A Prayer For The Dying

  • 1987
  • 1 HR 44 MIN
  • R
  • Crime

Pared down to its basics, A PRAYER FOR THE DYING is a film about moral self-examination, addressing the dilemma "to kill or not to kill." It's an honest attempt to understand the morality of murder, but it sinks, however unintentionally, into campiness and treacly melodrama. As the picture opens, Martin Fallon (Mickey Rourke, in an excellent, chameleonic...read more

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Pared down to its basics, A PRAYER FOR THE DYING is a film about moral self-examination, addressing the dilemma "to kill or not to kill." It's an honest attempt to understand the morality of murder, but it sinks, however unintentionally, into campiness and treacly melodrama. As the picture

opens, Martin Fallon (Mickey Rourke, in an excellent, chameleonic performance) and two fellow IRA terrorists accidentally blow up a school bus instead of a British military transport. Fallon's pals escape, but Fallon, who is devastated by the incident, turns his back on the Cause and escapes to

London, where he hopes to find safe passage to the US. Instead, the IRA and the British police tail him, forcing him to depend on ruthless gangster Jack Meehan (Alan Bates), for a passport. Riddled with production problems (the initial director, Franc Roddam, left the project, citing irreparable

script problems), A PRAYER FOR THE DYING fails on nearly all counts. Rourke, who later disowned the film, directed a personal attack at studio head Sam Goldwyn, Jr.: "I was making a small movie that I hoped would make things clearer about what's going on [in Northern Ireland]. He wanted to turn it

into a big commercial extravaganza-type thing." The work that resulted corresponds to neither of these visions.

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  • Released: 1987
  • Rating: R
  • Review: Pared down to its basics, A PRAYER FOR THE DYING is a film about moral self-examination, addressing the dilemma "to kill or not to kill." It's an honest attempt to understand the morality of murder, but it sinks, however unintentionally, into campiness and… (more)

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