Jim Sturgess & Ben Kingsley in Fifty Dead Men Walking
In Belfast slang, a "tout" is an informant, and "Fifty Dead Men Walking" tells a dramatically compressed, highly charged version of one tout's life story, which is also the story of multiple near-deaths.
The title refers to the lives McGartland saved, though one could argue that the truer figure is lower, depending on his actual IRA activities. Occasionally Skoglund indulges in the wrong sort of movie pulp, notably in a couple of montage sequences. In its later scenes, as the noose tightens around McGartland (who lives in an undisclosed location today, separated from his family), "Fifty Dead Men Walking" piles on the dread in dubious ways.
McGartland in fact has disowned the movie, claiming in interviews that it "misrepresents" his life and work. "Why did the filmmakers feel it necessary to turn my story on its head?" he asked a one
The question has been asked by many a biographical screen subject. Yet Sturgess and company make a fervent case for this film's version of events.
"Fifty Dead Men Walking" Movie Trailer
Fifty Dead Men Walking MPAA rating: R (for strong brutal violence and torture, language and some sexuality).
Running time: 1:57.
Written and directed by
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