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Hennessy

9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

After his wife and child are killed during violence in Belfast, an Irishman plots to assassinate the Queen of England in revenge...by bombing the British Parliament when the Royal Family is in attendance.

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Product Details

  • Actors: Rod Steiger, Lee Remick, Richard Johnson
  • Directors: Don Sharp
  • Writers: Richard Johnson, John Gay
  • Producers: Samuel Z. Arkoff, Peter Snell
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: MGM
  • DVD Release Date: June 6, 2011
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0052SO024
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,764 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By P. Aj Smith on August 26, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A long overdue release on DVD of this controversial thriller. Filmed at a time when the IRA were still engaged in terrorist activities on mainland Britain the film caused a minor scandal by including newsreel footage of the Royal Family, making it appear as if they are part of the unfolding climax. The film was refused distribution by all major distributing chains in the UK, and also banned by local Councils from being shown in their areas. It had a limited release in the UK and came out on VHS years later.The plot requires a major suspension of disbeleif, but the film works well within it's tight budget, the early scenes in Northern Ireland set a powerful opening for the following tale of revenge. An excellent supporting cast of major English charachter actors add authority and distinction to minor parts, Lee Remick is memorable in an underdeveloped role of an old freind who shelters Hennessy, there is an excellent soundtrack by the underated John Scott, and Rod Steiger delivers one of his most understated and nuanced performances in the title role, reminding us what an outstanding actor he was in his prime. The film is a minor gem.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By APB on August 11, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Thanks to the huge success of Warner Brothers' 'Movies on Demand' program, other majors have jumped on this lucrative wagon and launched one of their own, bringing us movies that might not otherwise see the light of day - though this 1975 British thriller from erstwhile Hammer director Don Sharp did get a release on VHS in the mid to late '80s. This nice looking, widescreen edition from MGM is a vast improvement over that pan and scan effort, resulting in a much more enjoyable viewing experience.
Hennessy (Rod Steiger) is a demolition expert and former member of the Irish Republican Army who no longer believes in the violence in Northern Ireland as a means of achieving the end of British rule there. He spurns attempts by a former comrade (the always magnificent Eric Porter)to persuade him back into the fight or, failing that, at least supply the organization with the explosives his job gives him access to.
Fate comes between Hennessy and his commitment to peace when his wife and daughter are accidentally gunned down by a British soldier during an attack on his unit by rock-throwing kids and an IRA sniper. Hennessy, believing their deaths were deliberate, vows to avenge them by blowing up none other than the Queen and every member of Parliament during its opening ceremony.
Both the IRA and Scotland Yard get wind of this, setting in motion the attempts by both sides to capture Hennessy that are the movie's raison d'etre - the IRA because the slaughter would turn public opinion against them forever, and the police for obvious reasons.
The movie makers incorporated film of an actual opening of Parliament that appears to show the Queen and others in the House of Lords reacting to Hennessy being thwarted in his attempt at mass assassination.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Hiram Gomez Pardo HALL OF FAME on October 24, 2007
Format: VHS Tape
Hennessy was a very effective thriller that dealt with the unfortunate events around the life of a simple man who lost his family by a bomb, focusing all his energies in order to kill the Queen of England as a personal revenge. Rod Steiger proves us why he was one of the most extraordinary North American actors in years, visibly overlooked and wasted by the American cinema.

This film may be proudly cited among the three best suspense thrillers of the first half of that decade, joined with "Black Sunday" and "The day of the jackal."
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By WSH on May 12, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This thriller bears more than a passing resemblance to 'The Day of the Jackel', in plot development and in some specific shots. Which is all to the good, because the other film is a terrific production. This one is not far behind and continues to surprise just when you think it has played all its cards. The cast, including Rod Steiger, Lee Remick and Trevor Howard (the latter two in comparatively small roles), is top-notich. The exterior locations and use of newsreel footage (watch for the Queen's 'reaction' during the climactic scene - no wonder the producers had to run a disclaimer that the film was not made with the assistance of the royal family) both lend the story great impact and drama. The only caveat, for me, is that we are not told enough about the main character to be able to comprehend why he has embarked on his extreme plot - apart from his grief. Some clues are played in as we go along, but he needed more development up front.
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By Mrgvase on August 27, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
a tough one for us brits to watch at the start,due to the subject matter ie northern island troubles,but hang on this is a great lost gem now out on a proper dvd,only ever saw this on crap grade vhs before,good thriller never shown on uk tv again due to content,however now worth seeking out,great colour and clear detail at last,you can see TRAVOR HOWARD was in the brandy races,due to face looking as if he had been drinking for years,you do not notice on vhs as the copies are so bad.Also the hardware ie tv`s dvd players etc are now as good as the disc`s they are playing so you can enjoy the movie`s as they should be,one to buy now,very good dvd,and is in fullscreen,which helps on a large LED tv.
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