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The Informer

Released May 9, 1935 1h 31m Drama List
89% Tomatometer 19 Reviews 77% Audience Score 1,000+ Ratings
Gypo Nolan (Victor McLaglen) is a former Irish Republican Army man who drowns his sorrows in the bottle. He's desperate to escape his bleak Dublin life and start over in America with his girlfriend (Margot Grahame). So when British authorities advertise a reward for information about his best friend, current IRA member Frankie (Wallace Ford), Gypo cooperates. Now Gypo can buy two tickets on a boat bound for the States, but can he escape the overwhelming guilt he feels for betraying his buddy? Read More Read Less
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Critics Reviews

View All (19) Critics Reviews
Otis Ferguson The New Republic Because it deals with the sort of thing that must be handled adequately if it is to go over, its persistent inadequacies make it more disappointing than many pictures with less to recommend them. May 8, 2024 Full Review Pare Lorentz McCall's The best picture of the season to date is The Informer, a terse, brutal story of the Irish revolution: a somber portrait of a rabbit-minded giant who betrays his best friend and is hunted to his doom against the leaden background of war-torn Dublin. Oct 30, 2023 Full Review Jorge Luis Borges Sur I consider it too memorable not to provoke a discussion and not to deserve a reproach. Several reproaches, really, since it has run the beautiful risk of being entirely satisfactory and, for two or three reasons, has not been. Dec 15, 2021 Full Review Mike Massie Gone With The Twins McLaglen is perfect in the lead - a mountainous, uncontrollable ruffian - in a destructive (and self-destructive), chaotic, downward spiral. Rated: 8/10 Jul 27, 2020 Full Review Meyer Levin (Patterson Murphy) Esquire Magazine The story is told in sheer cinema terms, with remarkable atmospheric handling. Full credit to director John Ford for the effect of the whole, and for such remarkable touches as the scratching sound... Apr 17, 2020 Full Review Ann Ross Maclean's Magazine Strongly handled, with no prettifying touches, The Informer is one of the most impressive pictures of the year. Jul 22, 2019 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (97) audience reviews
S R Saw it for John Ford. It was a very different movie for him and I did enjoy it for its groundbreaking ideas / filming / themes. It was a bit dated, but helped me appreciate Ford a bit more and his telling of some Republican Army stories. It was on TCM, but RUS. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 07/15/24 Full Review Al G John Ford produced the great series of Irish and Irish-American movies. "The Informer" was one of the earliest and possibly the best. The twenty-first century is a century of civil wars and resistance movements in many nations. Even if you're not interested in Ireland, movies like "The Informer" is worth a second look. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 03/25/24 Full Review Audience Member Before director John Ford became known for his westerns, he was already a world class director. "The Informer" shows how he had command of the medium from the start. It tells the story of a former IRA fighter (Victor McLaglen) who anonymously informs on a former comrade which results in the comrades death. He collects the reward and then spends the night trying to regain his popularity among his neighborhood peers. What good is it to collect such a reward if you cant flaunt it and buy some new friends. McLaglen is not your typical leading man. He is ogre-like and a bit gruesome. That is partly why the film works so well. He seems as far away from Hollywood as you can get...an that is high praise. Thee film won four Oscars including Director and Actor. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/09/23 Full Review Audience Member A thought-provoking drama of desperate living, paranoia, and the consequences of one's actions, John Ford gives the film an appropriately dark atmosphere, and the sets have a nightmarish quality to them. As McLaglen stumbles half-drunk through the night, everything around him shows his feelings. His character tends to often feel guilty, but at other times he feels in the mood to celebrate. He is overcome by a wave of different emotions, upset from different things. McLaglen handles all of this very well, giving a startling realistic performance that is good enough to provide some compensation for Margot Grahame's over-acting. However, this is just the one character that is complex and fascinating. The supporting characters all are very thin, and the romance between Foster and Angel adds nothing to the tale. Even so, this is very effective film-making, with some clever use of dissolve editing and a haunting music score by Max Steiner. It is overall quite an effective film about moral play, desperation and responsibility. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/08/23 Full Review Audience Member Stereotypical rubbish. Easily John Ford's weakest film. A film obviously made to cater to American audiences, this film is painfully full of Irish stereotypes; that is admittedly funny at first due to the period it was made, but gets very boring as it goes on. McLaglan's performance of drinking a gazillion whiskies and shouting "Bartley meboy!" a million times gets boring real quick. The three actors in Mutiny on the Bounty deserved the Best Actor Oscar way more than McLaglan. There would be people who would say that that was due to the time it was filmed. However, all the Best Picture nominated films I have seen (Mutiny on the Bounty, Captain Blood, A Midsummer Night's Dream & Top Hat) were miles better than this film. The Oscar-winning directing and writing were also far inferior than Captain Blood and Mutiny on the Bounty. The one positive and impressive scene was the killing of Frankie McPhillips which was acted and directed very well. Overall, a stereotypical film that at first funny, gets boring and ridiculous very quickly. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 02/11/23 Full Review steve d Engaging enough but nothing special. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Read all reviews
The Informer

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Movie Info

Synopsis Gypo Nolan (Victor McLaglen) is a former Irish Republican Army man who drowns his sorrows in the bottle. He's desperate to escape his bleak Dublin life and start over in America with his girlfriend (Margot Grahame). So when British authorities advertise a reward for information about his best friend, current IRA member Frankie (Wallace Ford), Gypo cooperates. Now Gypo can buy two tickets on a boat bound for the States, but can he escape the overwhelming guilt he feels for betraying his buddy?
Director
John Ford
Producer
John Ford
Screenwriter
Dudley Nichols, Liam O'Flaherty
Distributor
RKO Radio Pictures
Production Co
RKO Radio Pictures Inc.
Genre
Drama
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
May 9, 1935, Wide
Release Date (Streaming)
Oct 18, 2010
Runtime
1h 31m
Sound Mix
Mono
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