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A Prayer for the Dying
A Prayer for the Dying
Actors: Mickey Rourke, Bob Hoskins, Alan Bates, Sammi Davis, Christopher Fulford
Director: Mike Hodges
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
R     2003     1hr 47min

Mickey Rourke (9 1/2 Weeks) gives "his finest performance to date" (L.A. Weekly) in this hair-trigger action-thriller co-starring Bob Hoskins (Enemy at the Gates), Alan Bates (The Sum of All Fears) and Liam Neeson (Star Wa...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Mickey Rourke, Bob Hoskins, Alan Bates, Sammi Davis, Christopher Fulford
Director: Mike Hodges
Creators: Michael Garfath, Christabel Albery, Peter Snell, Samuel Goldwyn Jr., Edmund Ward, Jack Higgins, Martin Lynch
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Crime, Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen,Widescreen,Letterboxed - Closed-captioned,Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 02/04/2003
Original Release Date: 09/11/1987
Theatrical Release Date: 09/11/1987
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 47min
Screens: Color,Full Screen,Widescreen,Letterboxed
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, Spanish, Spanish
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French

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Movie Reviews

A forgotten and overlooked dramatic gem.
Lunar Strain | United States | 01/30/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I picked up "A Prayer for the Dying" on a whime one day. I have always liked Mickey Rourke and I think he is one of the most underrated actors int he business. I never heard of this film before and bought it and not knowing how good it would be. Upon viewing the film I couldn't help thinking how much better this movie could have been. Mickey Rourke gives an absolutly moving performance as a hit man wanting to give up his evil ways. I know that that has been used as a plot for a hundred movies, but this is easily one of the better of those films. Some people Bob Hoskins as miscast int he role of the Priest, but I found him to also give a good performance. Overall I was very moved by the film. I only wish it went a little more in depth with Bob Hoskins character. It gives hints that he and Mickey Rourke's character are much alike, but doesn't go into real depth. I have also heard that Mickey Rourke was upset with the final result of the film. Though it could have been much better, it still comes off as a very good dramatic piece of cinema. This film is a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon."
Not bad but could have been better.
Archie Mercer | Yorba Linda, CA | 09/04/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)

"A Prayer for the Dying was one of my favorite books of all time. So I was a little concerned about watching a movie adaptation of it. I mean, many movies ever stand up well to the book? This one doesn't. However, on it's own it's an entertaining and interesting flick. Overall the plot follows the book well, taking an ex-IRA executioner from fugitive to murderer to hero. What this movie lacks is character development. With the exception of Fallon (Micky Rourke) all the people are shallow and one dimensional. The priest, Father de Costa (play ok by Bob Hoskins) never really seems the force he was in the book. You never know what drives him to try and save Fallon from this life of violence, when in the book it's de Costa's own past that mirrors Fallon. Alan Bates as the villan Meehan never really seems to get into the part. Where Meehan is dark, sinister, and VERY complex in the book here he's just there, with a little violence thrown in. One of the best sub-plots of this movie, though, wasn't even in the book. Liam Neeson plays an IRA hit man on Fallon's trail. He is also Fallons best friend and the conflict between the two emotions are played up wonderfully, leading to a violent end. It adds a great suspense to the whole thing.One other exceptional thing about this movie is the score. Bill Conti (of Rocky fame) really captures the mood throughout. Great music!Overall, I liked this movie. Again, I would have like to see more character development of de Costa and Meehan, but still it's a great plot."
Give us DVD version!
David Wilson | Gothenburg, Hovas Sweden | 04/13/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"As usual, Mickey Rourke trying to escape from himself and everybody else, but will he succeed?.. However, I remember it as quite touching film. With IRA assassin, priest and a blind girl, you have helpless GOOD and an ultimate EVIL. I would recommend this film for those who haven't seen it. Me myself, still waiting for DVD version..."
Pleasingly Plausible
grahamrix | 06/19/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Deeply atmospheric, yet unpretentious, this is one of those all too rare films in which the characters are truly believable.Set in mid eighties London amidst the paranoia of the troubles in Northern Ireland; a traumatised former terrorist attempts to escape his violent lifestyle, hindered by a blackmailing local gangster.The entire cast are superb and it is the acting which makes this film so captivating. There are numerous awkward silences and the characters' voices falter occasionally, in precisely the same way as they do when real people speak to one another. Do we all conduct our lives reading from a script? Of course we don't and this film excels by allowing it's characters to be subtly but realistically imperfect. What a shame this lesson has since been overlooked by the majority of Directors worldwide (Watch and learn, guys!). Meanwhile this will remain as the best film I have ever seen."