energy into exonerating his family, helped by English solicitor Gareth Peirce (Emma Thompson).
Sheridan explores a controversial, real-life political injustice, complete with police interrogations, courtroom antics, and prison confrontations, but his real interest is Gerry's relationship with his dad. Sheridan demonizes both the British police and the IRA, leaving the Guildford Four as
symbols of injustice, with no specific national, political, or ethnic affiliation. Though the facts have been manipulated in the interests of drama--Gerry and Giuseppe were never imprisoned together, etc.--this has been done in a brave and responsible way, shedding light on an important episode in
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- Released: 1993
- Rating: R
- Review: Based on the true story of accused IRA bomber Gerry Conlon, Jim Sheridan's IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER is the powerful saga of an unlikely Irish martyr wrongfully imprisoned by the British government. Sheridan takes a controversial subject and gives it wider… (more)