The Boxer

December 31st, 1997


The Boxer

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Daniel Day-Lewis and Jim Sheridan in The BoxerStill of Emily Watson in The BoxerStill of Daniel Day-Lewis and Emily Watson in The BoxerStill of Daniel Day-Lewis in The Boxer

Nineteen year old Danny Flynn is imprisoned for his involvement with the IRA in Belfast. He leaves behind his family and his fourteen year old girlfriend...

Release Year: 1997

Rating: 7.0/10 (8,067 voted)

Critic's Score: 75/100

Director: Jim Sheridan

Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Daragh Donnelly, Frank Coughlan

Nineteen year old Danny Flynn is imprisoned for his involvement with the IRA in Belfast. He leaves behind his family and his fourteen year old girlfriend, Maggie Hamill. Fourteen years later, Danny is released from prison and returns to his old working class neighborhood to resume his life as a boxer, fighting and opening a boxing club training aspiring young boxers. Maggie has since married Danny's best friend, who is also imprisoned for his IRA activities. Although he has not denounced the IRA or denigrated his IRA colleagues, Danny has decided to live a life free of political violence. His boxing club is non-sectarian, open to both Catholics and Protestants. This move irks some of his old IRA colleagues since they feel working with the Protestants will not resolve their David versus Goliath struggle. Danny's old IRA colleagues, especially their unofficial leader Harry, resort to traditional tactics of violence to stop Danny...

Writers: Jim Sheridan, Terry George

Daniel Day-Lewis - Danny Flynn
Daragh Donnelly - Prison Officer
Frank Coughlan - Prison Officer
Sean Kearns - Prison Officer
Lorraine Pilkington - Bride
Niall Shanahan - Groom
John Wall - Priest (as Father John Wall)
Maria McDermottroe - Betty
Carol Scanlan - Wedding Guest
Kate Perry - Wedding Guest
Andrea Irvine - Wedding Guest
Joan McGarry - Wedding Guest
Theresa McComb - Wedding Guest
Catherine Dunne - Wedding Guest
Kerrie Duggan - Wedding Guest

Taglines: Love is always worth fighting for.


Official Website: Universal |

Release Date: 31 December 1997

Filming Locations: Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland

Opening Weekend: $129,915 (USA) (4 January 1998) (3 Screens)

Gross: $5,799,672 (USA) (15 February 1998)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Although set in Belfast, the film was almost exclusively shot in the run-down docklands and Sheriff Street area of Dublin's North Inner City. The flat complex used in the film was earmarked for demolition but this was postponed until filming was completed. Since then the entire area has been redeveloped and now contains several multinational company headquarters, a college, hotels, up-market restaurants, a rail station and million dollar apartments.

Continuity: The cut above Danny's left eye disappears in some scenes.

[last lines]
Soldier: Where are you going?
Maggie: We're going home.

User Review

Difficult but rewarding

Rating: 9/10

I think the reason this wasn't as well received as MY LEFT FOOT and IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER (the previous collaborations of Daniel Day-Lewis and Jim Sheridan) is this is telling a more complex tale, and while I loved both of those films, this one you have to work harder for. It should be said there are some lapses, particularly in the dialogue, which is often unnecessarily repeated. And sometimes, in his attempt not to play on our emotions too much, Sheridan goes too far in the opposite direction, making the film too distant.

Still, this is a powerful film. Sheridan was accused with IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER with making an anti-British film, but in that one and this one, he shows he's not afraid of taking on his own people as well. At the same time, while his sympathies are with Day-Lewis' character, he's able to recognize all sides of the situation, as to emphasize the point that peace is always hard work. Day-Lewis, as usual, gives an outstanding performance, though he's a little too old, and Watson continues to grow as an actress with her performance.


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