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Fifty Dead Men Walking [DVD]


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Product details

  • Actors: Ben Kingsley, Jim Sturgess, Kevin Zegers, Rose McGowan
  • Directors: Kari Skogland
  • Format: PAL
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Metrodome
  • DVD Release Date: 7 Sept. 2009
  • Run Time: 117 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0027DY9C8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,560 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Inspired by Martin McGartland's shocking real life story, Martin is a young lad from West Belfast in teh late 1980s who is recruited by the British polics to spy on the IRA. He works his way up the ranks as a volunteer for the IRA whilst feeding information to his British handler and saves lives in the process; until one day he is exposed, captured and tortured to within an inch of his life. He escapes dramatically by throwing himself from a tower block window and is still in hiding today.

Review

Masterfully tense, thrilling cinema ... grips and doesn't let go --Hotdog Magazine

Utterly electrifying --Front

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 24 April 2012
Format: DVD
Despite being the closest thing Britain's had to its own Vietnam, the Troubles in Northern Ireland have produced only a handful of mediocre, often absurdly partisan movies, and Fifty Dead Men Walking doesn't do anything to remedy the situation by turning an informer's anti-IRA memoir into something rather more guardedly supportive of them. It's easy to understand why the real Martin McGartland so vigorously disowned the film and its departures from fact that saw IRA members taking a more active role in advising the production than he did and, much to his anger, placed him at the scene of murders and tortures he never participated in to amp up the onscreen drama. While it doesn't shirk from their violence and their kneecapping those guilty of `antisocial activities' or the torture and murder of a wrongly suspected informer who is later unjustly condemned by his own father at his funeral, the frequently laughably simplified politics do often read like a Sinn Fein Party Political Broadcast.

It doesn't help that much of the opening of the film offers a very superficial account of the causes of the violence, delivered with almost embarrassed disinterest by Ben Kingsley, setting out his character's stall as the film's Irving the Explainer as our anti-hero's British handler. In the face of such odds, all Kingsley can offer is an accent and an unconvincing wig by way of character in another one of those stiff and mechanical "I-am-acting" performances that he's lapsed into alarmingly often post-knighthood, though Jim Sturgess is much more effectively naturalistic in the lead and could have been even better with something more substantial to work with.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By rbmusicman TOP 100 REVIEWER on 13 Feb. 2015
Format: Blu-ray
Based on real events -
The film centres upon the divides in Northern Ireland during the late 1980's where violence from all sides was an everyday
occurrence, a conflict that pitted neighbour against neighbour, friend against friend depending on which side of the divide
one stood.
Special Branch sought to find people close enough to events to identify key I.R.A operatives and indeed sources of weapon
drops, informants were tempted by the offer of protection and financial reward, but, the informants always knew they were
risking their life and that of their loved ones to do so.
Special Agent 'Fergus' (Ben Kingsley) has recruited 'Martin McGartland' (Jim Sturgess) who's risks all by helping the security forces
This is in effect his story, 'Martin' had earned the respect of the I.R.A leaders in Belfast.
Martin will at some point have to be relocated leaving his loved ones behind, it means a life on the run, he would be forever looking
over his shoulder.
The Film is a well portrayed and convincing film which is often intense containing many violent sequences....well worth a spin.
Features -by
* Commentary with director Kari Skogland
* On Set with Fifty Dead Men Walking
* Deleted Scenes
* Exclusive Extract from the book - Fifty Dead Men Walking
* Theatrical Trailer
*
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By THE MOVIE GUY on 21 Jun. 2013
Format: DVD
Martin is a young man who makes his living selling stolen items. He is recruited by both the IRA to fight the British and by the British to spy on the IRA. He initially gets involved at a low level in order to get things like a good job, an income, a car, and a girl. The movie has some personal aspects as well. Some lines include, "Your Irish. You are born with an opinion." Or when his mom finds out Martin's gf is pregnant, "You'll do the right thing, or I'll kill you myself."

Martin's gf, the mother of his son, and expecting again, has different priorities. Apparently living and raising a family is more important than keeping Ireland from being British. As Martin watches people die and get tortured around him, he re-examines his situation and realizes he is in too deep and wants out.

Martin's wife/gf and mother are the only real likable characters in the story. Everyone else is caught up in causes and killing. The basic theme of "the end justify the means" is tested throughout as Martin questions the deeds of both sides.

Interesting, but Irish is not English. I used the subtitles.
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By Sam Tyler on 27 Jan. 2011
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Sir Ben Kingsley, these are three words that send me running. Only Sir Michael Caine's 1970s run of films, or anything by Hopkins, could possibly beat Kinsley's output to the worst Knight in film award. However, recent turns in `Shutter Island' and in this film, '50 Dead Men Walking', show that on occasion Kingsley does make a decent film. '50 Dead' is based on the real life of Martin McGartland, an IRA man who also informed for the British police. By doing this he risked his life, but also managed to save the lives of at least 50 men, hence them still walking. The film is set over a number of years during the 80s and sees Martin rise from petty thief to trusted IRA man.

The tension in the film is well balanced as you know that Martin is likely to be discovered at some point, but by whom and what will they do? Martin is played well by the impish Jim Sturgess, who is a little slight to be a manly leading man, but works well for here as a jack the lad. As you would imagine, the vast majority of people who join the IRA are not whiter than white, so it is good to see that Martin is a bit of a rogue and that Sturgess pulls off the accent with aplomb. The films core is his struggle with his conscience; why should he care about the Brits when they are persecuting his friends? It is as the role of Fergus that Kingsley adds balance to Martin - he act as a link to the police. There are several scenes of the two men meeting and you can tell a true friendship builds.

Although the film has a worthiness to it, this does not make is a must see. The pacing is a little off as there are too many moments where Fergus and Martin meet. It is almost as if the budget could not stretch too many outside locations.
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