A Prayer For The Dying [DVD]
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An IRA hitman (Mickey Rourke), sick of killing innocent people, escapes to England and contacts a big time criminal (Alan Bates), who says he will help him on the condition that he commits one more murder. He carries out the execution, but is seen by an ex-SAS priest (Bob Hoskins). Rourke falls in love with the priest's blind niece, which doesn't make things any easier when the IRA and the police begin to close in on him.
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Top Customer Reviews
A star studded cast makes this a film that will not lie down and die along with many of its 80's contemporaries.
Anna: "That's a terrible thing to say!"
A Prayer For The Dying features what might very well be the most effective opening scene in all of cinema. Practically nothing is said, yet as the viewer you know exactly what is happening. It perfectly sets up the rest of the film. What happens? A ragged band of IRA punks in Northern Ireland have a bomb rigged to go off when some British Army jeeps drive by on patrol. Unexpectedly, and unfortunately, a school bus carrying about a dozen 10-year-old girls passes the army vehicles. Kaboom. Both Rourke and his best friend Docherty (Liam Neeson) are disgusted by their misstep.
I picked up "A Prayer for the Dying" in a charity shop recently. It was a great purchase as I have always been a fan of Rourke until he decided to commit professional suicide with garbage like FTW and Wild Orchid. Rourke is one of the most underrated actors in the business, or at least he was until he took up professional boxing in 1990 and had his beautiful face re-arranged in the ring.
Upon viewing this Mike Hodge (Get Carter) film I enjoyed it from start to finish as Rourke gives an absolutly moving performance as an hit man wanting to give up his evil ways. I know that that has been used as a plot for a hundred movies, but this is easily one of the better of those films.
Bob Hoskins is competent as Fr DaCosta. Alan Bates could read the phone book and I'd enjoy his work. This 1987 movie is deeply atmospheric, yet unpretentious, it is one of those all too rare films in which the characters are truly believable. Set in mid eighties London amidst the paranoia of the troubles in Northern Ireland; the traumatised former terrorist attempts to escape his violent lifestyle, hindered by a blackmailing local gangster.
"I'll see you in Hell Jack."
Hollywood has mixed the politics of Ireland and its own need to deliver an entertaining thriller in many other guises over the years, some more successful than others.
Taking the political aspect out of the equation, this film simply lacks class.
It's grimly filmed, looks cheap and wastes a top bunch of actors.
Mickey Rourke's IRA charachter isn't particularly redeeming, Bob Hoskins priest, who happens to be former special forces is not the most believable piece of casting and the story doesn't flow evenly.
A bit of a troubled film, which resulted in a very different version being released to what both lead actor and director signed up to make and sadly it shows.
There are glimpses of being a movie about past sins and redemption, which is what the premise is trying to show, but it's not enough.
Not a terrible film, more a wasted opportunity.
Nice wide screen copy with no extras, never an issue for me.
Fine performances throughout & yet there really does seem something amiss with this film.
It's a wonderful book & I have read that both the director & star were not happy with this re-cut version? Maybe there is better out there? Who knows a directors cut 1 day for us to compare?
It made a nice change to have a terrorist character show remorse & the switch of the church to try to give peace to everyone no matter of past deeds.
Could of been great considering the fine talent involved, but still worth watching.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Must be my fault for not enquiring but wrong region for me to watch so sadly its just sitting on my shelf looking at mePublished 5 months ago by Stella Goodchild
This film i saw on television in the 80 ,es .
Now again it still stands the test op time .
Slow tempo and good character development . Read more