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John Boorman

The General

John Boorman’s Irish crime film has biting humour, compulsive energy, and an astonishing central performance by Brendan Gleeson.

Ireland-UK 1998
Directed by John Boorman
With Brendan Gleeson, Sean McGinley, Jon Voight
Running time 124 min

Shot in colour but printed in black and white, and inspired by the life of Martin Cahill, the film sees Boorman for the first time depicting contemporary Ireland. Awarded the Best Director prize by the Cannes jury presided over by Martin Scorsese, the film – like its main actor, the astonishing, Cagney-esque Brendan Gleeson – has a biting humour, a plebeian truculence and a compulsive energy. Cahill, a modern gangster, is both a seducer and a scoundrel.


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