Today’s Prayer Focus

In the Name of the Father

MPA Rating: R-Rating (MPA) for language and politically-generated violence.

Reviewed by: Maggi

Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Biography Drama
2 hr. 13 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
December 29, 1993
Copyright, Universal Pictures click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures
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Featuring Daniel Day-Lewis (Gerry Conlon), Pete Postlethwaite (Giuseppe Conlon), Emma Thompson (Gareth Peirce), Tom Wilkinson (Appeal Prosecutor), See all »
Director Jim Sheridan
Producer Hell’s Kitchen Films, Universal Pictures, Gabriel Byrne, Terry George, Nye Heron, Arthur Lappin, Jim Sheridan
Distributor Universal Pictures

Based on a true story, “In the Name of the Father” is about a young Irish man, Gerry Conlon, who was wrongfully imprisoned in England in the 1970’s for a terrorist bombing. He admitted to the crime, but only after police force and torture. Three friends are also wrongfully imprisoned and they all soon become known as “The Guildford Four.” All four receive life in prison. When Gerry’s father comes to help, he is imprisoned as well, along with Gerry’s aunt and 14-year-old cousin. Even when the real bomber, already in jail, eventually confesses that he was the real bomber, the authorities ignore the truth and keep it quiet instead of admitting their errors.

Gerry was sentenced to life in jail. The judge who sentenced him said makes it clear that he wishes Gerry had been charged with treason, a crime that carries a penalty of death by hanging and a punishment that would have had no trouble in passing in this case.

After about 17 years in jail, a dedicated lawyer (Emma Thompson), comes to his rescue. She knows that there are innocent people in jail, but she must find some evidence to get them out. She eventually comes upon some startling evidence that was kept hidden so that the truth wouldn’t be revealed. Together, she and Gerry are determined to prove his innocence and eventually, “The Guildford Four” are proven innocent and released. However, Gerry’s father had died in prison and to this day, his son Gerry is fighting to clear his name. His father died an innocent man, but the court records still say that he is guilty.

I must warn you that this film is filled with foul language (mostly the “f” word) and while I can somewhat understand this, the language is too overbearing at times. There are also many violent scenes, including a bombing, a riot in jail, and the torture of these innocent people by the authorities. There is also some drug use shown. This is a powerful story about a young man determined to fight for the truth. However, some Christians may be highly offended by some of the content.

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