The Boxer (1997)

Imdb Ranking 7.0

Nineteen year old boxer Danny Flynn (Daniel Day=Lewis) is imprisoned for his involvement with the IRA in Belfast. While in prison Danny didn't associate with the IRA but he didn't name name either. Fourteen years later he gets out and he returns to open a boxing club for the Belfast youth. With his old trainer, Ike, he starts a non-sectarian club. When he finds some IRA explosives hidden in the club he throws them in the river. He tells his old girlfriend, Maggie, who has since married another IRA member still in jail, he did it because he didn't want to see more innocent people blown up.

At the first event of the boxing club Danny fight, gets beat up, but stays on his feet. He isn't a quitter. Harry, one of the IRA leaders comes to Danny and tells him he wants the explosives back but Danny plays dumb.

Tensions remain high in the community and the IRA men don't like it that Danny's club took a donation of equipment from the police. Maggie's father Joe is an IRA leader but he is trying to help bring peace. He doesn't want Danny to be harassed. Meanwhile, Maggie and Danny begin to see more and more of each other.

Danny has another fight, and the crowd is divided between the Catholics and the Protestants. Some faces are painted with the British flag and others with the Irish, but they all sing Danny Boy. Danny wins as Maggie cheers and her father looks concerned. Then a police car blows up to shatter the night. Danny looks at Harry and so does Joe. Fights break out all over as the riot police are called in. Young boys burn the donated equipment but one burns himself as well, and the gum goes up in flames too.

Harry tells Joe that people have starved to death for him and now he is trying to make a peace. he also tells him that Maggie's son Liam, burned down the gym. Joe tells his daughter that he has to stay away from Danny. Maggie talks to Liam and Liam asks his mother if she is going to run away with Danny. Liam says he doesn't ever want to see him again.

Danny goes to fight in in England before at a dinner club. Danny gets beat up but eventually knocks down the Kenyan fighter and then in a brutal scene pulverizes him. But the ref just keeps saying "Box on". The crowd must be entertained. Danny walks out of the ring saying that the fight is over and the beaten Kenyan is declared the winner.

Harry comes upon Danny's drunken trainer Ike and makes fun of Danny. Ike tells Harry that he is to blame for his own son's death. He filled his son's mind with poison and then sent him out to die. Ike then ends up on the street - dead.

Harry then stops a car with Danny and Maggie shouting that she should know that she is a prisoner's wife. Danny is kidnapped by the IRA men, and is to be executed. "End of story peacemaker" Harry says, but then then IRA men shoot Harry instead. He was a loose cannon. Maggie, Liam and Danny then drive off in a car.

Another really good movie by the director of In the Name of the Father, The Field and My Left Foot, Jim Sheridan. There was some great acting in this film led by Daniel Day-Lewis. It was nominated for Best Director, Best Motion Picture and Best Performance by an Actor in the Golden Globes. Finally, Harry and some other IRA men kidnap Danny and take him away to be executed. Then, in a last-minute twist, the IRA gunman shoots Harry instead of Danny, thus eliminating a rogue agent. Maggie with Liam her son in the car pick up Danny and they all drive home together.