Some Mother's Son (1996) - Rotten Tomatoes

Some Mother's Son (1996)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

A 1981 hunger strike in a Belfast prison is the historical inspiration for the drama Some Mother's Son, which attempts to focus on the personal dimensions of the event through its portrayal of the families of the striking prisoners. Directed by Terry George, co-author of In the Name of the Father, the film is anchored by Helen Mirren's performance as Kathleen Quigley, an educated, thoughtful schoolteacher who feels the Irish-English conflict is remote from her life until her son is arrested for his involvement with the Irish Republican Army. Yet while she supports her son and works to save his life, Kathleen nevertheless maintains her disdain for violence. This is in great contrast to Annie Higgins, the mother of Gerard's collaborator, who wholeheartedly embraces the IRA's mission. Despite their differing philosophies, the women form an uneasy bond over the suffering of their imprisoned sons. Kathleen finds herself increasingly politicized but finds herself facing a moral dilemma when the prisoners begin a hunger strike. As Gerard's next of kin, it is her right to agree to intravenous feeding should her son enter a coma; however, many people, including Annie, would see such as an act as betrayal of the strike, leaving Kathleen with a choice between saving her son's life and respecting his cause.

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Helen Mirren
as Kathleen Quigley
Fionnula Flanagan
as Annie Higgins
Aidan Gillen
as Gerard Quigley
David O'Hara
as Frank Higgins
Tim Woodward
as Harrington
Tom Hollander
as Farnsworth
Ciarán Hinds
as Danny Boyle
Gerard McSorley
as Father Daly
Geraldine O'Rawe
as Alice Quigley
Dan Gordon
as Inspector McPeake
Grainne Delany
as Theresa Higgins
Ciaran Fitzgerald
as Liam Quigley
Robert Lang
as Government Minister
Stephen Hogan
as Young Turk
Peter Howitt
as SAS Leader
Bosco Hogan
as British Captain
Jimmy Keogh
as Jimmy Higgins
John Kavanagh
as Cardinal
Oliver Maguire
as Frank Maguire
Doreen Keogh
as Mother Superior
Anna Megan
as Rosie Quigley
John Higgins
as John Deegan
Joan Sheehy
as 1st Woman Searcher
Mal Whyte
as Barrister
Barry Cassin
as Prosecutor
Brian Mallon
as Prison Office Jones
Sean Lawlor
as Platoon Leader
Michael Sherrie
as Assistant Governor
James Hickey
as Young Son
Karen Carlisle
as Prisoner's Girlfriend
Fiona Higgins
as Prisoner's Sister
Jer O'Leary
as Hunger Striker
Tim McDonnell
as Hunger Striker
Tony Flynn
as Cyclist
Liam Byrne
as Prisoner Murphy
Pat Mulryan
as 1st IRA Man
Valerie Roe
as Girl in Farnsworth's Office
Deirdre McAliskey
as Woman in Court
Michael S. O'Sullivan
as Prison Office David
Jennifer Gibney
as 2nd Woman Searcher
Robert Taylor (II)
as Election Agent
Kate Perry
as Prison Officer's Widow
Anthony Brophy
as Prisoner's Leader
Mickey McEneaney
as Merry Mac Member
Paddy McEneaney
as Merry Mac Member
Gene Berrills
as Merry Mac Member
Ronan O'Donoghue
as Radio Announcer
Richard Neilson
as Radio Announcer
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Critic Reviews for Some Mother's Son

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (8)

It is fascinating to see Kathleen's independent intelligence shining in the midst of other characters, on both sides, who are true believers.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

If Son were as strong in its storytelling as its characters are in their convictions, it would be more than well-acted political soap.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 2.5/4

Riveting political drama about the importance of conscience and following the imperatives of the heart.

August 26, 2002 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Some Mother's Son


This is a great film that I can't help but watch every now and then.

Leo L
Leo L

Super Reviewer

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