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Harry's Game [VHS] [1982]

4.4 out of 5 stars 126 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Ray Lonnen, Benjamin Whitrow, Nicholas Day, Geoffrey Chater, Sean Caffrey
  • Format: PAL
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Vci
  • VHS Release Date: 8 April 2002
  • Run Time: 132 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CJ72
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 337,619 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

When a British cabinet minister is murdered by the IRA, the Prime Minister is forced to take decisive action. British agent Captain Harry Brown (Ray Lonnen) is sent to Northern Ireland to track down the killers by infiltrating the IRA unit responsible.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Harry's Game made a huge impact when first shown in 1983 and at last it is realeased in its original format [unlike its video release]. Rarely for a thriller, the television adation is reasonably faithful to the source novel. The thriller is set mainly in Northern Ireland where an English undercover operations soldier, Harry Brown, is set deep into 'Provo-land' to track and hunt down the murderer of a British Minister believed to be in Belfast.

Without wanting to tell the whole story, the thriller sets up a blinding climax with one of the best final twists ever seen in a TV thriller. The series is well-acted with bravura performances by the leads Ray Lonnen and Derek Thompson who are well supported by Geoffrey Chater and Benjamin Whitrow. The DVD has one [unexpected] extra - an interview with Ray Lonnen which lasts around 20 minutes who has gives an interesting insight into the makling of the show.

An excellent series is a must-buy for those who have a serious interest in classic TV drama and who can forget the haunting theme tune provided by Clannad?
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...not when the provos come to get you.". I'm delighted to see this is making an appearence on DVD as the video title has been deleted for some time. "Harry's Game" was a 1983 Yorkshire television 3-part mini series about Harry Brown, a British agent sent to infiltrate the IRA in Belfast and find and kill the assassin of a cabinet minister.
I remember being deeply moved by it at the time, especially by the rather shocking ending. Its treatment of "the troubles" in Northern Ireland was perhaps the most sophisticated and even-handed that had been seen in a drama at that time, though it may have dated a little now.
The theme tune was by Clannad and its success sparked off their international success.
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Gerald Seymour was for many years a reporter for Independent Television News, his assignments covering the Vietnam War, the Indo-Pakistan conflict, the Aden crisis, the Northern Ireland troubles, the Yom Kippur War, and the abduction and murder of Prime-Minister Aldo Moro in Italy. He has written several highly-regarded novels, based on both actual events and first-hand knowledge, such as THE GLORY BOYS (televised as a two-part serial), Kingfisher, RED FOX (televised as a three-part serial), Condition Black, At Close Quarters, The Journeyman Tailor and the contentious The Heart Of Danger (1995), in which both the UN's limitations and legal ineptitude, and several governments' politically-embarrassing shenanigans are exposed as an attempt is made by 'private enterprise' to abduct from Bosnia and bring to a war crimes trial a murderous Bosnian-Serb paramilitary enforcer - an act of 'justice' perhaps, but unfortunately also certain to scupper then-ongoing peace negotiations. The theme of all of these novels is a sad inevitability of troubled but courageous individuals, powerless and marginalized by the merciless grind of 'the bigger picture' going on facelessly around them.
Seymour's first novel was HARRY'S GAME, sombre, melancholy and tragic. The IRA send a man to London to assassinate the Secretary of State for Social Services, Henry Danby, M.P. ... on his own doorstep in Belgrave Square, in front of his wife and children. This is viewed as a 'direct attack' on Her Majesty's Government, and the PM - with clenched fists - instructs 'maximum effort' from his cautious RUC Chief Constable and the sceptical GOC Northern Ireland, no stone to be left unturned in the pursuit of this killer.
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For those who saw this 30 years ago, it is well worth seeing again. For anyone who hasn't seen it, I envy you because I still remember watching it for the first time. The tension is literally breathtaking - we found ourselves holding our breath.
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As someone born and bred in the Ardoyne area of Belfast, I regard this as the best film on the subject I've ever seen. It's messy and morally ambiguous, which makes it true to life. The IRA assassin is not an inhuman monster - he's a father who adores his kids, so much so that he can't shoot the RUC inspector because one of the young daughters of the latter wanders into the way. "Ye shoulda shot the kiddie, Billy," says the IRA boss, provoking the anguished response, "Are we making war on wee children now?"

A previous writer mentioned that this was filmed in Leeds. Not all of it - at the end, the wounded IRA man runs up the Crumlin Road at Ardoyne, past the barricades near Flax Street (I grew up in the street directly opposite). And when Harry jumps out, he's opposite the unmistakable wall of Holy Cross RC church which stands at the junction of the Crumlin and Woodvale Roads. And the hospital really was the Belfast Mater. Funny to see it all again.
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Format: VHS Tape
The story of a British officer masquerading as a Republican-sympathizing Northern Irishman. Grittily realistic in its treatment, this excellent film suffers from one flaw: no-one could simply "infiltrate" the Republican hardliners like the IRA simply by assuming an accent and a weak cover story! Even in the film one of the characters notes that Harry's accent is "all over the place"...That in fact is the point: the officer has been infiltrated for short-term bureaucratic and political reasons and his life risked for those reasons. There is some attempt to show that both the British officer and the IRA assassin are the tools of other people and their agenda.

Good film.

[ADDENDUM June 2011: I just noticed that Amazon has the title of the film wrong: Harry's Game, it should be, not "Games"]
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