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Michael Collins (1996)

Liam Neeson , Aidan Quinn , Neil Jordan  |  R |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (230 customer reviews)

Price: $28.00 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Liam Neeson, Aidan Quinn, Julia Roberts, Stephen Rea, Alan Rickman
  • Directors: Neil Jordan
  • Writers: Neil Jordan
  • Producers: Redmond Morris, Stephen Woolley
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, Letterboxed, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: April 8, 1997
  • Run Time: 133 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (230 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0790729407
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,777 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Michael Collins" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Documentary "The South Bank Show" featuring an interview with 'Neil Jordan'  and actual footage of Michael Collins

Editorial Reviews

Irish writer-director Neil Jordan followed up his surprise hitThe Crying Game with this controversial biography of IRA leader Michael Collins (Liam Neeson), one of the most important political leaders of the 20th century. The film follows Collins as he matures from guerrilla leader to national hero and statesman. Jordan's take on Collins is that he was set up by Irish president Eamon De Valera (Alan Rickman), who was jealous of Collins's legendary popularity. De Valera puts Collins in the position of negotiating a peace treaty that would never satisfy the Irish hero's hard-core followers. When the IRA leader returns with a first-step compromise, De Valera undercuts Collins's popularity by refusing to support the revised treaty. And the civil war continues for months. Michael Collins occasionally loses focus and momentum, but is the kind of exciting historical drama that deserves to be called "sweeping." It is also one of the most beautifully photographed films in years: cinematographer Chris Menges uses color and texture to set moods and accent emotions. The movie also stars Aidan Quinn, Julia Roberts, and Stephen Rea. --Jim Emerson

Product Description

Neil Jordan returns to the strife-torn Irish political landscape for this real-life epic set in 1920 and starring Liam Neeson as the legendary Irish revolutionary leader and Julia Roberts as his headstrong fiancee.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
105 of 115 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jordan and Neeson's crowning achievements. October 6, 2002
By D. Mok
Digging back into their roots, director Neil Jordan and actor Liam Neeson have respectively delivered their most memorable and deep-cutting works to date. Michael Collins has nagging flaws, but in the sweep of the passionate filmmaking and performances, all else is moot. You will be carried forth by the conviction of the story.
Neeson was simply born to play this role. An actor of tremendous power, Neeson is here given a role that's multi-dimensional enough for him to show his formidable chops. The Michael Collins character is alternately a boyish, dashing ladykiller and a tactician with a steel will, and just watching Neeson tackle the character's inner and outer demons is worth the price of the movie. He indeed projects the power and charisma of a great leader in his "our refusal" speech. There's more -- Aidan Quinn gives his best performance as friend-turned-enemy Harry Boland; Alan Rickman utilizes his deadpan comic timing and hidden deviance to perfection as Eamon de Valera; Stephen Rea is great as usual as English traitor Ned Broy. The one weak link is of course Julia Roberts, as Harry and Mick's love interest Kitty, with her bad Irish accent and vacant presence. She's paralyzed by the scope of the historical drama and comes off stiff as a result, injecting the character with neither warmth nor power, and none of her signature girlish exuberance. However, this was one case where the filmmaker's sacrifice of a character was to the benefit of the film. In directing the film, Jordan sliced down Kitty's importance and makes her mostly a footnote; the result is that we are now free to interpret Mick and Harry's split as a philosophical and political one, rather than the ol' romantic triangle. And for the better.
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A much better film than I had imagined... June 4, 2000
What a shame that whenever this film is mentioned nowadays, it's almost always referred to as a Julia Roberts flop. It's actually scarcely a Julia Roberts film at all. Her role is quite minor-and it's commendable that she took it on, really, since she was already a star. I gather she was looking for serious roles in meaty films in an effort to beef up her acting credentials.
And this certainly was a meaty film. It is, in fact, a much, much better film than I had ever imagined from the reviews of the time. I only regret never having seen it on the big screen, because its epic sweep and beautiful cinematography would have been all the more impressive.
Americans, including Irish-Americans like myself, have only the vaguest notions of Irish history. We learn the basics in school, and probably, most educated Americans have an idea of approximately when and how the Irish Republic was established. We may also know that six counties in the North remained under British rule and are still part of the UK (at least, I hope we do--after 30 years of reports on the "troubles").
"Michael Collins" goes some distance toward filling in those informational gaps. I am aware that many critics have challenged writer/director Neil Jordan's interpretation of Irish history (in particular his making Eamon De Valera, the President of the Irish Republic, something of a villain). To that, one can only respond that historical dramas are by definition an interpretation of history. I see that a few of the reviewers below have mentioned that this film inspired them to seek out more information about Irish history. Those of us that do will eventually get a more balanced view, perhaps. It was not Neil Jordan's job to provide us with that perspective. His job as an artist was to tell as engaging a story as he could. On that score, he has succeeded very well indeed.
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Soul stirring September 19, 2004
In an episode of the 1980's cop drama "Miami Vice," Liam Neeson put in an appearance as an IRA terrorist-or at least I think he did if memory serves me correctly. Perhaps his depiction of an Irish tough on television laid the foundation for his work in Neil Jordan's 1996 bio pic "Michael Collins." The 1990s saw several films about the "Troubles," the word often used to describe the unremitting conflict in Northern Ireland, arrive in theaters. Maybe the hopes of a lasting peace in the troubled region during the last decade, as the IRA agreed to lay down their arms on several occasions, inspired Hollywood. I don't know. Whatever the case, armchair fans of Ireland had plenty to look at in the Cineplex for a few years. While I haven't seen most of these films, I have seen "Michael Collins" several times over the last eight years, and it is difficult to imagine any of these other pictures surpassing this one in any way, shape, or form. Jordan's picture is an inspired piece of work, a beautiful yet politically complex look at how the IRA came to function as an urban guerilla operation in their efforts to secure a unified Ireland free of British oversight and influence.

The film starts on a dramatic tone as Irish rebels battle British troops in the Easter Uprising of 1916. This rebellion fails despite the fact that most of England's resources are tied up in the war raging on the continent. Most of the upstarts-including Michael Collins (Neeson), Harry Boland (Aidan Quinn), and Eamon de Valera (Alan Rickman)-march off to lengthy prison sentences. The perceived ringleaders aren't as lucky: the British line up most of these chaps against the wall and gun them down. Eamon de Valera is one of the few higher ups to survive in large part because he was born in America.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
The movie is great, but the VHS I received has a minor glitch.
Published 1 day ago by Patricia R. Mayo
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved it!
Published 9 days ago by Myra Winkler
5.0 out of 5 stars Good historical movie
This movie provides a lot of insight into the history of Ireland. The acting is excellent, and it's very enjoyable.
Published 28 days ago by kathy jessee
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good.
I have watched it numerous times and just think the acting and events of the day a superb portrayal. Great film.
Published 1 month ago by Patrick
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film
I really knew nothing about the history of Ireland so this film was quite informative. The performances were wonderful. I highly recommend it.
Published 1 month ago by Francine Roberts
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Michael Collins was a great man. His story was not a love story co-starring Julia Roberts. He was a strategist of great intelligence whom the British could neither capture nor... Read more
Published 2 months ago by MariaReina
5.0 out of 5 stars Michael Collins, Leader of the Irish Struggle for Independence from...
The film, "Michael Collins" brings the troubled history of Ireland into realistic clarity unmatched by most studies of the causes that led to the outbreak of the armed... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Geff Kelly
5.0 out of 5 stars Good sense of the man who is an icon of Irish Freedom
Liam Neeson and Aidan Quinn are excellent in this semi biography of one of Ireland's leading fighters for independence from England. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Susan Wexler
5.0 out of 5 stars awsome movie
If you are interested in Irish History, this is a great movie to watch Given the time constraint on a video, enough information was delivered.
Published 3 months ago by Jody B. Race
4.0 out of 5 stars Eventual Justice
Based on a true story. It is told from the Irish perspective. Would have been helpful to for film to provide a bit more background of tensions that led to this point. Read more
Published 3 months ago by ArnoldXX
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