In the Name of the Father (film)

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In the Name of the Father is a 1994 biographical film directed by Jim Sheridan. It is based on the true life story of the Guildford Four, four people falsely convicted of the IRA's Guildford pub bombings which killed four off-duty British soldiers and a civilian. The screenplay was adapted by Terry George and Jim Sheridan from the autobiography Proved Innocent: The Story of Gerry Conlon of the Guildford Four by Gerry Conlon.[2]



Gerry Conlon is a small time thief living during The Troubles in Belfast, Northern Ireland. After several run-ins with the IRA, Conlon is sent to London to live with his aunt, Anne Maguire, when his father, Giuseppe, is concerned for his safety. While there, he meets with old friends Paul Hill, Patrick Armstrong and Carole Richardson and are seen living life as free hippies as the bombings in England begin to escalate, much to their concern. After spending the night on a park bench, where they meet a fellow Irishman named Charlie Burke, Conlon and Hill come across the keys to a prostitute's apartment and decide to rob her for money. After buying the same clothes, Conlon departs and returns to Belfast to his family. During the robbery, the Guildford pub is blown up by the IRA, killing four soldiers and a civilian.

The night after his return, the Conlon home is raided by police and Gerry Conlon is arrested and brought back to England for questioning where he undergoes tough interrogation and psychological torture as the police try to force him into confessing to having taken part in the bombing and to admit to the murder of the five that had been killed. During this time, Giuseppe comes to London to help his son only for the police to arrest him, his sister-in-law Anne Maguire, her husband Patrick, her two sons, her brother Sean Smyth and a family friend, Patrick O'Neill, under suspicion of supplying the IRA with nitroglycerine. Meanwhile, Conlon is still being tortured only to have Hill enter the room and admit to confessing to partaking in the killings, much to Conlon's dismay. Conlon eventually caves in and takes the blame when he is threatened with the life of his father. It is later revealed that Hill confessed because he had a gun in his mouth.

Conlon is put into custody to await the trial only to be confronted by his father as a prison cell-mate, having previously not been aware his father was even in jail. The two argue over the situation, with Giuseppe needing closure in case his son did plant the Guildford bomb, and is relieved when the younger Conlon denies it. When other members of his family visit, Giuseppe reaffirms his belief in his son and they go to trial with the rest of the Guildford Four and the Maguire Seven. They retract their confessions over the incident, informing the judge of the torture they went through. However, after much corruption from the Police, all eleven of them are found guilty of their charges with the Guildford Four being sentenced to 30 years' imprisonment, during which time Richards breaks down and has to be sedated as Conlon seems dumb with shock after being led away.

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