In the Name of the Father
|In the Name of the Father|
|Publication date||17 December 1993|
In the Name of the Father is a 1993 Irish-British-American biographical courtroom drama film co-written and directed by Jim Sheridan. It is based on the true life story of the Guildford Four, four people wrongly convicted of the 1974 Guildford pub bombings, which killed four off-duty British soldiers and a civilian. The screenplay was adapted by Terry George and Jim Sheridan from the autobiography Proved Innocent: The Story of Gerry Conlon of the Guildford Four by Gerry Conlon.
The film was positively received by critics, and received seven Academy Award nominations, including Best Actor in a Leading Role (Daniel Day-Lewis), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Pete Postlethwaite), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Emma Thompson), Best Director, and Best Picture.
Gerry Conlon (Daniel Day-Lewis) is shown in Belfast stripping lead from roofs of houses when security forces home in on the district with armoured cars, and a riot breaks out. Gerry's father, Giuseppe Conlon (Pete Postlethwaite), later saves him from IRA punishment, and he is sent off to London to stay with his aunt, for his own good. Instead, he finds a squat, to explore, as he puts it, "free love and dope". One evening by chance he gains entry to a prostitute's flat and he steals the £700 he finds stashed inside; on that evening in Guildford there is an explosion at a pub that kills four off-duty soldiers and a civilian, and wounds sixty-five others.
While Gerry has returned to Belfast to show off his stolen money, one of the squat residents talks to the authorities and the Conlon home is raided by the British Army and Royal Ulster Constabulary, who arrest Gerry and immediately place him on a military flight to the mainland UK. Gerry and his friend, Paul Hill (John Lynch) are interrogated by police who torture and threaten them until both finally agree to sign a confession after being held for up to seven days under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. When Gerry's father, Giuseppe travels from Belfast to England to help his son, he is arrested at the aunt's home. In the subsequent trial, his aunt's family (known as the Maguire Seven, including his father) are convicted of supporting the bombing on the basis of unsubstantiated nitroglycerin traces, and the four, including Gerry, are sentenced to long terms of imprisonment.
Gerry's time in prison shows a progression from a bitter son who rails at his father to an awakening when he discovers the real perpetrator of the bombing in the same facility. When this man leads a prison protest and then sets a hated prison guard on fire, Gerry is the one who saves the man with a blanket. Gerry takes over the fight for justice himself when his father dies in custody. His case becomes public, gaining support from Dublin, Belfast and London. A common slogan used by his supporters is "Free The Four".
Gareth Peirce (Emma Thompson), a campaigning lawyer who has been investigating the case on behalf of Giuseppe in the wake of public campaigns demanding the release of the accused, has a breakthrough when she tries to access Giuseppe's file and is able to look instead at Gerry's. She finds vital police documents in the file that are marked "Not to be shown to the Defence". During the course of their appeal, the production of these documents leads to a triumphant scene in court when Peirce produces the evidence that the police officers have been lying all the way through, which leads to the exoneration and release of the Guildford Four.
The film ends with a triumphant Gerry revealing his story to the media and proclaiming his father's innocence. Title cards reveal the current activities of the Four, the exoneration of the Maguire Seven, that the police were acquitted of any wrongdoing, and that the real perpetrators of the Guildford bombing have not been charged with the crime.
- Daniel Day-Lewis as Gerry Conlon
- Pete Postlethwaite as Giuseppe Conlon
- John Lynch as Paul Hill
- Mark Sheppard as Paddy Armstrong
- Beatie Edney as Carole Richardson
- Emma Thompson as Gareth Peirce
- Anthony Brophy as Danny
- Frankie McCafferty as Tommo
- Maureen McBride as Mother
- Don Baker as Joe McAndrew
- Corin Redgrave as Inspector Robert Dixon
- Gerard McSorley as Detective Pavis
- Frank Harper as Ronnie Smalls
- Jamie Harris as Deptford Jim
- Tom Wilkinson as Grant Richardson
- Kelly McKeavney as Young Girl in Riot Scene
To prepare for the role of Gerry Conlon, Day-Lewis lost over 50 pounds in weight. To gain an insight into Conlon's thoughts and feelings at the time, Day-Lewis also spent 3 days and nights in a jail cell. He was prevented from sleeping by a group of thugs, who would bang on the door every 10 minutes with tin cups through the night, then was interrogated by 3 different teams of real Special Branch officers for 9 hours. He would also insist that crew members throw cold water at him and verbally abuse him. He also kept his Northern Irish accent on and off set.
In the Name of the Father won the Golden Bear at the 44th Berlin International Film Festival.
The film was also nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Actor in a Leading Role (Daniel Day-Lewis), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Pete Postlethwaite), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Emma Thompson), Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Picture and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium.
The film received very positive reviews from most critics. The review aggregator websites Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic both scored the film very highly, with Rotten Tomatoes giving it 95% and a 'certified fresh' rating, while Metacritic has given it 84% and a 'universal acclaim' rating. In the 54 Best Legal Films of all-time, In the Name of the Father is cited.
The soundtrack of the film includes the song "You Made Me the Thief of Your Heart" performed by Sinéad O'Connor and written by Bono, Gavin Friday, and Maurice Seezer. It also includes "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" performed by The Jimi Hendrix Experience. However, the Bob Dylan Song "Like a Rolling Stone" was not included on the album due to licensing restrictions.
The soundtrack on sale featured these songs:
- Bono and Gavin Friday - "In the Name of the Father" (5:42)
- The Jimi Hendrix Experience - "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" (5:09)
- Bono and Gavin Friday - "Billy Boola" (3:45)
- The Kinks - "Dedicated Follower of Fashion" (3:00)
- Trevor Jones - "Interrogation" (7:11)
- Bob Marley and the Wailers - "Is This Love" (3:51)
- Trevor Jones - "Walking the Circle" (4:42)
- Thin Lizzy - "Whiskey in the Jar" (5:44)
- Trevor Jones - "Passage of Time" (5:52)
- Sinéad O'Connor - "You Made Me the Thief of Your Heart" (6:21)
- South Lotts, Dublin, Ireland (used for opening Belfast scenes)
- Sheriff Street, Dublin, Ireland (Sheriff Street flats complex (now demolished) used for riot scene)
- Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin, Ireland (as Park Royal Prison)
- Liverpool, England (used for many London scenes)
- Manchester, England (used for external court scenes)
- Pallister, David (19 October 1999). "An injustice that still reverberates". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 12 July 2011.Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css must have content model "Sanitized CSS" for TemplateStyles (current model is "plain text").
- The Irish Filmography 1896–1996; Red Mountain Press; 1996. Page 59.
- "Berlinale: 1994 Prize Winners". berlinale.de. Retrieved 15 June 2011.Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css must have content model "Sanitized CSS" for TemplateStyles (current model is "plain text").
- "In The Name Of the Father Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. IGN Entertainment, Inc. Retrieved 28 February 2012.Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css must have content model "Sanitized CSS" for TemplateStyles (current model is "plain text").
- "In the Name of the Father Reviews". Metacritic. CNET Networks, Inc. Retrieved 28 February 2012.Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css must have content model "Sanitized CSS" for TemplateStyles (current model is "plain text").