A Prayer for the Dying (1987) - Rotten Tomatoes

A Prayer for the Dying1987

A Prayer for the Dying (1987)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

A Prayer for the Dying Photos

Movie Info

A man struggling to escape the political unrest of Northern Ireland finds that his violent past still follows him in this drama. Martin Fallon (Mickey Rourke) is a terrorist with the Irish Republican Army who, while attempting to blow up a British military transport, accidentally bombs a bus full of schoolchildren. The incident haunts Fallon, who decides to quit the IRA and escape to London. Fallon wants to relocate to America, but he lacks a passport, and his criminal past would prevent him from getting one. Jack Meehan (Alan Bates), a British gangster who knows about Fallon's past, offers him a deal -- he can get Fallon the papers and the cash to go to America, but in return he must kill a man. A priest, Father De Costa (Bob Hoskins), witnesses Fallon committing the murder, and Fallon wants to find a way to keep De Costa quiet without putting more blood on his hands. The original director of A Prayer for the Dying, Franc Roddam, left the production midway through shooting due to disputes with the producers, and star Mickey Rourke later attempted to disassociate himself from the film.

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Mickey Rourke
as Martin Fallon
Bob Hoskins
as Father Michael Da Costa
Alan Bates
as Jack Meehan
Liam Neeson
as Liam Docherty
Alison Doody
as Siobhan Donovan
Mark Lambert
as Ainsley
Cliff Burnett
as Fred Varley
Karl Johnson
as Fitzgerald
Peggy Aitchison
as Mrs. Orton
James Saxon
as Ellerman
George Shane
as O'Connor
Dave Duffy
as Publican
Peter Needham
as Cemetery Superindentent
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Critic Reviews for A Prayer for the Dying

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (1)

A ludicrous movie about a subject that deserves more serious treatment.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

Mickey Rourke's performance is key in buying the story, whose gestures and look are prolonged in his peculiar Irish intonation and accent. [Full Review in Spanish]

June 22, 2020 | Full Review…

It is almost inexplicable how dull and sodden a melodrama A Prayer for the Dying -- about an IRA terrorist in London -- manages to be.

November 5, 2019 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

The good intentions seem frivolous and what starts out to be a study of a senseless violence in Northern Ireland ends in a senseless study of troubled personalities.

October 9, 2016 | Full Review…

Muses on the difficulty once violent men have in ridding themselves of the mark of Cain.

August 27, 2004 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Tense, Completely original and well-acted.

September 18, 2002 | Rating: 3/5

Audience Reviews for A Prayer for the Dying


This above average thriller is rife with ludicrous performances and ripe in symbolism, even down to the blind girl Mickey Rourke falls for. Almost worth it for Bob Hoskins as a priest beating someone over the head with a dustbin lid!

Dean McKenna
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

A Prayer for the Dying Quotes

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