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Michael Collins (1996)

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Neil Jordan's historical biopic of Irish revolutionary Michael Collins, the man who led a guerrilla war against the UK, helped negotiate the creation of the Irish Free State, and led the National Army during the Irish Civil War.

Director:

Neil Jordan

Writer:

Neil Jordan
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ian Hart ... Joe O'Reilly
Julia Roberts ... Kitty Kiernan
Richard Ingram Richard Ingram ... British Officer
Liam Neeson ... Michael Collins
Aidan Quinn ... Harry Boland
John Kenny John Kenny ... Patrick Pearse
Ronan McCairbre Ronan McCairbre ... Thomas MacDonagh
Jer O'Leary ... Thomas Clarke (as Ger O'Leary)
Mike Dwyer ... James Connolly (as Michael Dwyer)
Martin Murphy Martin Murphy ... Captain Lee-Wilson
Alan Rickman ... Eamon de Valera
Sean McGinley ... Smith
Gary Whelan ... Hoey
Frank O'Sullivan Frank O'Sullivan ... Kavanagh
Stephen Rea ... Ned Broy
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Storyline

Neil Jordan's depiction of the controversial life and death of Michael Collins, the "Lion of Ireland", who led the IRA against the UK and helped found the Irish Free State in 1922. Written by Dawn M. Barclift

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Ireland, 1916. His dreams inspired hope. His words inspired passion. His courage forged a nation's destiny. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Ireland | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 October 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El precio de la libertad See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$182,221, 13 October 1996

Gross USA:

$11,092,559

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$11,135,803
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Black and White | Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The character Ned Broy, played by Stephen Rea in the film, is in fact a composite of the historical figures Ned Broy, who was a double agent in the police, and Dick McKee, who was Commandant of the Dublin Brigade of the IRA, and hence a central figure in planning intelligence operations with Collins. Broy survived the war, but McKee was captured the night before the attack on British agents and shot, reputedly while attempting to escape. Broy, only a Sergeant in the Dublin Metropolitan Police would be rewarded by being made head of the Irish Free State's new police national force, the Garda. Ironically, he would go to great lengths to encourage ex-Royal Irish Constabulary officers to join the new force, giving them preference in recruitment and absorb the Dublin Metropolitan Police as a whole into the new organization. See more »

Goofs

(at around 7 mins) We see Collins and Boland on a train, and it says May 1918. They are going to a rally for a by-election, we see the famous "Put him in to get him out" election posters from the 10 May 1917 by-election in South Longford where Joseph McGuinness was the SF candidate. The road sign says Longford, there were no by-elections in May 1918, and McGuinness was the only prisoner candidate in the 1917-18 by-elections. So it is clear that it should be May 1917 and not May 1918. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Joe O'Reilly: [dictating a letter] You've got to think of him the way he was... He was what the times demanded. And life without him seems impossible. But he's dead. And life is possible. He made it possible.
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Crazy Credits

Opening scroll: At the turn of the century Britian was the foremost world power and the British Empire stretched over two-thirds of the globe. Despite the extent of its power its most troublesome colony had always been the one closest to it, Ireland For seven hundred years Britain's rule over Ireland had been resisted by attempts at rebellion and revolution, all of which ended in failure. Then, in 1916, a rebellion began, to be followed by a guerilla war which would change the nature of that rule forever. The mastermind behind that war was Michael Collins. His life and death defined the period, in its triumph, terror and tragedy. This is his story. See more »


Soundtracks

Civil War
Performed by Sinéad O'Connor
Courtesy of Chrysalis Records UK
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Liam Neeson powerful
15 May 2016 | by SnoopyStyleSee all my reviews

In 1916 Dublin, Michael Collins (Liam Neeson), Harry Boland (Aidan Quinn), and Éamon de Valera (Alan Rickman) are among the captured rebels in the Easter Rising. After being released, they are politically active. De Valera and the political leadership get arrested. Collins is tipped off by double agent police detective Ned Broy (Stephen Rea). Collins goes into hiding with his best friend Boland. He meets his love Kitty Kiernan (Julia Roberts). Collins and Boland lead a guerrilla war against the British forces. De Valera takes Boland with him to work diplomatically. Eventually, the Brits relent and De Valera sends Collins to negotiate. Collins returns with home rule and splitting off Northern Ireland with De Valera opposing him. In 1922, the Anglo-Irish Treaty is approved. De Valera and his men resign taking Boland with them. They start their own revolt against the Irish Free State Army headed by Collins.

This is an expansive epic historical drama. Liam Neeson leads this with his powerful presence. He looms over this movie like the leading man that he is. The actors are all great although Julia Roberts does stick out a little. It would have been more fitting to have an Irish lass. The movie does try to fit a lot into two hours. Some of it can feel a bit disjointed. Liam Neeson is big enough to tie it all together. It would also be nice for him to have a constant foil. Whether or not he deserves it historically, the movie seems to make De Valera Collins' foil. It would be great to fully embrace the conflict and give De Valera more screen time. Make this Collins versus De Valera.


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