In the Name of the Father (1993)

Imdb Ranking 8.1

On October 5, 1974 a bomb exploded in pub in Guildford, England. Gerry Conlan (Daniel Day-Lewis) was a petty thief in Belfast. One day the Brits thought he was a sniper, and they started chasing him. Before you know it a riot broken out. The IRA is not happy with the commotion he has caused. They send Gerry to England to keep him out of trouble.

Gerry is supposed to stay with his aunt, but hooks up with some friends and ends up with some squatters. Back in Belfast the cease fire with the provisional IRA had ended. A bomb was planned for that night and the pub explodes with no warning. Gerry robs an apartment and stole some money and goes back to Belfast.

In England the police have special powers under the Prevention of terrorism Act, where they can hold suspected terrorists for seven days. One of the squatters gives Gerry's name to the police and he is soon picked up in Belfast.

They begin to rough Gerry up during the seven day interrogation. One of Gerry's friends gives in and under duress admits to the bombing and implicates Gerry too. The next thing you know Gerry's family is taken in too. Gerry is beginning to crack and finally he signs the statement as do two other of his friends. Gerry's father is also arrested and brought in to jail.

At the trial the police say the defendants were never harmed in any way during the interrogations. They painted Jerry as a liar and a thief. Gerry was sentenced to life, having to serve a minimum of thirty years. His friends, and his father, were also all convicted and sentenced to long terms.

The second half of the movie starts with Gerry and his father in jail together. An IRA men get arrested and he tells them that he also did the Guildford Pub bombings. He said innocent people were in jail for that. The IRA man, Joe McAndrews, then shows up in their cell block. While the Conlans ate in their cell he goes and eats with the general population and immediately gets in a fight, and Gerry helps him out. McAndrews tells the Conlans that he is the one who planted the bomb.

McAndrews is soon one of the leaders of the block. He caused some trouble for the English guards and there is a riot. After the riot, Gareth Peirce (Emma Thompson), a lawyer showed up in the jail and starts talking to Gerry's father, but Getty didn't like lawyers.
,br> At movie night The Godfather was playing. We see Michael and the Don talking in the garden but McAndrews is up to no good. He gets even with a guard and sets him on fire. Gerry sees how evil McAndrews really is. McAndrews gets sent to another prison and Gerry starts working with the lawyer. Then Gerry's father dies in prison.

Then there were demonstrations to free the Guildford Four. They were now perceived by the public as being innocent. Gerry is moved to a Scottish prison as the protest continue. When Gareth Peirce gets hold of Gerry's file, she sees that information has been wrongly held back from the defense. A new trail starts, and the Guildford Four have already served fifteen years. We find out that the conversation with the homeless man who could have cleared everyone was suppressed. The Guildford Four was a scapegoat to placate the public with all the bombings that were going on.
,br> Gerry's case is dismissed as are the cases against the other three. Gerry vows to fight on in the name of his father to find out the truth.

A really good movie that shows how the dangerous suspension of civil rights can be for the innocent. It also it a pretty balanced view of the troubles. The IRA was not presented in a positive light and neither were the English. There were no winners in all of this, and this movie shows that very well.