Red Mercury (film)

Red Mercury is a 2005 British film thriller directed by Roy Battersby and starring Stockard Channing, Pete Postlethwaite, Juliet Stevenson, Ron Silver and David Bradley.

Red Mercury
Directed byRoy Battersby
Produced byPeter Ansorge
Meenu Bachan
Vibha Bhatnagar
Dr. Phil Blackburn
Michael Wearing
Written byFarrukh Dhondy
StarringStockard Channing
Pete Postlethwaite
Juliet Stevenson
Ron Silver
David Bradley
Music byColin Towns
CinematographyUday Tiwari
Edited byJeremy Gibbs
Release date
  • September 2005 (2005-09)
Running time
113 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Budget£2,000,000 UK (est.)


The film is a thriller about a terrorist kidnapping.[1] Three Islamist terrorist bomb-makers have just obtained some red mercury, a semi-mythical explosive. They get a tipoff that their safehouse is about to be raided and they flee on foot from the police. In an attempt to escape they kidnap hostages in a Greek restaurant in London and threaten to detonate a bomb containing the titular explosive. Eventually they are defeated and the hostages are saved and the film ends.[2][3]



The film was written, produced and filmed over a four-month period.[2]

The film was the first film aimed for a Western audience produced by a new film production company named Inspire, that planned to apply Bollywood film production methods to films made in the United Kingdom:[2]

“The company was originally set up to do Bollywood films in London that could take advantage of Gordon Brown’s very generous tax breaks. It was Farrukh who persuaded them to start doing British movies. I suppose our analogy was the early Film on Four - a contemporary work which had a more extended life than a TV movie. And it grew from there.”

According to the producers the writer, Farrukh Dhondy, was interviewed by British counter-terrorism officials, to verify that the bomb-plot in the script was unrelated to their active investigations.[4]


The film was sold at the 2005 Cannes Film Market. It was released in the UK shortly after the 7 July 2005 London bombings, rendering its theme of Islamic terrorism particularly topical.[3] It was screened at the Cleveland International Film Festival in 2006.[5] It did not have a theatrical release in the USA, being released to DVD in June 2007.


Variety compared it to Dog Day Afternoon and Juggernaut, as a socially-committed thriller with more talk than action. Their critic praised the technical values and performances, but found some of the plotting to be "sloppy" and "forced" with some characters "underwritten".[6] Jack G Shaheen criticised it for the "one-dimensional" portrayal of the villains.[3]


  1. ^ "Stockard Channing: One tough cookie". The Independent. 16 February 2005. Retrieved 10 January 2008.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ a b c "Playing Dirty". Preview Online. Archived from the original on 12 March 2008. Retrieved 10 January 2008.
  3. ^ a b c Shaheen, Jack G (2012). Guilty: Hollywood's Verdict on Arabs After 9/11. Interlink.
  4. ^ "Red Mercury featured in The Guardian". Retrieved 10 January 2008. Two weeks ago, however, Farrukh was visited by Special Branch's anti-terrorism unit, who quizzed him about the script and demanded how he knew about red mercury.
  5. ^ Red Mercury, Cleveland Film
  6. ^ Cockrell, Eddie. "Red Mercury". Variety. Retrieved 23 June 2017.

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