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The Gentle Gunman

An Ealing production, this stiff, overplotted tale of IRA internal feuding, shot in spurious noir style, nevertheless betrays interesting attitudes. The fact that some emphasis is given to the IRA and its claims is defused by abandoning the political issue in favour of a generalised, wet humanism - Mills and Bogarde, as reconciled Irish brothers (!), slouching into the sunset - and by a typically English focus on Irish character. Beatty, the hard man, can say 'You English came into Ireland as if you stormed into a Cathedral and settled into the nave', and the sense of desecration is nevertheless lost because he is 'Irish', i.e. poetic, daft or sinister. If Ealing once mirrored English attitudes, then clearly film-making has progressed but the attitudes haven't. (Roger MacDowell adapted his own play.)

Release details

Duration: 86 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Basil Dearden
Screenwriter: Roger MacDougall
Cast: John Mills
Dirk Bogarde
Elizabeth Sellars
Robert Beatty
James Kenney
Joseph Tomelty
Barbara Mullen
Jack MacGowran
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