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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Devil's Own (released in 1997) - starring Harrison Ford and Brad Pitt

This movie directed by Alan Pakula was released in 1988, starring Harrison Ford, Brad Pitt, Julia stiles, Natascha McElhone and Treat Williams.
Frank McGuire, as an eight year old Irish boy witnesses the murder of his father by English sympathizers. This incident hardens him and makes him a IRA operative. After a tense gun battle with the British Troops, Frank escapes to a safe house hotly pursued by Harry Sloan, a British Agent. Frank and Martin Macduff, another IRA operative plan to acquire surface to air missiles and Frank travels to New York to get them. Here he meets a Irish sympathizer judge Peter Fitzsimmons who puts him in touch with Tom O'Meara. Tom is a police officer and welcomes Frank with out knowing his antecedents. Frank, working under his alias Rory contacts the arms smuggler Burke who agrees to supply him with the missiles.
Frankie meets Peter Fitzsimmons who provide him with millions of dollars which he hides in Tom's house. He also meets Megan, Fitzsimmon's nanny who is attracted to him. Mega agrees to help him in his endeavors. Tom and his partner Eddie have problems of their own regarding their work. Slowly a friendship develops between Frank and Tom. It deepens when Frank helps to beat back masked intruders who threaten Tom and his wife Sheila. Frank checks up on his money and feels guilty of his treachery.

Meanwhile the crafty Burke kidnaps Sean, Frank's fellow operative and holds him for ransom. Frank promises to pay him. Meanwhile Tom has found the money and questions Frank about the presence of such large amount of cash. Frank tells him about the kidnapping, but avoids mentioning the terrorism angle. Still Tom arrest Frank with the help of Eddie. When they are on the way to the Police station, Frank escapes, by knocking out Tom and kills Eddie during flight. He reaches Burke who has already killed Sean and tries to rob him off the cash. But Frank kills him and plans to escape with the missiles in the boat.
Meanwhile Tom questioned by his superiors and Harry Sloan comes to the starling realization that Frank is a wanted IRA terrorist. He plans to capture him to avenge Eddie's death. He traces Frank to Megan and forces her to reveal his where abouts. As Frank is planning to leave with the boat Tom reaches him and a fierce gun battle ensures. Tom is injured and Frank emerges holding him at gun point. But Tom fatally shoots him and makes his way home.
This movie was a moderate commercial success and has nothing new in the plot. Harrison Ford delivers his time and tested police cop routine and Brad Pitt is excellent as young Frank. The premise of the story is very sympathetic to the cause of the terrorist and I feel it betrays the day to day realities. It is fine for an action film buff who is intent on filling up his day. But better films have been made on the same subject. See it if you must, pass it if you can.

The Devils Own (released in 1997) - starring Harrison Ford and Brad Pitt

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