New York Times - 12/29/1993
"...[Sheridan's] direction is plain and amazingly resonant....Day-Lewis gives another dazzling performance in what is so far the role of his career..."
Entertainment Weekly - 02/11/1994
"...[A] passionately charged political thriller..." -- Rating: A-
Total Film - 08/01/2000
"...[With] powerful performances and intelligent direction..."
Based on Gerry Conlon's autobiography, PROVED INNOCENT, Jim Sheridan's IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER tells the tumultuous and wrenching tale of a man wrongfully imprisoned in 1974 for the bombing of a London pub. Daniel Day-Lewis stars as Conlon, a young Irish petty thief living in London who gets picked up after he and a friend, Paul Hill (John Lynch), rob a hooker's apartment. The British police, desperate to produce results in their search for the culprits in the pub bombing, force a false confession out of Conlon after subjecting him to days of sadistic torture and threats. The Guildford Four--Conlon, Hill, Paddy Armstrong (Mark Sheppard), and Carole Richardson (Beatie Edney)--are found guilty of the bombing, and members of Conlon's family, including his sickly father, Guiseppe, are imprisoned as co-conspirators. Conlon's desire to bring the truth to light builds as his harrowing incarceration in a maximum security prison stretches on.
The relationship between Conlon and his father, played with silent strength by Pete Postlethwaite, provides a stirring pulse at the core of this portrait of politically motivated injustice. Emma Thompson also turns in a fine performance as the lawyer who stubbornly battles for Conlon's exoneration. And Day-Lewis, who won the Academy Award for Best Actor in MY LEFT FOOT, an earlier collaboration with director Sheridan, adds to his impressive body of work with a mind-boggling performance erupting with rage, pride, heart, and courage.
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IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER was extremely popular in Ireland, quickly becoming one of the most successful films in the country's history.
Jim Sheridan founded Dublin's Project Arts Centre, the home training ground for actors Liam Neeson, Stephen Rea, and Gabriel Byrne.
At the time of the Guildford Four's sentencing (on October 22, 1975), presiding judge Sir John Donaldson stated that he regretted they had not been charged with treason, for then he could have sentenced them to death.
There were more than 100 discrepancies in the Guildford Four's confessions.
Gerry Conlon lives in London. Upon his release from prison, he, along with Gareth Pierce and Sarah Conlon, campaigned to clear Guiseppe Conlon's name. Guiseppe Conlon is buried in Milltown Cemetary, Belfast.
Paddy Armstrong returned to Ireland.
Carole Richardson lives in England. She is married with one child.
Paul Hill married Courtney Kennedy, daughter of Robert Kennedy. They live in New York.
Three ex-detectives on the case were acquitted of conspiring to pervert the course of justice after their trial on May 19, 1993.
The IRA men who admitted they were responsible for the Guilford pub bombing have never been charged with the offense. They remain in British prisons.
Jim Sheridan almost cast U2's lead singer Bono in the lead role but the group was on tour. Bono contributed the title theme for the film's soundtrack.
This marks the reunion of Irish director Jim Sheridan and British-born actor Daniel Day-Lewis. They worked together on Sheridan's debut feature film MY LEFT FOOT, which earned Day-Lewis a Best Actor Oscar in 1989 for his portrayal of quadraplegic writer Christy Brown.
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