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Label:
Name: TWILIGHT TIME
Number: TWILIGHT211-BR

A PRAYER FOR THE DYING (1987) (BLU-RAY)
Starring:  Christopher Fulford, Alan Bates, Liam Neeson, Mickey Rourke, Bob Hoskins, Sammi Davis, Alison Doody
Directed By:  Mike Hodges
Composed By:  Bill Conti

“A brisk style and an edgy rhythm…the actors seem to enjoy their showy roles, especially Mr. Bates...and Mr. Hoskins brings his customary conviction to the role of the feisty priest.” – Janet Maslin, The New York Times

“Mike Hodges directs this interesting screen adaptation of the best-selling thriller by Jack Higgins…a cut above other recent entries into the genre because it ambitiously muses on the difficulty once violent men have ridding themselves of the mark of Cain.” – Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality & Practice

Director Mike Hodges’ adaptation of the Jack Higgins thriller, A Prayer for the Dying (1987), focuses on a former IRA terrorist (Mickey Rourke) forced into killing a mobster in order to walk away from a lifetime of violence. Bob Hoskins co-stars as the priest who may offer him redemption, with Alan Bates as a flamboyant London crime lord who’s had enough of both IRA man and man of God.

Limited Edition of 3,000 Units

LANGUAGE: English
VIDEO: 1080p High Definition / 1.85:1
AUDIO: English 2.0 DTS-HD MA
SUBTITLES: English SDH
1987 / Color
107 MINUTES
RATED R

Special Features: Isolated Score Track (with some effects) / Director Mike Hodges on A Prayer for the Dying / Director of Photography Mike Garfath on A Prayer for the Dying / Original Theatrical Trailer

  
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Posted by Mark Turner on October 23, 2017 3:47 PM
By 1986 actor Mickey Rourke was riding out the crest of the wave created by performances in films like 9 ½ WEEKS and BARFLY. But after those films his star seemed to be falling and it wouldn’t be until the mid-2000’s that he would be considered somewhat bankable again. Most of this was due to his personal life and not the performances he gave. This film was proof of that.

Rourke stars as Martin Fallon, a top IRA assassin wanting to get out of the life. It seems his last mission resulted in the deaths of a number of children and he’s had enough killing. Escaping to London he’s looking for a way out and one is provided for him by gangster Jack Meehan (Alan Bates). Kill his rival and he gets a new passport and passage to America.

Fallon falls through with the contract but is seen by a local Catholic priest, Father Da Costa (Bob Hoskins). In an attempt to force the priest to remain silent he confesses the killing to him hoping that the oath he took to never reveal what is said in confession will do so. In talking to the priest he also makes the acquaintance of his blind niece (Sammi Davis).

While this may have worked it doesn’t satisfy Meehan whose brother saw that Da Costa was a witness. Meehan reneges on the deal unless Fallon agrees to kill the priest. With both the mob and the IRA, who fear his betrayal to the cause after his leaving them, on his tail Fallon must try and find a way out as well as insure the safety of both Da Costa and his niece. The odds are against him and it isn’t until the last few minutes of the film that a resolution is found.

Critics at the time slammed Rourke’s Irish accent but that seems to be something they tend to do far more often than not. The same thing happened to Kevin Costner when he chose not to fake an English accent in ROBIN HOOD. The reality is that this is not something most will notice nor will it change the overall performance here. Rourke’s Fallon is exactly what he is intended to be, a man whose conscious troubles him for past deeds faced with the potential to commit more of the same in an effort to save himself.

Hoskins is what he always is, a top notch actor who gives his all to the role offered. He too is a character faced with a dilemma, remaining faithful to his oath to God or going slightly off center to report the fact that Fallon is a murderer. It’s not an easy choice and has been used in more than one movie using confessional revelations for this purpose.

The film is well made, well acted and well directed even if director Mike Hodges complained when the film was released that it wasn’t what he intended and that the studio took the reins from him before it was completed. Even with that being the case the movie remains interesting and entertaining.

Twilight Time once more presents the film in a clean blu-ray transfer that make it the best out there. Extras include an isolated score track with some effects, director Mike Hodges on A PRAYER FOR THE DYING, director of photography Mike Garfath on A PRAYER FOR THE DYING and the original theatrical trailer. As with all of their releases Twilight Time is limiting this to just 3,000 copies so if interested make sure you buy one today.

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