A Prayer for the Dying (1987)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  11 September 1987 (USA)
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Martin Fallon is an IRA bomber who tries to blow up a troop truck but instead kills a bus load of school children. He loses heart and quits the movement and goes to London trying to leave ... See full summary »



(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Leonard Termo ...
Maurice O'Connell ...
Ian Bartholomew ...
Peggy Aitchison ...
Cliff Burnett ...


Martin Fallon is an IRA bomber who tries to blow up a troop truck but instead kills a bus load of school children. He loses heart and quits the movement and goes to London trying to leave the U.K. and start a new life. The IRA wants him back (he knows too much) and the local crime boss, Meehan, will only help him if he performs one last hit, on a rival crime boss. When Fallon does perform the hit, he is seen by a catholic priest. He refuses to kill an innocent again and must find a way to escape the police without killing the priest who can identify him. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

11 September 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Auf den Schwingen des Todes  »

Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)


$1,432,687 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Bill Conti replaced John Scott as composer. Scott composed a music score that was rejected by the producers. Scott was then allegedly fired due to creative differences with the producers. Conti was then hired to finish the movie's film score. See more »


Martin Fallon: There's no reason for killing or dying anymore. What's more, there's no reason for living!
Anna: That's a terrible thing to say!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits begin to roll up from behind the amusement park rides on the horizon. See more »


Referenced in The Boondock Saints (1999) See more »


Death March
Music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
See more »

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User Reviews

Guilt-ridden IRA drop-out is called back for one last "hit."
3 November 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Jack Higgins' straightforward thriller about a guilt-ridden IRA bomber forced into "one last job" (where have I heard that plot before?) gets a snarky treatment from cult director Mike Hodges. Mickey Rourke, with alarming red hair, confesses all to the priest (Bob Hoskins, of all people) who accidentally witnessed the shooting. The rules of the church keep Father Bob from talking, but then Rourke goes and falls in love with the priest's blind niece. They bond at the church organ. What? Really, that's the plot. Alan Bates is around as the top dog mobster who's calling the shots (literally) and he seems to be the only actor who's on to the jokey tone Hodges is aiming at. Bates is all set to do a sort of U.K. PRIZZI'S HONOR, but no one else, including an effortlessly charismatic Liam Neeson in a supporting role, has been informed.

9 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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