|In the Name of the Father|
|Directed by||Jim Sheridan|
|Based on||Proved Innocent: The Story of Gerry Conlon of the Guildford Four|
by Gerry Conlon
|Produced by||Jim Sheridan|
|Edited by||Gerry Hambling|
|Music by||Trevor Jones|
Hell's Kitchen Films
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Box office||$65.8 million|
In the Name of the Father is a 1993 biographical crime drama film co-written and directed by Jim Sheridan. It is based on the true story of the Guildford Four, four people falsely 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 1990 autobiography Proved Innocent: The Story of Gerry Conlon of the Guildford Four by Gerry Conlon.
The film grossed $65 million at the box office and received overwhelmingly positive reviews. It was nominated for seven Oscars at the 66th 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, and Best Picture.
In Belfast, Gerry Conlon is mistaken for an IRA sniper by British security forces and pursued until a riot breaks out. Gerry is sent to London by his father Giuseppe to dissuade an IRA reprisal against him.
One evening, Gerry burgles a prostitute's flat and steals £700. While he is taking drugs in a park with his friend Paul Hill, alongside homeless Irishman Charlie Burke, an explosion in Guildford occurs, killing four off-duty soldiers plus a civilian as well as injuring many others. Returning to Belfast sometime later, Gerry is captured by the British Army and Royal Ulster Constabulary and arrested on terrorism charges.
Gerry maintains his innocence, but signs a confession after the police threaten to kill his father, who is later arrested along with other members of the Conlon family, later dubbed the Maguire Seven. At his trial, although Gerry's defence points out numerous inconsistencies in the police investigation, he, along with the rest of the Guildford Four, is sentenced to life imprisonment.
During their time in prison Gerry and Giuseppe are approached by new inmate Joe McAndrew, who informs them that he was the real perpetrator of the bombing and had confessed this to the police. They, in order to save face, withheld this new information.
Though Gerry warms to Joe, his opinion changes when Joe sets a hated prison guard on fire during a riot. Giuseppe later dies in custody, leaving Gerry to take over his father's campaign for justice.
Giuseppe's lawyer Gareth Peirce, who had been investigating the case on Giuseppe's behalf, discovers vital evidence related to Gerry's original alibi with a note attached that reads, "Not to be shown to the defense." Through a statement made by Charlie Burke, at a court appeal, it totally exonerates Gerry and the rest.
The film ends with the current activities of the wrongly accused, but also that the police who investigated the case were never prosecuted for any wrongdoing. The real perpetrators of the Guildford Bombing have not been charged with the crime.
- Daniel Day-Lewis as Gerard Patrick "Gerry" Conlon
- Pete Postlethwaite as Patrick "Giuseppe" Conlon
- Emma Thompson as Gareth Peirce
- John Lynch as Paul Hill
- Corin Redgrave as Inspector Robert Dixon
- Beatie Edney as Carole Richardson
- John Benfield as Chief PO Barker
- Paterson Joseph as Benbay
- Marie Jones as Sarah Conlon
- Gerard McSorley as Detective Pavis
- Frank Harper as Ronnie Smalls
- Mark Sheppard as Patrick Joseph "Paddy" Armstrong
- Don Baker as Joe McAndrew
- Tom Wilkinson as an Appeal Prosecutor
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 three days and nights in a jail cell. He was prevented from sleeping by a group of thugs, who would bang on the door every ten minutes with tin cups through the night, then was interrogated by three different teams of real Special Branch officers for nine hours. He would also insist that crew members throw cold water at him and verbally abuse him. He also kept his Belfast accent on and off set.
The film received very positive reviews from most critics. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a "Certified Fresh" score of 94% based on 49 reviews, with an average rating of 7.80/10. The site's consensus states: "Impassioned and meticulously observed, In the Name of the Father mines rousing drama from a factual miscarriage of justice, aided by scorching performances and director Jim Sheridan's humanist focus." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 84 out of 100 based on 16 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.
The film was the second highest-grossing ever in Ireland (behind Jurassic Park), and the highest-grossing Irish film, beating the record set by The Commitments in 1991, with a gross of IR£2.91 million ($4.5 million).
- 2nd – James Berardinelli, ReelViews
- Top 10 (not ranked) – Dennis King, Tulsa World
- Honorable mention – Dan Craft, The Pantagraph
Upon its release the film proved controversial for some historical inaccuracies and for fictionalising parts of the story. Jim Sheridan was forced to defend his choices. In 2003, he stated: "I was accused of lying in In the Name of the Father, but the real lie was saying it was a film about the Guildford Four when really it was about a non-violent parent." In the film Gerry and his father Giuseppe (in the closing credits, the name is misspelled 'Guiseppe') share a cell, but this never took place; they were usually kept in separate prisons. The courtroom scenes featuring Gareth Peirce were also heavily criticised as clearly straying from recorded events and established English legal practices since, as a solicitor and not a barrister, she would not have been able to appear in court at the time. Furthermore, Peirce did not represent Giuseppe Conlon. Investigative journalist David Pallister wrote: "The myriad absurdities in the court scenes, straight out of LA Law, are inexcusable."
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 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)
- "In the Name of the Father at Box Office Mojo". Retrieved 29 September 2010.
- Pallister, David (19 October 1999). "An injustice that still reverberates". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 July 2011.
- The Irish Filmography 1896-1996; Red Mountain Press; 1996. Page 59.
- EmmaGennaro (7 May 2008). "Daniel Day-Lewis - 'Movies 101' Part 3". Archived from the original on 11 December 2021 – via YouTube.
- EmmaGennaro (8 May 2008). "Daniel Day-Lewis - 'Movies 101' Part 4". Archived from the original on 11 December 2021 – via YouTube.
- "In The Name Of the Father Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
- "In the Name of the Father Reviews". Metacritic. CNET Networks, Inc. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
- "Home". CinemaScore. Retrieved 28 February 2022.
- Harris, Mike (7 March 1994). "Oscar Boosts Films O'seas". Daily Variety. p. 38.
- "Ireland flocks to the flicks". Screen International. 25 April 1997. p. 27.
- Berardinelli, James (2 January 1995). "Rewinding 1994 -- The Year in Film". ReelViews. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
- King, Dennis (25 December 1994). "SCREEN SAVERS In a Year of Faulty Epics, The Oddest Little Movies Made The Biggest Impact". Tulsa World (Final Home ed.). p. E1.
- Craft, Dan (30 December 1994). "Success, Failure and a Lot of In-between; Movies '94". The Pantagraph. p. B1.
- "Berlinale: 1994 Prize Winners". berlinale.de. Archived from the original on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
- Merritt, Stephanie (11 October 2003). "In the pain of the father" – via The Guardian.
- Pallister, David (Spring 1994). "In the Name of the Father". Vertigo Magazine. London: Close-Up Film Centre. Retrieved 28 March 2016.