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Some Mother's Son (1996)

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2:02 | Trailer
Based on the true story of the 1981 hunger strike in an Irish prison, in which I.R.A. prisoner Bobby Sands led a protest against the treatment of I.R.A. prisoners as criminals rather than ... See full summary »

Director:

Terry George
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4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Helen Mirren ... Kathleen Quigley
Fionnula Flanagan ... Annie Higgins
Aidan Gillen ... Gerard Quigley
David O'Hara ... Frank Higgins
John Lynch ... Bobby Sands
Tom Hollander ... Farnsworth
Tim Woodward ... Harrington
Ciarán Hinds ... Danny Boyle
Geraldine O'Rawe ... Alice Quigley
Gerard McSorley ... Fr. Daly
Dan Gordon Dan Gordon ... Inspector McPeake
Grainne Delany Grainne Delany ... Theresa Higgins
Ciarán Fitzgerald ... Liam Quigley
Robert Lang ... Government Minister
Stephen Hogan ... Young Turk
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Storyline

Based on the true story of the 1981 hunger strike in an Irish prison, in which I.R.A. prisoner Bobby Sands led a protest against the treatment of I.R.A. prisoners as criminals rather than as prisoners of war. This movie focuses on the mothers of two of the strikers, and their struggle to save the lives of their sons. Written by Alexander Lum <aj_lum@postoffice.utas.edu.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Between love and loyalty... Between life and death... Lies a choice no mother should have to make.

Genres:

Drama | History

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some political violence and suffering | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Ireland | USA

Language:

English | Irish

Release Date:

25 December 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sons and Warriors See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$88,515, 29 December 1996

Gross USA:

$671,437

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$671,437
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Theatrical movie debut of Tom Hollander (Farnsworth). See more »

Goofs

Outside the prison you can clearly see an Austin Metro Mk2 which was not released till late 1984. This film is based in 1981. See more »

Quotes

Farnsworth: We want to make the prisons an asset, not a liability. It is in the prisons that we will break the backs of the IRA.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Rising of the Moon (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Survival
Composed & Performed by Rick Rhodes & Danny Pelfrey
Courtesy of Zomba Music Services
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A good fictional representation of real events
31 March 2006 | by PeterJordanSee all my reviews

I saw this film when it first came out but after reading two rather diverse but equally recommended books on the subject ("Ten men dead" by David Beresford and "Nor Meekly serve my time" Edited by Brian Campbell, Laurence McKeown and Felim O'Hagen) , I figured I'd like to see it again.

The story portrayed in the film echoes the 2nd book in particular so closely at times that I expected to see the three men credited (They were actually H Block prisoners who took part in the protest and hunger strikes themselves). Of course from that perspective it is understandable that some would claim that it tends towards bias or discriminates towards a one sided view on a very complex issue.

The reality of the film is that whilst the majority of the characters save Bobby Sands are fictional, many of them, with just a little background reading are recognisable as real life people such as Fr Denis Faul, Bik McFarlane, "The Mounain Climber" and a composite of Gerry Adams/Danny Morrison.

It is a charge fairly frequently levelled at Jim Sheridan that he embellishes or takes liberty with factual real events such as in Michael Collins or In America - However, that is usually levelled by someone with an obvious axe to grind or viewing from an opposite perspective. So whilst it is desirable for a good film to document even real facts in an understandable way in less than two hours it is also nice to be entertained and have your curiosity aroused so that you can read further on the subject if you so desire. Some Mothers Son is probably one of these types of movies where the viewer's experience and insight is best enhanced by prior knowledge or at least some background of the events which out of necessity the film is compelled to synopsise and simplify some times.

The facts surrounding this turbulent period in Northern Irish history is that after a prolonged "dirty protest" to be recognised as prisoners of war instead of criminals or terrorists, in 1981 the republican H-Block prison inmates embarked on a hunger strike which by the time it had ended some 6 months later had seen ten of them die but more significantly for the republican movement in NI had seen a wider world focus on them and also had seen a new dawn towards the use of the ballot box instead of the Armalite assault rifle as a means to an end by Sin Fein/IRA which 25 years later is culminating in an electorally strong Sinn Fein and a decommissioned largely stood down IRA.

All in all therefore, as a pen picture which goes some way towards giving one a basic insight into the Northern Ireland Hunger strike of 1981 it does a good job which is greatly helped by very good performances by Helen Mirren, Fionnula O Flanigan Gerald McSorley and John Lynch in particular. Oh and if the soundtrack sounds vaguely familiar it may be because it is by Bill Whelan of Riverdance fame.


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