Michael Collins

Synopsis: Neil Jordan's depiction of the controversial life and death of Michael Collins, the "Lion of Ireland", who led the IRA against the UK and helped found the Irish Free State in 1922.
Director(s): Neil Jordan
Production: Warner Bros.
  Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 15 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
133 min

You've got to think of him the way he was.

He cycled around Dublin...

...in his pin-striped suit with

10,000 on his head.

'Why hide, Joe,' he'd say...

'...when that's what they expect?'

But he never did what anyone expected.

He got the British out of here,

and no one expected that.

Some people are what the times demand...

...and life without them seems impossible.

But he's dead.

And life is possible.

He made it possible.


Cease firing!

Cease firing!

Move forward!

Come forward!

Keep your hands in the air and your

weapons visible at all times.

Form up, in three columns...

...across the square.

Now, ground your arms.

Take three paces back...


Move three paces back, now!

The game's over, Harry. We lost again.


Pick your feet up!

Move it, you Fenian bastard!

Open the gates!

Show me the ringleaders

of this little farce.


...with the gunner eye.


Thomas Clarke.


Get up, you Fenian swine.

Wait, Michael. Wait.

Till when?

Till the next time.

Eamon de Valera.

What happens next time?

We won't play by their rules.

We'll invent our own.


'The fact...

'...that l was born in...


'...might save my hide.

''Either way...

''...I am ready...

''...for what...


''The Irish Republic...

''...is a dream...

''...no longer. ''


'lt is daily sealed...

'...by the lifeblood...

'...of those who...

'...proclaimed it.

'And every one of us...

'...they shoot...

''...brings more people...

''...to our side.

''They cannot imprison us...


''And from...

''...the day...

''...of our release...


''...we must act...

''...as if the Republic...


''...a fact.

'We defeat...

'...the British Empire...


'...ignoring it.'

They let us out of jail so we can

do our best to be put inside again.

Don't you see a certain paradox in that?


A contradiction.

An immovable force meets an

immovable object kind of thing.

Look, isn't that a lovely picture?

Maybe we should settle down.

Just the two of us?

And him.


How are you?

How long has that man been there?

As long as we have. Half an hour or so.

How'd they know we were coming?

They know what we ate for breakfast.

There's only one way to beat them, then.

Find out what they eat for breakfast.


lt's market day.

Where are you going?

So, what did you have for breakfast?

A traffic jam, lads.

lf you backed up, we could back up...

...and you could chase us some more.

lf we sit here a minute, it'll sort itself out.

Grand so.

The fact that the candidate

you're being asked to vote for...

...is at this moment rotting in an

English jail shouldn't put you off!

l was in one myself till a week ago!

They can jail us.

They can shoot us.

They can even conscript us!

They can use us as cannon

fodder in the Somme!


...we have a weapon more powerful...

...than any in the whole

arsenal of the British Empire!

That weapon...

...is our refusal!

Our refusal to bow to

any order but our own!

Any institution but our own!

Our friends in the Royal lrish

Constabulary want to shut me up.

Jail me again, shoot me, who knows?

But l'd like you to send them a message!

lf they shut me up,

who'll take my place?

Who'll take my place?

We will!

l can't hear you! Who'll take my place?

Will they shut you up?

Clear a path!

Clear a path!

Get him out! Go, get him out!

So, what's your name?


ls Harry here?


What did they hit you with?

Whatever it was, it was hard.

-You'll be all right.

-You're a nurse, Kitty?

l'm nothing.

l'm my father's daughter.

Who's your father?

He's dead.

There's dinner in an hour,

if you fancy it.

Grand so.

'Last night she came to me

'She came softly in

'Was so softly she came that

'Her feet made no din

'And she laid her hand on me

'And this she did say

''Aye, it will not be long, love

''Till our

''Wedding day''

Gorgeous, Kitty. Beautiful.

Mick's about to make another speech.

What are you saying, you Dublin jackeen?

What would you know about singing?

l agree, you West Cork muck savage.

You're the expert in singing.

So it's your turn now, right?

Hey, hey, give over, Harry, will ya.

She has a voice like an angel.

l have one like a puck goat.

ls it or is it not Mick's turn?

No, please.

A noble call is mine...

...and l call on Michael.

Mick, give us your party piece.

Come on, Mick. Give us a song.

He hasn't a note in his head.

Shut up.

'Well do l remember

the bleak December day

'The landlord and the sheriff

came to drive us all away

'They set my roof on fire with

their cursed foreign spleen

'And that's another reason

'Why l left old Skibereen'

Twelve more verses, now.

You wanted to be woken.

There was a man in West Cork

who proposed to five sisters...

...one after the other.

l suppose they all refused.

Then the father died,

and he proposed to the mother.

Are you trying to tell me something?

l was building up to a proposal.

lt's not easy with a Fenian in your bed.

-He likes you too.

-l do?

Stop it.

-But, sadly, he snores.

-l do not.

So it's up to you, Kitty.

-l don't have to like either.

-Never was a truer word spoken.

And he sleeps in his trousers.

Forgive the brute.



Behave yourself.

Am l dreaming?

l think you are.

We'll be an invisible army.

Our uniform will be that of the man

on the street, the peasant in the field.

We'll strike the enemy

and vanish back in the crowd again.

What do we strike with?

What have you got?

Show me.

Jeez, look at this, Harry.

Same old story.

You need something better.

Where's the police barracks?

-Two miles down the road.

-There is an arsenal.

How do we get in? We have no bullets!

They don't know that.

What's that?

-A sod of turf.

-Wrong. That's a weapon.

F***ing deadly.

You don't believe me?

What is it now?

Good evening, lads.

Hands in the air.

-Drop your weapons!


We'll relieve you of your responsibilities.

Grab that bag, one of youse.

Jesus, lads, it's Christmas.

You'll be organized in flying columns.

Fight on your own terms.

What's your name?

-Whose terms, Pat?


l want each of those to capture ten more.

And l want you to account for every bullet,


Stand up!

-You understand?

-Yes, sir!

l'll make a f***ing army out of you

if it's the last thing l do.

-Am l late, Joe?

-Not yet.

Can't keep the gob-shites waiting.

Harry, l want something--

Hold on, hold on. Behind you.

Jesus wept.

Five minutes.

Sit down.

Have a drink.

What's this?

What's all this?

You've been on my heels for weeks.

Very eager for a G man.

l've something for you.


Don't you ever calm down?

Names and addresses

of the whole cabinet.

They're to be lifted tonight.

lt's an illegal gathering...

...in open defiance

of His Majesty's government.

How'd you get this?

Like you said, l'm eager, for a G man.

Why should l trust you?

Logically, l suppose you shouldn't.

Rate this script:5.0 / 1 vote

Neil Jordan

Neil Patrick Jordan is an Irish film director, screenwriter and novelist. He won an Academy Award for The Crying Game. He also won the Silver Bear for Best Director at the Berlin International Film Festival for The Butcher Boy. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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