The Informer

The Informer

DVD - 2006
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The scene is Dublin, 1922. Gypo Nolan stumbles through a foggy Irish night, his brain pickled in whiskey and his soul tormented by shame and fear. Gypo is an informer, a turncoat who betrayed his friend to the British police for 20 pounds. Now he can't spend the money fast enough, nor can he run from his treachery fast enough as he brawls, brags, swaggers and lies his way toward his fate.


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Jun 26, 2018

Meh. Hard for me to be critical of a movie made in 1922.. But I would not recommend it. Could not tell the women apart so hard to follow the plot. Maybe for 1920's it was a winner, now, not so much.

May 23, 2018

For once, the bonus, though a studio product, is a must-see, especially after viewing the feature. It explains very well why The Informer is one of the most important Golden Age Hollywood films by showing how it was made on a, for Hollywood, micro-budget by the application of superb craftsmanship informed by a thorough knowledge--John Ford's--of the history of the cinema as an art. German expressionism is mentioned prominently as the stylistic inspiration for the way The Informer looks and how it affects the viewer. Just so. And Ford had already used expressionism superbly in his late silent, Four Sons, which I think is his first masterpiece.

The reason that I withhold the highest rating from The Informer is the compromising script by Dudley Nichols, which omits the seamiest details of Liam O'Flaherty's novel and sometimes slathers what remains with sentimentality. Surprisingly, the great composer Max Steiner, who could throttle the tears out of a scene like nobody's business, contributes a restrained score that, unusually for Steiner, includes powerful minimalist moments, such as the dry harp figure accompanying Gypo's final flight from IRA justice.

Aug 11, 2014

Victor McLagen won the Academy Award for this 1935 production of a oafish Irishman paying the ultimate price for informing on his friend, Frankie McPhillip. Never forget that Hollywood is the land of make believe and mind manipulation. McLagen was English. But what a gigantic man. Was much older than John Wayne but in his prime I believe he would have flattened the Duke. A pretty good film for its time. I've read the book by O'Flaherty which the movie tries to follow.

Apr 08, 2014

John Ford is inextricably linked with the western, but he also did literary adaptations ("Grapes of Wrath"), romances ("The Quiet Man") and biopics ("Young Mr. Lincoln"). This is a pre-"Stagecoach" version of Liam O'Flaherty's novel of a traitor during the Irish Civil War. Rather heavy-handed and sentimental (an often overlooked quality in Ford), this is mildly interesting for its portrayal of the Irish conflict and for its moody, noir-ish lighting and settings (Ford said he was inspired by German films). Somehow it won four Oscars, including director and actor for Victor McLagen, who is hammy and ham-fisted as the title character. You may also like "The Third Man" and "Odd Man Out." Note: This was not the inspiration for Snow's "Informer."

Feb 04, 2013

Huge film for Ford in '35. His genius really shines regardless of a limited budget in this dark and atmospheric psychological thriller. His peers obviously agreed in righteously awarding him his first of four Oscars for Best Director. Also impressive was Victor McLaglen, who won as well for Best Actor, as the sometimes hilarious, but mostly pitiful, soused brute Gypo, whose conscience was almost more deadly than the I.R.A. The two additional awards were for Best Music, Score -- Max Steiner; and Best Writing, Screenplay -- Dudley Nichols. Phenomenal piece of work. FIVE STARS.


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Feb 04, 2013

Katie Madden: "Gypo, where did you get that money? Look at it, and not an hour ago you hadn't a penny to warm your pocket. Did someone die and leave you a pot of gold?" Gypo Nolan: "Why are you sayin' that for?!?"


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