USA Today - 03/26/1997
"...[A] subliminally moody dark tone....The movie is crafted by pros..."
New York Times - 03/26/1997
"...[Pitt] gives a first-rate, madly photogenic performance....THE DEVIL'S OWN delivers two traffic-stopping star turns for the price of one..."
Entertainment Weekly - 03/21/1997
"...[A] quiet, absorbing, shades-of-gray drama....THE DEVIL'S OWN knows the true price of violence..."
THE DEVIL'S OWN, Alan J. Pakula's last film, is a character-driven thriller that confronts suspense and gritty realism head-on. Harrison Ford plays Tom O'Meara, an Irish-American cop in New York who opens his home and family to Francis "Frankie" McGuire (Brad Pitt), whom they believe is a refuge-seeking immigrant from Belfast. They later discover that their visitor is an IRA rebel on a terrorist mission. Buoyed by tense, strong performances from both stars, the film is ultimately a tragedy that explores the unexpected friendship of two men of similar ethnic roots, yet of different places, times, and values, and the cruel and senseless cycle of violence they face.
Description by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment:
Harrison Ford and Brad Pitt star in this harrowing thriller about an IRA gunman who draws an American family into the crossfire of terrorism. Frankie McGuire (Pitt) is one of the IRA's deadliest assassins. But when he is sent to the U.S. to buy weapons, Frankie is housed with the family of Tom O'Meara (Ford), a New York cop who knows nothing about Frankie's real identity. Their surprising friendship, and Tom's growing suspicions, forces Frankie to choose between the promise of peace or a lifetime of murder.
THE DEVIL'S OWN is an intelligent suspense thriller by award-winning director Alan J. Pakula. Francis "Frankie" McGuire (Brad Pitt) is an IRA terrorist fueled by the need to avenge his father's execution, which he witnessed as a child in Belfast, Northern Ireland. McGuire comes to New York under an alias on a mission to acquire missiles for use back home in the Northern Irish fight for independence from the British. Needing a hideout, he's placed in the home of Irish-American Tom O'Meara (Harrison Ford), an ethical family man whose background as a veteran cop presents a perfect cover. However, an unexpected bond develops between the two men, and Frankie finds himself viewing O'Meara as a long-lost father figure. Yet the men's friendship is doomed by the weight of Frankie's lies, his secret mission, and the violent world that he belongs to--one that is bound to invade his protector's house. The film, revealing a complex plot and equally complex characters, was the last directorial effort from Pakula, who died in a tragic car accident.
The film was shot in New York City and the surrounding boroughs as well as in New Jersey and Northern Ireland.
Brad Pitt wanted to leave the production, but Alan Pakula relayed to him that Jane Fonda had also wanted to quit KLUTE. She chose to stay on and ended up earning an Academy Award. Brad Pitt remained with THE DEVIL'S OWN but did not have similar success with the academy for this film.