Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1980s Prayer For The Dying, A (1987)

Prayer For The Dying, A (1987)

An IRA hitman agrees to carry out one final assassination in exchange for a new identity in England. When a priest witnesses one of his crimes, he faces a dilemma, as he cannot bring himself to kill the cleric, but faces imprisonment if he does not.

Sadly, those involved in this political thriller could never decide what they wanted to make of Jack Higgins’s novel about the moral dilemma of the priest unable to shop an IRA terrorist because he has identified himself in the confessional.

Director Franc Roddam left the project before shooting began, allegedly because he saw it as an “Irish Rambo“. He was replaced at short notice by Mike Hodges, who disowned the released film.

The end result works relatively well as a fast-paced action adventure, but it is certainly shallow and melodramatic, and Bob Hoskins is hard to take as the priest.

As the terrorist, Mickey Rourke was also unpopular, though his Belfast accent isn’t at all bad.

Martin Fallon
Mickey Rourke
Father Da Costa
Bob Hoskins
Jack Meehan
Alan Bates
Liam Docherty
Liam Neeson
Sammi Davis
Christopher Fulford
Siobhan Donovan
Alison Doody

Mike Hodges