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THE GENTLE GUNMAN

Director: BASIL DEARDEN

UK • 1952 • BLACK AND WHITE • 86 MINS


ADAPTED BY ROGER MACDOUGALL FROM HIS PLAY, AND DIRECTED BY BASIL DEARDEN, THIS EALING THRILLER FEATURES JOHN MILLS AND DIRK BOGARDE AS FEUDING IRA BROTHERS—THEIR PERFORMANCES ALL THE MORE INTERESTING GIVEN THE LIFE-LONG ANIMOSITY BETWEEN THE TWO ACTORS. THEY WERE ONLY EVER TO APPEAR ON SCREEN TOGETHER TWICE.
Mills is the gentle gunman of the title, an ex-terrorist converted to pacifism and branded a traitor by his former comrades who soon place a price on his head. Bogarde is his impatient younger brother who turns against his sibling when Mills refuses to blow up a London railway station. Shot in a noirish style, the action takes place in 1941 in London, where the British are being bombed by both the Germans and the IRA, and then Ireland where the IRA are shooting one another. Bogarde and Mills give strong performances as brothers torn apart by their political beliefs, and solid support is afforded by renowned British stage actress Elizabeth Sellars, Jack McGowran and the Irish actor and playwright Joseph Tomelty.

Dr. John Devitt will introduce this screening.

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