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Michael Collins Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

The rise and fall of one of the most important and controversial figures in Ireland's struggle for independence is chronicled in this biographical drama. In 1916, the British government ruled Ireland with a firm and cruel hand, as they had for 700 years. When a group of Irish rebels staged a six-day siege at Dublin's General Post Office, only one of the leaders was able to escape execution -- Eamon De Valera (Alan Rickman), an American citizen of Irish blood. A number of De Valera's followers are sent to prison, and one of them, Michael Collins (Liam Neeson), walked out of jail convinced that a new approach was needed to free his homeland from British rule. With his compatriot Harry Boland (Aidan Quinn), Collins formed the Irish Volunteers, who used a combination of terrorist violence and guerilla warfare to attack the British where their defenses were weakest, and employed espionage and a key inside informant (Stephen Rea) to learn what the British planned to do next -- and what they knew about Collins and his supporters. Collins' strategic skills and talent for warfare made a major impact on the British, and he became the hero of the new-born Republican Movement, which seemed to offer a real hope of freedom, despite the violent reprisals of the vicious paramilitary police, the Black and Tans. De Valera, however, was often in conflict with Collins in terms of the methods and approach of their struggle. Collins also found himself in a different sort of conflict with Boland when he fell in love with his girlfriend, a strong-willed advocate of Irish freedom named Kitty Kiernan (Julia Roberts). Eager to gain support for the Republican cause, De Valera sought economic and military support from the U.S.; when he returned, the Volunteers seemed to have finally won a real victory, as the British government announced that they were willing to formally negotiate with them. While Collins was once the radical and De Valera was the moderate, once negotiations began, Collins sought to end the violence that he saw killing so many young people and was willing to agree to a compromise that would create the Irish Free State. While the agreement would still leave final political control with the British, it would bring a greater self-determination to Ireland, and Collins believed that it was a crucial first step that could lead, in time, to true freedom for his people. De Valera, however, was strongly opposed to the treaty with Britian, and this led to violence among pro- and anti-treaty factions; soon Ireland's most loved leader was now branded a traitor by many of his countrymen. Michael Collins was voted Best Picture at the 1996 Venice Film Festival, and Liam Neeson was awarded the prize for Best Actor. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

  • Release date:September 5, 1996

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Elliot Goldenthal Best Dramatic Score 1996 Nominee
Venice International Film Festival Liam Neeson Volpi Cup for Best Actor 1996 Winner
Venice International Film Festival Neil Jordan Golden Lion 1996 Winner
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Chris Menges Best Cinematography 1996 Winner
American Society of Cinematographers Chris Menges Best Cinematography 1996 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Chris Menges Best Cinematography 1996 Nominee

Cast

Liam Neeson
as Michael Collins
Aidan Quinn
as Harry Boland
Stephen Rea
as Ned Broy
Alan Rickman
as Eamon De Valera
Julia Roberts
as Kitty Kiernan
Ian Hart
as Joe O'Reilly
Paraic Breathnach
as Santry the Blacksmith
Laura Brennan
as Rosie
Claude Clancy
as Vaughan's Hotel Clerk
Tony Clarkin
as Soldier on Station
Denis Conway
as Republican
Colm Coogan
as Squad Man
Liam D'Staic
as Austin Stack
Charles Dance
as Soames
Malcolm Douglas
as Officer in Park
Brendan Gleeson
as Liam Tobin
David Gorry
as Charlie Dalton
Stuart Graham
as Tom Cullen
Aiden Grennell
as Chaplain at Lincoln Jail
Max Hafler
as Black and Tan on Lorry
Joe Hanley
as Squad Man
Luke Hayden
as McCrae
Jim Isherwood
as Man Following Broy
Aidan Kelly
as Gresham Hotel Bellboy
Frank Laverty
as Sean McKeoin
Gary Lydon
as Squad Youth
Michael McCabe
as Journalist
Vinnie McCabe
as Speaker in the Dáil
Roman McCairbe
as Thomas McDonagh
Ian McElhinney
as Belfast Detective
Sean McGinley
as Smith
Gerard McSorley
as Cathal Brugha
Martin Murphy
as Captain Lee-Wilson
Tom Murphy
as Vinny Byrne
Jonathan Rhys-Meyers
as Collins' Assassin
Peter O'Brien
as Pianist in Restaurant
Ger O'Leary
as Thomas Clarke
Aisling O'Sullivan
as Girl in Bed
Frank O'Sullivan
as Kavanagh
Owen Roe
as Arthur Griffith
Dave Seymour
as Lincoln Taxi Driver
Alan Stanford
as Vice-Consul McCready
Gary Whelan
as Hoey
Mal Whyte
as Officer in Bath
David Wilmot
as Squad Youth
Don Wycherley
as Republican
Dave Seymour
as Lincoln Taxi Driver
Michael McCabe
as Journalist
David Wilmot
as Squad Youth
Jonathan Rhys-Meyers
as Collins' Assassin
Ian McElhinney
as Belfast Detective
Max Hafler
as Black and Tan on Lorry
Ger O'Leary
as Thomas Clarke
Vinnie McCabe
as Speaker in the Dáil
Frank Laverty
as Sean McKeoin
Luke Hayden
as McCrae
Malcolm Douglas
as Officer in Park
Denis Conway
as Republican
Stuart Graham
as Tom Cullen
Aiden Grennell
as Chaplain at Lincoln Jail
Mal Whyte
as Officer in Bath
Aisling O'Sullivan
as Girl in Bed
Gary Lydon
as Squad Youth
Gary Whelan
as Hoey
Owen Roe
as Arthur Griffith
Tony Clarkin
as Soldier on Station
Jim Isherwood
as Man Following Broy
Martin Murphy
as Captain Lee-Wilson
Claude Clancy
as Vaughan's Hotel Clerk
Aidan Kelly
as Gresham Hotel Bellboy
Brendan Gleeson
as Liam Tobin
Gerard McSorley
as Cathal Brugha
Colm Coogan
as Squad Man
Frank O'Sullivan
as Kavanagh
Tom Murphy
as Vinny Byrne
Laura Brennan
as Rosie
Paraic Breathnach
as Santry the Blacksmith
Alan Stanford
as Vice-Consul McCready
Joe Hanley
as Squad Man
Liam D'Staic
as Austin Stack
Charles Dance
as Soames
Roman McCairbe
as Thomas McDonagh
Peter O'Brien
as Pianist in Restaurant
David Gorry
as Charlie Dalton
Sean McGinley
as Smith

Crew

Neil Jordan
Director
Redmond Morris
Producer
Stephen Woolley
Producer
Neil Jordan
Screenwriter
Chris Menges
Cinematographer
Elliot Goldenthal
Composer (Music Score)
J. Patrick Duffner
Editor
Tony Lawson
Editor
Anthony Pratt
Production Designer
Sandy Powell
Costume Designer
Michael Roberts
Camera Operator
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