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The film uses dramatic license, showing Gerry and his father Postlethwaite imprisoned together (in Real Life they were separate) with their fight to survive inside, and meet one of the real bombers (also fictional; although the men responsible confessed at trial, exonerating the Guildford Four, the police didn't want to hear it). After Giuseppe's premature death from ill health exacerbated by prison, Gerry embarks on a quest to prove himself innocent after he is urged on by an idealistic attorney (Thompson), leading to a magnificent conclusion.
This Movie Contains Examples Of:
- Acquitted Too Late: Giuseppe.
- Asshole Victim: Gerry. We first see him stealing building material and his alibi is robbing a prostitute.
- Based on a True Story: Sadly true, although fictionalized in the film.
- Chewing the Scenery: Day-Lewis, justified, well done and appropriate.
- Framing the Guilty Party: What the police apparently believed they were doing to the Guildford Four, feeling sure they were all guilty but without enough evidence to convict. It seems they felt good about it.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Art film fans will recognize the defense attorney as Bosco Hogan, who played Stephen Dedalus in the 1977 film version of A Portrait of the Artist As A Young Man.
- Not to mention Mark.A.Sheppard as one of the hippies.
- Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Police tortured them to confess, although doing so in ways that wouldn't leave any marks.
- The Troubles: The backdrop for the film. 1974 was the height of a bombing campaign on the British mainland by the IRA.
- "Well Done,Son" Guy: Giuseppe is this to Gerry.
- Wrongly Accused: The Guildford Four. Basically wrong place, wrong time, wrong nationality.