Irish born acclaimed film maker Jim Sheridan in his third movie, delivers two of the most dramatic court room scene’s ever to be witnessed on celluloid – this is one of them. The story of innocent people wrongly imprisoned for the heinous crime of bombing a packed Guildford pub (which incidently is my home town) in 1974 – that was actually committed by the terrorist group, the I.R.A.
SETTING THE SCENE : It is the verdict after the trial. The judge played by Aidan Grennell speaks his harsh words with power and intensity set to eerie and recurrent background music by Trevor Jones… together with the mannerisms and frightened looks from Daniel Day Lewis, this scene will guarantee to chill you to the bone with every repeated viewing…
INT. COURT ROOM. DAY
Judge : Have you reached a verdict ?
Jury foreman : Yes, we have, my lord.
Judge : How do you find the defendants ?
Jury Foreman : Guilty as charged.
Cheering and clapping from crowd..
Man from the crowd : Hang the Irie bastards !
Judge : Order ! Silence !
Man from the crowd : String em up !
Judge : (Leaning forward) Gerard Patrick Conlon.
Court Usher : (signalling to Gerry) Stand up.
Gerry shocked and terrified stands up slowly…
Judge : I feel it is my duty to wonder aloud, why you were not charged with treason to the crown – a charge that carries a penalty of death by hanging – a sentence i would of had no difficulty in passing in this case.. I sentence you to life imprisonment and i instruct that you shall serve a minimum of 30 years.
Haunting music with drum beat begins…
Judge : Take him down.
Gerry like a frightened boy is moved out of the court. On his way he turns to his Father Giuseppe Conlon..
Gerry Conlon : (with intensity) Help me.
Judge : Paul Michael Hill.
Haunting music continues…
Judge : In my view, your crime is such that life will mean life.
Carole Richardson bursts into tears…
Judge : Annie Maguire, i recommend you serve 14 years !
Annie Maguire : (sobbing and shouting) What have i done for Christ’s sake ?
Judge : Take her down ! …Giuseppe Conlon, 12 years.
Mrs Conlon : (stands up shouting) No, my husband’s innocent !
Giuseppe Conlon : Lord have mercy on you !
Judge : Patrick Joseph Armstrong, 30 years.
Gerry is forced down to the holding cells…
Judge : Carole Richardson, 30 years.
The eerie music gets slightly louder with a drum beat you will never forget..
Carole is taken down to the cell next to Gerry howling and screaming, as nurses follow her. Gerry sits down with his head in his hands in utter disbelief…then he puts his hands over his mouth as he obviously feels sick in the stomach.
© BRWC 2010.
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