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is a 1982 film directed by Neil Jordan
Neil Patrick Jordan is an Irish filmmaker and novelist. He won an Academy Award for The Crying Game.- Early life :...
and starring Stephen Rea
Stephen Rea is an Irish film and stage actor. Rea has appeared in high profile films such as V for Vendetta, Michael Collins, Interview with the Vampire and Breakfast on Pluto...
. The film was Neil Jordan's directorial debut, and the executive producer was John Boorman
John Boorman is a British filmmaker who is a long time resident of Ireland and is best known for his feature films such as Point Blank, Deliverance, Zardoz, Excalibur, The Emerald Forest, Hope and Glory, The General and The Tailor of Panama.-Early life:Boorman was born in Shepperton, Surrey,...
Danny, a saxophonist (played by Rea) with a travelling band witnesses the gangland murder of the band's manager (involved in extortion payoffs) and that of a Deaf and mute girl witness at a dancehall in South Armagh. Danny tries to hunt down the murderers and in doing so his relationship with Deirdre, the singer in his band falls apart and he becomes a murderer himself.
The film is set in Northern Ireland and it is implied that the extortionists/murderers are loyalist paramilitaries (one is described as "a Prod" by his Catholic girlfriend; another is a policeman). However, there is little specific reference to the Northern Ireland Troubles and it would not make much differences to the plot if they were apolitical gangsters.
The film was made in and around inner-city Dublin (standing in for Belfast) and Jordan's native Bray
Bray is a town in north County Wicklow, Ireland. It is a busy urban centre and seaside resort, with a population of 31,901 making it the fourth largest in Ireland as of the 2006 census...
. In the sequences where the band play in a seaside resort (probably supposed to be Portstewart
Portstewart is a small town in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. It had a population of 7,803 people in the 2001 Census. It is a seaside resort neighbouring Portrush. Of the two towns, Portstewart is decidedly quieter with more sedate attractions. Its harbour and scenic coastal paths form an...
since Danny is shown asking older bandsmen about their memories of his late uncle, whom we are earlier told played in a band at Portstewart) Bray Head is visible in some background shots. Other locations include the former Butlin's holiday camp in Mosney, Co. Meath, and the former Mental Hospital, Grangegorman.