10 user 4 critic

A Sense of Freedom (1979)

The life and imprisonment of Glasgow hard man and gangster Jimmy Boyle.


John Mackenzie


Peter McDougall, Jimmy Boyle (book)
1 nomination. See more awards »


Learn more

More Like This 

Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

4 LA cops are fighting the war on drugs. Corrupt superiors manage to break up their team when one of them gets killed. The 3 quit LAPD and continue investigating.

Director: John Mackenzie
Stars: Brian Dennehy, Joe Pantoliano, Jeff Fahey
Tales of the Unexpected (1979–1988)
Comedy | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Dramatizations of many Roald Dahl short stories.

Stars: Roald Dahl, Andrew Ray, Forbes Collins
Saint Jack (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Jack Flowers, an American hustler in early 1970s Singapore, dreams of building a fortune by running a brothel and returning to the States to lead a life of luxury.

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Ben Gazzara, Denholm Elliott, James Villiers
Runaway I (1984)
Action | Crime | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

In the near future, a police officer specializes in malfunctioning robots. When a robot turns out to have been programmed to kill, he begins to uncover a homicidal plot to create killer robots... and his son becomes a target.

Director: Michael Crichton
Stars: Tom Selleck, Cynthia Rhodes, Gene Simmons
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Irish crime-investigating reporter Sinead Hamilton invades the Irish underworld and attempts to expose the illegitimate activities that she has found. Hampered by the system, a police ... See full summary »

Director: John Mackenzie
Stars: Joan Allen, Patrick Bergin, Liam Cunningham
Comedy | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Charley Brewster and Peter Vincent must face more vampires, out for revenge.

Director: Tommy Lee Wallace
Stars: William Ragsdale, Roddy McDowall, Traci Lind
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A young Englishwoman goes to the Hebrides to marry her older, wealthier fiancé. When the weather keeps them separated on different islands, she begins to have second thoughts.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: Wendy Hiller, Roger Livesey, George Carney
Small Faces (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Three teenage brothers, gang-member Bobby, troubled mama's boy Alan and self-assured prankster Lex, reside in a downtrodden section of Glasgow, Scotland, circa 1968. But while Bobby and ... See full summary »

Director: Gillies MacKinnon
Stars: Iain Robertson, Joe McFadden, Steven Duffy
Silent Movie (1976)
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A film director and his strange friends struggle to produce the first major silent feature film in forty years.

Director: Mel Brooks
Stars: Mel Brooks, Marty Feldman, Dom DeLuise
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Following the suicide of an elderly Jewish man, a journalist in possession of the man's diary investigates the alleged sighting of a former S.S. Captain, who commanded a concentration camp during World War II.

Director: Ronald Neame
Stars: Jon Voight, Maximilian Schell, Maria Schell
Made (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The story of the relationship between a young single mother and an insecure rock star.

Director: John Mackenzie
Stars: Carol White, Roy Harper, John Castle
Certificate: GP Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A new school teacher learns that the previous teacher was killed by his pupils, and he fears the same will happen to him.

Director: John Mackenzie
Stars: David Hemmings, Carolyn Seymour, Douglas Wilmer


Cast overview, first billed only:
David Hayman ... Jimmy Boyle
Jake D'Arcy Jake D'Arcy ... Robbie
Sean Scanlan Sean Scanlan ... Jackie (as Sean Scanlon)
Alex Norton ... Malkie
John Murtagh John Murtagh ... Piper
Roy Hanlon Roy Hanlon ... Chief Officer
Martin Black Martin Black ... Bobbie Dugan
Fulton Mackay ... Inspector Davidson
Hector Nicol Hector Nicol ... Uncle Jody
Bill Barclay Bill Barclay ... Bill
Alexander West Alexander West ... Ben
Lesley Mackie Lesley Mackie ... Malkie's Wife
Frank Welshman Frank Welshman ... Barman
Kate Gardiner Kate Gardiner ... Boyle's Mother
Jan Wilson Jan Wilson ... Mrs. Docherty


The life and imprisonment of Glasgow hard man and gangster Jimmy Boyle.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Thriller


See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

18 October 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Katkera matka vapauteen See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


It is based on the autobiography of Glasgow gangster Jimmy Boyle, who was reputed to be Scotland's most violent man. See more »

Alternate Versions

Some prints feature a soundtrack in which the original actors have re-recorded their dialogue with softer Scottish accents. The two disc DVD release on the Odyssey label in the UK features both versions. See more »


Referenced in Quills (2000) See more »


A Sense Of Freedom
Written By Frankie Miller
Performed by Frankie Miller and Rory Gallagher
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Social Document
6 July 2003 | by ianbroudie2001See all my reviews

An interesting movie to say the least.....

I watched this film by complete accident and have never discounted the influence it has served in my life.

Once the film had been seen I went onto read the book (much more intense) and then the sequel (the pain of confidement). Eventually having lost the movie some years ago I managed to win a copy on Ebay some weeks ago, once again opening me up to the harshness and bleakness this film gave me and still does.

A wonderful performance by David Hayman (totally hard, totally cold) and others (watch out for Rab C Nesbitt and Fulton Mackay from Porridge).

The film portays the true story of Jimmy Boyle as rather biased towards Boyle forgetting the effect he would have on some peoples life. Do not forget that these prison officers took some almighty provocation from Mr. Boyle and when Mr. Boyle in the movie questions the officers about wether they are any different from him they're answer is "we have families at home waiting for us...."

Having watched the majority of British Prison movies (Macvicar, Scum) once is left with the feeling that this is the top one. So sad that is has not enjoyed it's day on DVD yet.

I visited Peterhead Prison some years ago and was astonished with it's look, goodness knows only what it was like inside.

The brutal nature of the film is also astounding, knife slashing, prison beatings and a quite astonishing deterrent by Boyle to avoiding such beatings (Urgh!).

Do such beatings deter, well now adays people believe such punishment has no effect and is unfair on the criminal, funny that as Boyle is now a reformed character preaching to the addicted masses, one could be contraversial and say that his punishment served as his "sense of freedom"

9 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 10 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed