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Hidden Agenda

3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Frances McDormand, Brian Cox, Brad Dourif, Mai Zetterling, Bernard Archard
  • Directors: Ken Loach
  • Writers: Jim Allen
  • Producers: Derek Gibson, Eric Fellner, John Daly, Rebecca O'Brien, Scott Millaney
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: Fox Video (Canada) Limited
  • Release Date: April 1 2003
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005V9HK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #54,808 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Two American researchers in Northern Ireland become involved in the government's secret shoot-to-kill policy after a colleague is killed in a police raid by the Government Security Forces.
Genre: Feature Film-Drama
Rating: R
Release Date: 4-APR-2006
Media Type: DVD

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alejandro Cortes on Feb. 22 2004
Format: DVD
*** ½ stars rating for this film. "Hidden Agenda" is a study about the corruption and betrayal that appear in the high spheres of the governments policy. "Hidden Agenda" is set in Ireland, but this kind of corruption could be found everywhere around the world, not only in these modern times, but since the beginning of the human society the corruption has been here as well, so the story that is told in this movie could have happened in every random country.
"Hidden Agenda" has a good cast, among them Brian Cox, Frances McDormand and Brad Dourif, and the movie also has a solid direction by Ken Loach. Without a doubt, "Hidden Agenda" is a good movie that will keep the audiences interested in the plot from beginning to end.
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Format: DVD
Since Frances Normand's boyfriend is murdered by british forces in North Ireland , she decides to investigate this weird murder , she plays the role of an American human rights activist .
A punch in the middle of the face , because it concerns about a conspiracy , cover up and ambush policial, inspired by similar events in 1980 .
Filmed in documental mood for Ken Loach. Briiliant performances of Frances Mc Dormand and Brian Cox.
One of my favorites political thrillers of the nineties.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Carlos Vazquez Quintana on Sept. 8 2003
Format: DVD
This movie is excellent, but one thinks after having seen it that humanity not only has physical or mental limits but ethical ones also, and that is preferable not to rub them.
When I was a child I heard for first time to speak about the OAS, the armed secret organization that wanted to eliminate De Gaulle. Franco protected the OAS discreetly at the time in Spain for being related to the extreme right wing. The film "Day of the Jackal" shows these days.
Before that, my parents knew the "Maquis": the attempt of invading Spain at the finish of II World War across the difficult valley of Aran in the Pyrenees. These experienced "Red" guerrillas hardened in two wars and with allied armament thought that the allies would help, but it was not like that and they were exterminated by the Spanish army in a obscure but expeditious form. The last episode was that of the GAL, a parapolicial group which was created in the decade of the 80's to finish with ETA's terrorism, the separatist Basque organization. His methods were coarse and they performed brutally open confrontations sometimes even in the streets of France so the scandal was too big and Spanish government had to stop these crude actions. France protected for a long time ETA, going on to Spain an invoice for the episode of the OAS. Well, in this movie is shown an equally dark episode on the performance of forces against the IRA. I think "hidden agendas" are owned by parts, but not all the members of the different governments excepting when there are a dictatorship.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 30 reviews
23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Should you trust any government? May 4 2002
By Terry Fisher - Published on
Format: VHS Tape
Charles deGaulle once observed, "The State is a cold-blooded animal. Often even to it's own people. It must be so in order to survive." This movie is about British agents operating in Ireland to quash any IRA resistance to British rule, by any means necessary and any means possible. To give some semblance of respectability to the investigation of the murder of a U.S. citizen who was in the company of an IRA agent when he was assassinated the British secret police employ a fairmined and respected investigator who really believes he is charged with the responsibility of finding the truth. The closer he gets to the truth the more pressure the secret police put on him to back away. First they use blackmail, then threats to his own life. He is forced at last to betray everyone he has made promises to and return to England without a shread of respectibility. The secret police continue business as usual and set about arresting everyone whose confidence he has gained.
This is a film noir that takes a back seat to none. Be prepared to be angry, depressed and paranoid at the end. Not for the weak in spirit.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Superior political thriller Oct. 28 2006
By LGwriter - Published on
Format: DVD
Ken Loach's Hidden Agenda is likely one of the best political thrillers ever made on the troubles in Northern Ireland. The characters are full and rich; the violence is real; and the political cover-ups and corruption are rife. The acting is solid, the plotting is very strong, and the pace of the film is perfect.

In particular, drawing in not only the Northern Irish, but also the British and the Americans into the story was a truly inspired move. An American lawyer who fights for civil rights throughout the world is murdered by the Northern Irish police under orders from a high level official and all hell breaks loose. Unlike the flimsy, paltry political cover-ups seen in the film "Defense of the Realm" where there are no characters worth caring about, here Brad Dourif as the lawyer, Frances McDormand as his activist girlfriend and especially Brian Cox as the fiercely driven British police officer committed to uncovering the truth make a solid impression on the viewer.

Known for his politically charged films, director Ken Loach here never takes a false step. Cox's character, Peter Kerrigan, relentlessly pursues the truth of the backstory behind the murder of the American lawyer and it's really gripping to watch how things unfold.

This is a first class thriller, one of the best in its class. Very highly recommended.
20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Brilliant : a knock out film! July 15 2004
By Hiram Gòmez Pardo Venezuela - Published on
Format: DVD
Since Frances Normand's boyfriend is murdered by british forces in North Ireland , she decides to investigate this weird murder , she plays the role of an American human rights activist .
A punch in the middle of the face , because it concerns about a conspiracy , cover up and ambush policial, inspired by similar events in 1980 .
Filmed in documental mood for Ken Loach. Briiliant performances of Frances Mc Dormand and Brian Cox.
One of my favorites political thrillers of the nineties.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
An All Too Realistic Thriller April 2 2009
By Matthew Kresal - Published on
Format: DVD
Hidden Agenda has been on my list of films to see for a long time now. As a fan of the political thriller genre I was intrigued by its premise. Now, having finally found it and had the opportunity to see it I was presently surprised. The film surpassed my expectations and easily ranks amongst the best political thrillers I've seen.

The performances are the staring point of this phenomenal film. Frances McDormand gives a marvelous performance as American civil rights activist Ingrid Jessner as Brian Cox as Kerrigan, the top investigator investigating the death of Jessner's boyfriend. The result is that, together and separately, they give two highly watchable performances that keep your attention focused on the screen. There's also the supporting cast including Brad Dourif as the murdered boyfriend, Maurice Roëves as the mysterious army officer Harris who has all the secrets plus Bernard Archard and Patrick Kavanagh as two politicians at the heart of the film's conspiracy.

The film is, if nothing else, a conspiracy thriller. What may seem like an odd murder in Northern Ireland soon turns out to be mired in the politics of Thatcher era Britain. The film, while fictional, seems to be far too real for comfort. Writer Jim Allen has crafted a thriller that blends fact and fiction together and so well that the fine line between the two is blurred when it comes to the issues of 1980's Northern Ireland, how Thatcher got herself elected and how governments deal with terrorism. Of even greater surprise is that the plot doesn't overwhelm the dialogue. Unlike some political thrillers, in this film scenes come alive not just from the performances of the actors but from the words on the pages themselves. While it deals with 1980's Northern Ireland one can't help but see the relevant issues ever present in the film nearly twenty years on.

On top of the script there's the documentary like approach that makes the film too realistic for comfort. Clive Tickner's cinematography is the main reason this succeeds so well in that it never feels like a Hollywood film. The result is that (thankfully) one gets the feeling of being a fly on the wall for many of the scenes which makes the blurring of fact and fiction even more successful. Add on the realistic costume and production design along with the tight editing of Jonathon Morris and the result is an all too realistic thriller.

Hidden Agenda is what a political thriller should be. With its combination of fantastic performances, well written script, its realistic design work and especially its documentary like cinematography make it too realistic to be ignored. While it may deal with 1980's Britain in Northern Ireland it's a thriller with a message too strong to be ignored. It's a first rate and a must see for fans of the genre of the political thriller.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Terrorism in Ulster Jan. 12 2007
By Acute Observer - Published on
Format: VHS Tape
The film opens with a scenic shot of the shores of Ireland. Then a march down a city street. The police and army are patrolling behind the crowds. Then we see investigators questioning a suspect who was beaten and tortured by the authorities. They hold a press conference to announce their findings. Other reporters question them about allegations of a "shoot to kill" policy that targeted innocent civilians. The killing and torture in the Six Counties remind one reporter of Chile after their coup. But Northern Ireland isn't quite like Chile, is it? One of the reporters makes a call to get more information. He meets a man, and their car is ambushed; they are both murdered. The official news is that they refused to stop for a police checkpoint.

The British send their top police detective to re-examine the evidence that led to the shooting of Paul Sullivan and Frank Malloy. The ballistics show Sullivan was shot at 2 meters, not from far away. Something's wrong here. Mr. Kerrigan talks to Ingrid Jensen, the close friend of Sullivan, who tells about what she knows. They talk to the widow of Frank Malloy. When they question one of the police officers, and he tells them what really happened. Superintendent Frazier told them what to say. Frazier was merely following orders from higher authorities - a Mr. Brody. Kerrigan can't get the missing tape. At a club Kerrigan is told about the other colonies that had to fight for their freedom from English rule. Kerrigan meets a former British officer, Captain Harris, who worked in Psychological Operations - Black Propaganda to manipulate public opinion. The CIA and MI5 spread rumors to defeat the Labor government; this benefited the election of Margaret Thatcher. [Was she a puppet?] Kerrigan will meet him again in Dublin to get the tape that will expose the plot.

There were disorders in England in the early 1970s that led to the fall of the Conservative government. Two powerful politicians, smug, sleek, and smiling, tell Kerrigan why the means used to uphold the government are justified; they say so. One shows Kerrigan photographs of him and Ingrid that can create a scandal. The pressure is on for him to drop the investigation. Captain Harris hands over the tape to Ingrid Jensen. After this he is abducted from a busy street in daylight and thrown into a waiting van. We later hear he was found murdered, and the IRA is blamed. Another propaganda trick? Career policeman Kerrigan returns to England. The low-level agents will take the blame. The status quo is maintained.

The slow pace of this film reminds me of "All the President's Men" but without the happy ending. It will educate you about the troubles in Ulster. Do these dirty tricks only occur in Ulster? Note how very little of this news is ever reported in America.