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Film Details

TitleCOURIER, THE
Production companyEustace Films
Palace Pictures
City Vision Films
SponsorBórd Scánnán na hEireann/Irish Film Board
Country of originGreat Britain
ProducerMcLOUGHLIN, Hilary
WOOLLEY, Stephen
DirectorLEE, Joe
DEASY, Frank
Script/AdaptationDEASY, Frank
PhotographyBERISTAIN, Gabriel
Sound recordingHAYES, Pat
EditingTRIGG, Eric
D'ALTON, Annette
SUTTON, Amanda
THOMAS, Sarah
Art directionWILSON, David
Costume designBOYLE, Consolata
Executive producerJORDAN, Neil
POWELL, Nik
HAMBLEY, John
Music composerMACMANUS, Declan
Songs'Burn Clear' by Alan Byrne, Tom Dunne, Ray Harmon,
Eamonn Ryan, perf. by Something Happens; 'The Courier - It's a Dangerous Game' by Joe Jewell, Chris Dignam, Tony McGuinness, perf. by Asian; 'Kill
the One You Love' by John Brereton, arrg. by Nigel White, perf. by Lord John White; 'Love Don't Work This Way' by Hothouse Flowers, 'She Came from There' by Something Happens, 'Silly Dreams' by Cry Before Dawn, 'Walk to the Water' by U2, 'Who Cares' by Martin McHugh, Michael Ivory, perf. by Too Much for the White Man, 'Wild White Horse' by Liam Ó Maonlai, Fiachna Ó Braonain, Peter O'Toole, perf. by Hothouse Flowers.
CastPadraig O Loinsigh (Mark), Cait O'Riordan (Colette), Gabriel Byrne (Val), lan Bannen (McGuigan), Patrick Bergin (Christy), Andrew Connolly (Danny), Michelle Houlden (Sharon), Mary Ryan (Carol), Dave Duffy (Dunne), Joe Savino (video editor), Caroline Rothwell (receptionist), Stuart Dunne (Tony), Martin Dunne (Alfie), Mick Egan (barman). Mark Flanagan (Sharon's baby), Anne Enright (pregnant girl), Lucy Vigne-Welsh, Ger Ryan (assistants in jewellers'). Owen Hyland (schoolboy), Kevin Doyle (boy at Val's shop), Albert Fahy (Val's assistant). Alee Doran (man in pub), Aidan Murphy (boy picked up by Val), Aisling Cronin (girl in Alfie's), Robbie Graden (busker), Toni O'Neill (dancer), David Nolan (policeman), Maurice O'Donoghue (Special Branch detective). Tony Coleman, Shay Ledwidge (Special Branch men), Stephen Dunne, Lynn Cahill (housebuyers).
ColourTechnicolor
Soundsound
Duration81/85
Footage7651
Release date1988
CopyIFA
SummaryDublin criminal Val visits a woman in a housing complex and gives her money. Threateningly, he speaks to one of his men, Danny, a drug addict, and Christy. Later, a jewellery store is robbed by Danny and Christy. While making a delivery in Dublin, motorcycle messenger Mark visits the bank where an old friend, Colette, Danny's sister, works. Her brother was once a close friend of Mark's and he and Colette begin to date. Val is being targeted by police detective McGuigan, who brings Danny in for questioning. McGuigan asks his help in catching Val. Danny tells him that jewels are being traded for heroin. When Val finds out that Danny has co-operated with the police, he smashes a light bulb into one of his eyes. Following an accident, Mark realises that he has been used as a courier to ferry drugs and drugs money between Val and his clients. Danny goes to see Mark and they renew their friendship. The next day, Danny dies after taking poisoned heroin supplied by Val. By now close to Colette, Mark determines to wreak revenge on Val. He infiltrates Val's organisation and joins up with Christy for a proposed robbery on the bank where Colette works. He uses his role as a courier to plant drugs on Val so that McGuigan can arrest him. Val sees McGuigan arrive and gets rid of the drugs before he can arrest him. Realising that Mark is responsible, Val sends Christy to his home to take revenge. Carol, manager of the courier office, apologises to Val for Mark's action. Colette arrives at Mark's house while Christy waits upstairs to kill Mark. Mark arrives home and gets Colette out of the house when he realises Christy is there. Sharon, another courier, arrives at Mark's house to warn him about Val and is shot by Christy who thinks she is Mark. Mark talks with McGuigan and accuses him of being responsible through neglect for Danny's death. Mark attacks the club where Val has been with a boy. Colette takes McGuigan to the bank where she works as Christy is fleeing after robbing it. Christy tries to kidnap Colette but then tells McGuigan the location of Val's hide-out. At the hide-out, Val disarms and wounds Mark after he holds him up. McGuigan arrives and one of his men kills Val. Two housebuyers buy Mark's house. Mark and Colette decide to leave the city. (V).
NoteIR Rel 10/2/1988 (world premiere); TX UTV ca. 14/3/1990. Filmed on location in Dublin and at MTM Ardmore Studios, Bray, Co Wicklow. A novelisation of the screenplay by Frank Deasy was published as The Courier by Gerald Cole (London: Metheun, 1988).
ReferenceIT 27/1/1988:12; IT 12/2/1988:14; SI 31/1/1988:17; SI 14/2/1988:17; ST 7/2/1988:19.

The Courier: production notes. Background to the production of The Courier.
Held at the Tiernan MacBride Library of the Irish Film Institute.

‘Captives: Frank Deasy, writer’. Brief biography of Frank Deasy, director of The Courier. Held at the Tiernan MacBride Library of the Irish Film Institute.

Film Base News, Apr/May 1988:14-5, critical discussion of The Courier (Johnny Gogan, Mike Collins).

Film Base News, Jan/Feb 1988:3, ‘Courier release’, brief outline of background of The Courier.

Irish Times, 12/2/88:1, ‘Courier fails to deliver’, review (Ray Comiskey).

Irish Times, Feb 1988, ‘Irish connections’, brief preview of The Courier (Ray Comiskey).

Irish Times, 27/1/88:12, ‘Three young Dubliners and their film’, interview with directors, Frank Deasy and Joe Lee, and producer, Hilary McLoughlin about The Courier (Ray Comiskey).

Irish Times, 1988, ‘Do we need these seamy films?’, reader's letter criticising Irish films including The Courier, Joyriders et al.(Christopher Hickey).

Irish Times, 5/6/87:1, ‘Dublin girl with £800,000 to spend’, interview with Hilary McLoughlin, producer of The Courier, on her life and work in the film industry (Kathryn Holmquist).

Monthly Film Bulletin, Feb 1988:41, review (Philip Strick).

The Guardian, 18/02/88:1, review (Tim Pulleine).

City Limits, 1988, review. Held at the Tiernan MacBride Library of the Irish Film Institute.

In Dublin, 18/02/88:1, review.

Dublin Opinion, 03/88:1, review (Djinn Gallagher).

Elle, 1988, review (Elissa Van Poznak). Held at the Tiernan MacBride Library of the Irish Film Institute.

Irish Press, 7/1/88:1, ‘Irish Film a Big Hit’, 'The Courier' an international success even before it was released in Ireland (Philip Molloy).
Format35mm
DistributorPalace Pictures (GB)
LanguageEnglish
Production creditsp.c: Eustace Films and Palace Pictures present a City Vision Film. Developed and produced with the assistance of Bord Scannan na hEireann/Irish Film Board, p: Hilary McLoughlin, co-p: Stephen Woolley, exec p: Neil Jordan, Nik Powell, John Hambley, d: Joe Lee, Frank Deasy, sc: Deasy, dop: Gabriel Beristain, c. op: Peter Cavaccuiti, 2nd unit c. op: Seamus Deasy, 2nd unit a.c: Aidan Murphy, focus puller: Des Whelan, grip: John Murphy, clapper loader: Alan Butler, trainee clapper loader: Paco Hayes, 1st a.d: Martin O'Malley, 2nd a.d: Gay Brabazon, 3rd a.d: Konrad Jay, trainee a.d: Hugh Linehan, John Halpin, Lisa Mulcahy, John McDonnell, p.m: Mary Alleguen, art d: David Wilson, ed: Derek Trigg, Annette D'Alton, a. ed: Amanda Sutton, Sarah Thomas, 2nd a. ed: Rebecca Curthoys, Keith Durham, David Barren, trainee a. ed: Brendan Geraghty, Blaithin Gallagher, cont: Jean Bourne, m: Declan MacManus, orch: Fiachra Trench, m. assoc: Ross MacMahon, songs: 'Bum Clear' by Alan Byrne, Tom Dunne, Ray Harmon, Eamonn Ryan, perf. by Something Happens; 'The Courier - It's a Dangerous Game' by Joe Jewell, Chris Dignam, Tony McGuinness, perf. by Asian; 'Kill the One You Love' by John Brereton, arrg. by Nigel White, perf. by Lord John White; 'Love Don't Work This Way' by Hothouse Flowers, 'She Came from There' by Something Happens, 'Silly Dreams' by Cry Before Dawn, 'Walk to the Water' by U2, 'Who Cares' by Martin McHugh, Michael Ivory, perf. by Too Much for the White Man, 'Wild White Horse' by Liam Ó Maonlai, Fiachna Ó Braonain, Peter O'Toole, perf. by Hothouse Flowers, s. ed: Nigel Gait, a.s. ed: Paul Conway, Des Irvine, s. mix: Pat Hayes, boom op.: Pat Doyle, dub. mix: Rupert Scrivener, storyboard artist: Lee, loc. m: Seamus Byrne, cast: Susie Figgis, cost: Consolata Boyle, ward. mistress: Maeve Patterson, a. ward: Ann Stokes, make-up: Rosie Blackmore, 2nd unit make-up: Marie McLoughlin, hair: Anne Dunne, props buyer: Sunny Mulligan, dressing props: Derek Wallace, P J Smith, Harry Bradshaw, stand-by props: Nuala McKeman, Rene Knol, cnstr. m: Russ Bailey, carpenter: Eddie Cunningham, Lorcan O'Toole, stand-by carpenter: Vivion O'Brien, painter: Owen Munane, stand-by painter: Dave Rath, stagehand: Andy Lee, gaffer: Louis Conroy, elec: Jim Farrell, Pat Ryder, generator op: Brian Sheridan, sp. efts: Gerry Johnston, armourer: Pat McMahon, stunt co-ord: Dominic Hewitt, stunts: Alan Walsh, Mary Casey, Therese DonneUy, Paul Kelly, Professional Stunts Irish, legal adv: James Hickey, p. accnt: Paul Myler, a. to d: Margaret Moggan, a. to p: Brendan Geraghty, p. secretary: Karen Hodge, post-sync. engnr: Peter Smith, grader: Terry Lee, titles: Graham Humphries, stills: Tom Collins, GB distr: Palace Pictures.
LocationDublin City
Genre/CategoryFeature Film Drama
Crime Drama
KeywordsCrime
Criminals
Drugs
Jewel Heists
Robberies
Working Class Communities

Contact: irishfilm@tcd.ie | Last updated: Aug 13 2019.