In the Name of the Father

1993 | Drama/Courtroom Drama | 133 minutes | English


Gerry Conlon is an Irish ne’er-do-well living in Belfast. Conlon’s father urges his son to move to London fearing punishment by the IRA. While Conlon is squatting in a home in London,  an explosion in a nearby pub kills five people and injures sixty-five. Conlon returns to Belfast. While there, a fellow squatter back in London notifies the police that Conlon may be the one who set off the bomb. Conlon is flown back to the UK to be interrogated about the bombing. The British police are  obsessed with the need to produce the IRA bomber  they seized on flimsy hearsay evidence. Conlon is tortured and threatened for several days. Even though he is surely innocent, he confesses. Conlon’s father, Giuseppe, goes to England to support his son but he, too, is thrown in the same jail cell for supposedly supporting the bombing.  Both are horribly treated in prison while protesters plead for dismissal. One of the protesters, Gareth Peirce,  takes on the case of proving that Conlon and his father were wrongfully convicted. Gareth faces a huge challenge: she must not only prove their innocence but she faces UK police officials who are reluctant to admit they made a mistake.

Daniel Day-Lewis (Gerry Conlon) / Pete Postlethwaite (Giuseppe Conlon) / Emma Thompson (Gareth Peirce)
Why Stream This Film?
The ruthless, bitter conflict between the Irish nationalists and the UK for possession of Northern Ireland went on for years.  In the Name of the Father is but one story, brilliantly told, as to  how seeking justice in this conflict can be painfully elusive. A miscarriage of justice is that George Mitchell did not receive the Nobel Peace Prize for brokering a final settlement, which is still intact today, more or less. 
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 94%
  • Metacritic Score: 84
  • Academy Awards: Nominated, Best Picture; 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 (Jim Sheridan)
  • Golden Globes: Nominated, Best Picture; Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Emma Thompson)
  • Berlin International Film Festival: Golden Bear Award, Best Director (Jim Sheridan)
  • National Board of Review: Selected, Top Ten Films of the Year
IN the NAME of the FATHER is a model of this kind of engaged, enraged filmmaking. It uses one of the most celebrated cases of recent British history to steamroller an audience with the power of rousing, polemical cinema.
Kenneth Turan

Los Angeles Times

The picture turns into a kind of stylized morality play about the right and the wrong ways for Irishmen to respond to distorted portraits of character, and it’s terrifically effective.
Terrence Rafferty

New Yorker

In his scathingly brilliant new film, the Irish director Jim Sheridan has perfectly evoked the backdrop against which Gerry Conlon’s story takes place. The film’s edgy, volatile atmosphere and Gerry’s pathetic naiveté make his ordeal that much more monstrous as it unfolds. IN the NAME of the FATHER has a title that evokes both familial devotion and prayer. A personal tragedy and a plea for justice. Mr. Sheridan’s tough, riveting film succeeds on both scores.
Janet Maslin

The New York Times

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