Brendan Gleeson stars as Martin Cahill, the leading Irish criminal of the 1980s. A protean figure, Cahill was a man of extraordinary intelligence, obsessive secretiveness, and vicious brutality who was never stopped by the Irish police despite having pocketed more than £60 million of other people's money. He was also capable of generosity to those in need and exuded a contagious joie de vivre that made him a hero to Ireland's poor and working-class population. Born into poverty in the slums of Hollyfield, Cahill ends up in reform school after robbing a local merchant. Given his abilities, his rise in the world of crime is swift, abetted by a violent streak that has him nailing a partner to a pool table when he mistakently suspects him of talking to the cops. His creative domestic arrangements have him married to Frances (Maria Doyle Kennedy) while also begetting children with her sister, Tina (Angeline Ball). Although he enjoyed mocking every form of authority from the church and the government to the IRA, he had an unspoken bond with police inspector Ned Kenny (Jon Voight), who curses himself for allowing this latter-day Celtic chieftain to charm even a cop. A completely engrossing film anchored by the brilliant Gleeson and a terrific supporting cast, THE GENERAL was shot by director John Boorman in colour and printed in crisp black and white.
The General DVD - £2.99 including delivery at HMV - online only - plus Quidco