The General

Director: John Boorman

One of Brendan Gleeson’s finest performances, he here takes the lead role in this biopic of notorious Dublin gangster Martin ‘The General’ Cahill. Opening with Cahill’s murder by the IRA in 1994, the film returns to Cahill’s youth to tell the story of his ascent to the top of Ireland’s criminal food-chain. Starting out as a cat burglar, Cahill grows into a brutal crimelord, scaling up his ventures as he carries out some of the largest heists in Irish criminal history and callously dispatching anyone who crosses his path. Remarkably, Gleeson makes this monster entertaining, by playing up Cahill’s love of theatrics and game-playing. Director John Boorman too was in fine form here, picking up the Best Director Award at Cannes for this unpredictable film that, in a manner fitting Cahill’s own personality, jumps from comedy to brutality in an instant.

Best Director Award at the 51st Cannes Film Festival 1998.
Best Feature Film Award at the Irish Film and Television Awards 1999.
Best Lead Actor Award (Gleeson) at the Irish Film and Television Awards 1999.

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