- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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shake hands with the devil
- kevin sellers
Great James Cagney performance (playing what I understand to be The Devil) and wonderful supporting stuff from Cyril Cusack (back in the IRA fifteen years after "Odd Man Out") Michael Redgrave, Glynis Johns, Sybil Thorndyke and a "was he really that young?" Richard Harris. Also, some good action sequences. Otherwise it's kind of a long slog with, as previous reviewer Godzilla 97 alluded to, a way too talky script from Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts (who served Cagney much better in "White Heat") and in the non action sequences forgettable direction from Michael Anderson, whose idea of pacing is to periodically dispense violence like drips from an IV so the viewer/patient will be anesthetized from turning the damn thing off. Also not helping to enliven the proceedings are bland performances from Don Murray in the lead and Dana Wynter as his aristocratic love interest. Murray's forgettable presence really points up the limitations of Anderson as a handler of actors, especially when you see how good this guy is when guided by a great film maker, like Otto Preminger in "Advise And Consent." Give it a C plus.
Shake Hands with the Devil
- Steven John Bosch
This is more a request for anyone who knows more about Irish history and the war for independence to correct my ignorance.The little I know prompts me to say this is one of the best roles Jimmy Cagney got in his later years. I remember after seeing "Michael Collins" that many in the movement refused to support the treaty as it gave the Irish a parliament but retained control over its economic development. In short, you now have the authority to carry out our orders yourselves. Lenahan's rebels do miss Col. Smithson, who gave the impression to me of Frankenstein's creature. The actor successfully gives the impression of a man who considers himself unappreciated, doing an important job under intolerable conditions. He is also the mirror image of Lenahan as he has forsaken mercy, meaning civilization, the idea being that we can be civilized right after we kill everyone of our enemies, and our enemies are all of them. If they're not carrying weapons now they will later if you allow them to live.I also thought it was one of Dana Wynter's best roles. Don Murray is believable as the veteran of war who simply wants to get back to civilian life who gets radicalized by Smithson. One of the unforseen consequences of torture, you turn out more radicals than you bring in.
After spending 2 precious hours watching this movie, I am puzzled why the Irish bother to shoot the English when they obviously could have talked them to death. It almost worked with me.
- Nat M. Lucas
Did they manage to kill Col. Smithson?????
- Dennis Harris
Excellent depiction of a difficult to understand period in Irish history. Shows us both the resolve to shed English shackles and the basis for the "Irish Civil War" following the peace treaty. Well Done!
Shake Hands With the Devil
This is a marvelous film. Still can't believe it hasn't been released on DVD! James Cagney is so believable as the bad guy and good guy all rolled into one. The cast is great a lot of young guys who later became big like Richard Harris. Michael Redgrave is marvelous as always. I highly recommend this film it holds your interest from beginning to end. It is done with detail to history and is believable as well as entertaining.
Shake Hands With The Devil
- John Ryan
This is a Great Film! Why it hasnt recieved the recognition it deserves puzzles me to this day. Tight story,wonderfully shot in/on Irish locations and with Cagney in a great role with no sign of any deteriorating skills (1959) and with Michael Redgrave,Cyril Cusack,Richard Harris,Glynis Johns and Sybil Thorndike giving solid performances among others, this continues to be (unfortunately) a hidden gem of a film! John Ryan
One to view
A truly fantastic film with a brilliant cast. I was fortunate to receive the DVD from Ireland but I could never fathom out why it was never shown on TV. Could it be that it was politically unacceptable to the establishment.
An overlooked classic
- Alex Bird
Sawe this in the the Odeon Cinema in Bath in 1959. Really enjoyed it ~ the sense of drama is beautifully developed as they try to outwit the Black and Tans. When I visited the Mansion House in Dublin in 1997 and saw the hiding place of Michael Collins, I was reminded of the film, and have been looking for a copy ever since.This is one of James Cagney's greatest roles, and as it's never shown in the cinema or on TV, I can't help wondering if that is because its message is politically unacceptable.
CAGNEY'S BEST LATE CAREER PERFORMANCE?
This is a gem. Perhaps Cagney's last truly great performance. He seems energized by the subject matter (the Irish revolution) and is electrifying every moment he is on screen. The film itself is captivating. Directed earnestly and with '50s panache, it communicates effectively this explosive moment in history. All this and Richard Harris in a supporting role! How can anyone pass this up? Do yourself a favor and grab any opportunity to view this underappreciated classic.