The BoxerDecember 31, 1997
Nineteen year old Danny Flynn is imprisoned for his involvement with the IRA in Belfast. He leaves behind his family and his fourteen year old girlfriend…
Release Year: 1997
Rating: 7.0/10 (8,067 voted)
Critic's Score: 75/100
Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Daragh Donnelly, Frank Coughlan
Nineteen year old Danny Flynn is imprisoned for his involvement with the IRA in Belfast. He leaves behind his family and his fourteen year old girlfriend, Maggie Hamill. Fourteen years later, Danny is released from prison and returns to his old working class neighborhood to resume his life as a boxer, fighting and opening a boxing club training aspiring young boxers. Maggie has since married Danny's best friend, who is also imprisoned for his IRA activities. Although he has not denounced the IRA or denigrated his IRA colleagues, Danny has decided to live a life free of political violence. His boxing club is non-sectarian, open to both Catholics and Protestants. This move irks some of his old IRA colleagues since they feel working with the Protestants will not resolve their David versus Goliath struggle. Danny's old IRA colleagues, especially their unofficial leader Harry, resort to traditional tactics of violence to stop Danny…
Writers: Jim Sheridan, Terry George
(as Father John Wall)
Love is always worth fighting for.
Release Date: 31 December 1997
Filming Locations: Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland
Opening Weekend: $129,915
(4 January 1998)
(15 February 1998)
Did You Know?
Although set in Belfast, the film was almost exclusively shot in the run-down docklands and Sheriff Street area of Dublin's North Inner City. The flat complex used in the film was earmarked for demolition but this was postponed until filming was completed. Since then the entire area has been redeveloped and now contains several multinational company headquarters, a college, hotels, up-market restaurants, a rail station and million dollar apartments.
The cut above Danny's left eye disappears in some scenes.
Where are you going?
We're going home.
Difficult but rewarding
I think the reason this wasn't as well received as MY LEFT FOOT and IN THE
NAME OF THE FATHER (the previous collaborations of Daniel Day-Lewis and Jim
Sheridan) is this is telling a more complex tale, and while I loved both of
those films, this one you have to work harder for. It should be said there
are some lapses, particularly in the dialogue, which is often unnecessarily
repeated. And sometimes, in his attempt not to play on our emotions too
much, Sheridan goes too far in the opposite direction, making the film too
Still, this is a powerful film. Sheridan was accused with IN THE NAME OF
THE FATHER with making an anti-British film, but in that one and this one,
he shows he's not afraid of taking on his own people as well. At the same
time, while his sympathies are with Day-Lewis' character, he's able to
recognize all sides of the situation, as to emphasize the point that peace
is always hard work. Day-Lewis, as usual, gives an outstanding performance,
though he's a little too old, and Watson continues to grow as an actress
with her performance.