106 minutes, U.S.A., 1989, Colour, 35mm

A big-time Hollywood budget, a David Mamet screenplay, Robert De Niro and Sean Penn – what could go wrong? In retrospect, the critical thumping for this religious-themed frolic seems somewhat unjustified, since it works pretty well on its own (admittedly fairly singular) terms.

As fugitive convicts Bob and Sean don clerical garb to break for the Canadian border, the unlikely meeting of criminal cunning and Christian charity is about to move hearts and minds in unexpected ways. Mamet scripts the two leads as barely articulate dolts, eschewing formular wise-crackery in favour of a wry, somewhat quizzical irony that’s definitely Jordan’s domain.

Showing as part of our Neil Jordan Retrospective which runs throughout May. His new film, Byzantium, opens on May 31st. 

See our online exhibition of some of Neil Jordan’s substantial document collections held by the IFI Irish Film Archive.

Book Tickets