The Violent Enemy

The Violent Enemy is a 1968 film directed by Don Sharp and starring Tom Bell, Susan Hampshire, Ed Begley, and Noel Purcell. The plot concerns an IRA plot to blow up a British power station.[2][3]

The Violent Enemy
"The Violent Enemy" (1968).jpg
Directed byDon Sharp
Produced byWilfred Eades
William Gell
Written byEdmund Ward
Based onnovel "A Candle for the Dead" by Hugh Marlow (Jack Higgins)
StarringTom Bell
Susan Hampshire
Ed Begley
Noel Purcell
Music byJohn Scott (as Patrick John Scott)
CinematographyAlan Hume
Edited byThom Noble
Distributed byLondon Independent Producers
Release date
Running time
94 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom


IRA bomb expert Sean Rogan escapes from prison, and is reluctantly recruited into a scheme by IRA leder Colum O'More to blow up a British electronics factory back in Ireland. Rogan wants a peaceful life but O'More insists.

Rogan is given Hannah Costello to assist him. Inspector O'Sullivan is suspicious of Rogan.



The film was based on the novel "A Candle for the Dead" by Hugh Marlow which was published in 1966. The Observer called it "fast and exciting".[4]

It was originally known as Came the Hero and filming began in Waterford in October 1968.[1][5]

Critical receptionEdit

The Monthly Film Bulletin called it a "moderately interesting if not particularly convincing melodrama".[6]

Sky Movies described it as "one of only a handful of British films to deal with the troubles in Ireland. Played as a melodrama, the film is efficiently directed by action specialist Don Sharp. Tom Bell has the right air of disillusionment about him as the IRA man who's learned moderation in a British jail".[7] The Radio Times noted, "it's efficiently made, if unsurprising, and familiar American actor Ed Begley is worth watching as the fanatical Irish mastermind behind the scheme."[8]

The Independent said "The sum of all these substantial parts is less than a masterpiece. Too much of a hint of 'Oirish' accents among English actors. Too much talk of The Cause. Too little movement in the clock above Leary's bar, which is forever stuck at seven minutes past nine. Still it fills an idle hour and a half well enough."[9]


  1. ^ a b "Filming starts in Waterford. Was shot in Ardmore Studios, Bray, Co. Wicklow and on location in Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford". The Irish Times. 12 October 1968. p. 8.
  2. ^ The Violent Enemy at BFI
  3. ^ Vagg, Stephen (27 July 2019). "Unsung Aussie Filmmakers: Don Sharp – A Top 25". Filmink.
  4. ^ CRIMERATION Richardson, Maurice. The Observer 14 Aug 1966: 18.
  5. ^ Aznavour Signs 2-Year Pact Martin, Betty. Los Angeles Times 12 Oct 1968: c9.
  6. ^ VIOLENT ENEMY, The Monthly Film Bulletin; London Vol. 36, Iss. 420, (Jan 1, 1969): 178.
  7. ^ "The Violent Enemy".
  8. ^ John Gammon. "The Violent Enemy". RadioTimes.
  9. ^ "Forgotten films... in familiar settings". Independent. 11 October 2011.

External linksEdit