Combustible Celluloid
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With: Brendan Gleeson, Adrian Dunbar, Sean McGinley, Jon Voight, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Angeline Ball, Eamonn Owens
Written by: John Boorman, based on a novel by Paul Williams
Directed by: John Boorman
MPAA Rating: R for violence and pervasive language
Running Time: 124
Date: 05/29/1998

The General (1998)

4 Stars (out of 4)

Modern Crimes

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Director John Boorman returns to top form with this gorgeous, widescreen,black-and-white caper film. Brendan Gleeson stars as Martin Cahill, the real-lifeIrish criminal mastermind who outwitted the police time and again. Gleeson is abrilliant actor and provides Cahill with a grounded humanity and a special tic inwhich he hides his face with his hand or coat as often as possible. The greatEamonn Owens (The Butcher Boy) co-stars as a young Cahill in flashbacks,Jon Voight has an outstanding supporting turn as Cahill's police rival, and MariaDoyle Kennedy and Angeline Ball are memorable as Cahill's wife and sister-in-law(both were Cahill's lovers). The film glides on seriocomic wings and whisks usrapturously away. It ranks with Boorman's own classic crime film PointBlank (1967), and that's high praise.

DVD Details: Since The General was shot on color film stock, the DVD contains both the color and black-and-white versions, which is a shame. Most people will probably opt for the color, and therefore miss out on much of the experience.

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