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Patriot Games (1992, Harrison Ford, Sean Bean)



Whitney Houston & Bobbi Kristina

Patriot Games is the second film to feature CIA operative Jack Ryan (the first was The Hunt for Red October, with Alec Baldwin in the title role) and sees Harrison Ford playing the now-retired CIA agent, on holiday in London with his wife Cathy (Anne Archer) and daughter Sally (Thora Birch).

In the right place at the right time, Ryan prevents the assassination of government minister Lord Holmes (James Fox) by a renegade IRA unit, killing one of their number into the bargain. Hailed a hero, he returns to the family’s seaside summer home in America but he’s being followed by a team of terrorists led by Sean Miller (Sean Bean) and Kevin O’Donnell (Patrick Bergin), intent on revenge for the killing of their comrade…

Baldwin turned down reprising the role because of prior committments (or, alternatively, so rumour has it, was asking too much) and so Patriot Games, in the novels a prequel to The Hunt… , became a sequel, probably because Ford is older than Baldwin. Director Noyce, who’d cut his teeth on Dead Calm and has since gone on to helm The Saint and the acclaimed Rabbit Proof Fence, keeps the tension high throughout the film, using both human intelligence and high-tech spy techniques in equal measure to move the plot along.

Ford (who went on to play the same role in Clancy’s Clear and Present Danger) is suitably tough yet intelligent while Archer, who must wonder quite how she got stereotyped as a threatened female (previous titles include Fatal Attraction and Body of Evidence) turns from frightened wife to vengeful harpy when Sally is injured in one of the early attacks. Bean turns in one of his better performances as the controlled yet psychotic terrorist and there are terrific supporting performances from the likes of Fox, James Earl Jones, Samuel L Jackson and Richard Harris magnificent as a Sinn Fein ‘spokesman’.

production details
USA | 117 minutes | 1992

Director: Phillip Noyce
Writers: Peter Ilich, Donald E Stewart, Steve Zaillian from Tom Clancy’s novel

Bob Gunton as Interviewer
James Fox as Lord William Holmes
J.E. Freeman as Marty Cantor
Ted Raimi as CIA Technician
Gerald Sim as Lord Justice
Alun Armstrong as Owens
Alex Norton as Dennis Cooley
Keith Campbell as Ned Clark
Harrison Ford as Jack Ryan
Anne Archer as Dr. Caroline “Cathy” Ryan
Thora Birch as Sally Ryan
Sean Bean as Sean Miller
Patrick Bergin as Kevin O’Donnell
Polly Walker as Annette
Samuel L. Jackson as Lt. Cmdr. Robby Jackson
James Earl Jones as Adm. James Greer
Richard Harris as Paddy O’Neil
Hugh Fraser as Watkins
David Threlfall as Inspector Highland
Berlinda Tolbert as Sissy
Pip Torrens as First Aide
Thomas Russell as Ashley
Andrew Connolly as Charlie Dugan
Jonathan Ryan as Jimmy Reardon
P.H. Moriarty as Court Guard
Brenda James as Secretary
Karl Hayden as Paddy Boy
Claire Oberman as Lady Holmes
Oliver Stone as Young Holmes
Tom Watt as The Electrician
Tim Dutton as Constable
Ellen Geer as Rose
John Lafayette as Winter
Shaun Duke as Ferro
Fritz Sperberg as Spiva
Allison Barron as CIA Analyst
Philip Levien as Dr Shapiro
Jesse D. Goins as FBI Agent Shaw
Michael Ryan Way as Avary