Blu-ray review: “In the Name of the Father” (1993)

“In the Name of the Father” (1993)


Running Time: 133 minutes

Written by: Terry George and Jim Sheridan

Directed by: Jim Sheridan

Featuring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Emma Thompson and Pete Postlethwaite

Gerry Conlon: “I’m an innocent man. I spent 15 years in prison for something I didn’t do. I watched my father die in a British prison for something he didn’t do. And this government still says he’s guilty. I want to tell them that until my father is proved innocent, until all the people involved in this case are proved innocent, until the guilty ones are brought to justice, I will fight on. In the name of my father and of the truth!”

Critical Commentary

“In the Name of the Father” is a powerful and emotionally charged drama directed by Jim Sheridan, released in 1993. The film tells the compelling true story of Gerry Conlon, played by Daniel Day-Lewis, an innocent Irishman who, along with his father and several others, is wrongfully convicted of an IRA bombing in 1974. The movie explores themes of injustice, family bonds, and the resilience of the human spirit.

One of the standout aspects of “In the Name of the Father” is the exceptional performances delivered by the cast. Daniel Day-Lewis gives an astonishing portrayal of Gerry Conlon, capturing his transformation from a carefree young man into a man burdened by the weight of a false conviction. Day-Lewis brings raw emotion and intensity to his role, delivering a performance that is both captivating and deeply moving. Pete Postlethwaite delivers an equally compelling performance as Gerry’s father, Giuseppe Conlon, depicting the pain and frustration of a man unjustly imprisoned. The chemistry between Day-Lewis and Postlethwaite is palpable and adds to the authenticity and emotional impact of the film.

The film’s narrative is tightly woven, skillfully blending the personal story of Gerry Conlon with the broader political context of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. The screenplay, written by Terry George and Jim Sheridan, effectively conveys the sense of injustice and the overwhelming struggle faced by Gerry and his family. The film does an excellent job of exploring the flawed justice system that led to their wrongful convictions, highlighting the importance of truth and the devastating consequences of prejudice and discrimination.

Visually, the film creates a gritty and realistic atmosphere, capturing the oppressive nature of the prison environment and the claustrophobic conditions faced by the characters. The cinematography, combined with the evocative musical score by Trevor Jones, enhances the emotional impact of the story, adding depth and resonance to key moments.

“In the Name of the Father” is not only a compelling courtroom drama but also a testament to the strength of familial bonds and the enduring human spirit. It raises important questions about justice, accountability, and the power of truth. By immersing viewers in the journey of the characters, the film succeeds in evoking empathy and provoking thought.

“In the Name of the Father” is a gripping and emotionally charged film that showcases outstanding performances and tackles weighty themes with depth and sincerity. It stands as a poignant reminder of the importance of justice and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

Additionally, the direction by Jim Sheridan deserves high praise for his skillful handling of the film’s complex and emotionally challenging subject matter. Sheridan masterfully balances the intense courtroom sequences with intimate character moments, allowing the audience to connect deeply with the struggles and triumphs of the characters. His ability to navigate the intricate dynamics of the story keeps the viewers engaged and invested throughout.

The film’s exploration of the relationship between Gerry Conlon and his father, Giuseppe, is one of its most poignant and heart-wrenching aspects. Their bond serves as the emotional core of the film, portraying the unwavering love and support between a father and his son, even in the darkest of times. The profound performances of Daniel Day-Lewis and Pete Postlethwaite bring this relationship to life, imbuing it with a genuine sense of warmth, vulnerability, and resilience.

“In the Name of the Father” also sheds light on the broader social and political issues surrounding the Troubles in Northern Ireland. It provides a thought-provoking examination of the tensions between the British government and the Irish Republican Army (IRA) during that period. While the film primarily focuses on the personal story of the Conlon family, it effectively captures the atmosphere of fear, prejudice, and injustice prevalent during those troubled times.

The film’s impact is further heightened by its basis in real events. The fact that these injustices were inflicted upon real people adds a layer of authenticity and urgency to the narrative. “In the Name of the Father” serves as a stark reminder of the potential for corruption and the devastating consequences of wrongful convictions within the legal system.

It is important to note that while “In the Name of the Father” is a gripping and emotionally charged film, it may be emotionally challenging for some viewers due to its intense subject matter and depictions of injustice and incarceration. However, for those who appreciate thought-provoking dramas that explore themes of resilience, family bonds, and social justice, this film is an absolute must-watch.

“In the Name of the Father” stands as a testament to the power of cinema to shed light on important societal issues, challenge established norms, and provoke empathy and understanding. It is a masterfully crafted film that continues to resonate with audiences, leaving a lasting impact and encouraging discussions on topics such as justice, prejudice, and the resilience of the human spirit.

Furthermore, “In the Name of the Father” is a testament to the strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity. The characters’ journey from despair to resilience is deeply inspiring and serves as a reminder of the indomitable nature of the human will. Despite enduring years of wrongful imprisonment and facing the harsh realities of life behind bars, Gerry Conlon and his companions never lose hope or their determination to prove their innocence. Their unwavering fight for justice becomes a symbol of courage and perseverance.

The film also raises important questions about the nature of truth and the flaws within the justice system. It forces viewers to confront the devastating consequences of unchecked power, institutional prejudice, and the potential for wrongful convictions. Through its powerful storytelling, “In the Name of the Father” encourages audiences to reflect on the larger implications of such injustices and the importance of holding those responsible accountable.

The film’s impact extends beyond its immediate narrative, as it serves as a catalyst for discussions and awareness surrounding wrongful convictions and systemic flaws. It highlights the need for a fair and unbiased judicial process and calls for greater scrutiny of cases where the lives and freedoms of individuals hang in the balance. “In the Name of the Father” received critical acclaim upon its release and continues to be regarded as a cinematic masterpiece. It garnered seven Academy Award nominations, including Best Actor for Daniel Day-Lewis and Best Supporting Actor for Pete Postlethwaite, underscoring the outstanding performances and overall quality of the film.

“In the Name of the Father” is a gripping and emotionally resonant drama that combines powerful performances, skilled direction, and thought-provoking storytelling. It successfully brings to light the injustices faced by the Conlon family and their fight for truth and justice. The film’s impact is felt not only through its captivating narrative but also through its ability to spark conversations about social issues and the human capacity for resilience. It stands as a timeless work of cinema that continues to captivate and inspire audiences with its powerful message.

Technical Commentary


“In the Name of the Father” is presented on Blu-ray courtesy of Universal Studios with a VC-1 encoded 1080p transfer in 1.85:1. Fine grain is still quite evident throughout this presentation. The biggest issue some may have with this transfer is what appears to be slight fading of the elements, something that often reduces flesh tones to pallid pinks. The image here is not overly sharp, and some midrange and wide range shots are actually pretty soft looking, but close-ups boast considerable fine object detail.


“In the Name of the Father” features a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track that tends to focus dialogue front and center but which offers some surprisingly immersive surround activity both courtesy of foley effects as well as the nice score . 

Special Features

  • 1080p High-definition presentation on Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary by film historian/critic Bryan Reesman
  • Director Jim Sheridan on In The Name Of The Father – interview featurette
  • Archival interview with actor Daniel Day Lewis (1993)
  • Archival interview with actor Pete Postlethwaite (1993)
  • Theatrical Trailer

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