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The Innocent Sleep

5.41 h 35 min199713+
Young Londoner Alan Terry (Rupert Graves) accidentally witnesses a Mafia execution. It turns out that Matheson (Sir Michael Gambon), the police inspector in charge of the murder investigation, is in league with Mafia boss Adolfo Cavani (Franco Nero), the only one who can really help Alan is a female journalist.
Scott Michell
Rupert GravesFranco NeroAnnabella Sciorra
None Available
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3.5 out of 5 stars

7 global ratings

  1. 40% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 26% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 9% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 0% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 26% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United Kingdom

Doc CulbardReviewed in the United Kingdom on 21 June 2022
4.0 out of 5 stars
A worthwhile watch for its time.
Verified purchase
This film, The Innocent Sleep, is a British crime drama that purports to be based on a real life case, that is, the case of Roberto Calvi, the so-called 'God's Banker', found hanging under Blackfriars Bridge in 1982. The film was made in 1995.
The age of the movie is evident in the screen type, musical score (suitably grave and dramatic in the darker moments of the film), and, not least, in the relative youth of the main actors, notably Rupert Graves (as a down-and-out who witnesses a gang killing), Michael Gambon (a police officer and one of the gang), Graham Crowden (an ex-journalist), Annabella Sciorra (a journalist seeking to report the story), and John Hannah (a colleague of Sciorra's). The thread running through the film is the desire of the gang boss (a somewhat sinister-looking Franco Nero) to have Graves eliminated.
The bulk of the narrative features the crooked cop (Gambon) on the trail of the down-and-out) Graves. The films location strongly feature the River Thames and the places where the homeless supposedly congregate in and around the bridges crossing the river. The film has its own momentum and the plot is easily followed, but at a running time of 1 hour 35 minutes, it just manages to prevent outstaying its welcome.
Though it will hardly invite a second watching, The Innocent Sleep is a worthwhile watch, if for no other reason than to indicate just how far the modern crime thriller has advanced.
One person found this helpful
Bob GroverReviewed in the United Kingdom on 29 October 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Fine thriller with an interesting cast.
Verified purchase
A good solid thriller based on plot rather than bells and whistles. Some UK actors I recognised from later in their careers. It's not really edge of seat and there are 'dramatic music while van drives down road' moments, but I'd recommend it to anyone who likes British films.
Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United Kingdom on 25 June 2022
1.0 out of 5 stars
Absolute waste of time.
Verified purchase
Allegedly based on a true story but this film fails in every way possible.
The acting is poor, the constant darkness is annoying rather that atmospheric and the inclusion of a token female American just sealed a very weak and unfulfilling package.
If you have some paint drying in your house watch that instead it'll be a whole lot more rewarding.
G. ClutterbuckReviewed in the United Kingdom on 10 May 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Superb thriller
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Superb thriller. My favourite film of all time.
Richard HelyerReviewed in the United Kingdom on 03 August 2015
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great film
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Gripping story , some excellent performances - Michael Gambon and John Hannah in very good roles
One person found this helpful
Guy ManneringReviewed in the United Kingdom on 13 March 2018
4.0 out of 5 stars
Well-made British conspiracy thriller
I thought this was a pretty good thriller, well-made and well-paced with several grisley scenes that should satisfy people who like that sort of thing. And there's a predictably good performance from Rupert Graves as a drink-sodden down-and-out Scouser on the streets of London who witnesses a brutal murder and then gets pursued by mobsters and a corrupt police chief. The blurb on the DVD insert maintains that it's based on a true story although I think it would be more accurate to say it's inspired by a true story, that of the banker Roberto Calvi who was found hanged under Blackfriars Bridge back in the 80s. If I remember correctly Calvi had murky dealings with the Vatican and they never determined whether he killed himself or was murdered. In The Innocent Sleep the Vatican does not make an appearance although the Mafia does (some people might argue there's not a lot of difference.) There was however one element of the film that didn't quite work for me. With a hunted man scenario I think you really need to care about the quarry, whether he lives or dies, and we never really learn enough about Graves' character and past (other than that he's recently separated from his wife) to empathise with him and this tends to cut the tension as the baddies close in on him. Still, I enjoyed the film and didn't lose the plot which often happens when I watch convoluted conspiracy thrillers. Well worth watching then, although maybe not one to keep. in the United Kingdom on 29 April 2001
3.0 out of 5 stars
An attractive, well acted thriller that sadly fails to thril
'The Innocent Sleep' is based on a true story about a tramp who witnesses a murder. In this film, Rupert Graves plays a homeless drinker with some vestige of social conscience, who, having seen a gangland murder take place, reports it to the police, and finds himself hunted by the killers.
The basic premise of the film is excellent. We see the whole story from an unusual point of view: that of the homeless, hopeless population of London. The way in their situation is both a hindrance and a help is interestingly presented. Showing us the homeless as human beings with feelings, thoughts and responsibilities should make this film an outstanding piece of social theatre.
However, it is first and foremost a thriller. And that is the part that does not work. The story is disjointed, and not particularly credible. I found it hard to understand why some of the characters acted as they did and one or two scenes baffled me entirely for some time.
The biggest disappointment, however, was in the climactic scenes, which simply did not climax. Whether it was the minimal soundtrack, a lack of convincing editing or too many stereotyped characters, it is hard to say.
Nevertheless, the film is enjoyable. There is some convincing violence and one scene in particular arouses horror. The unusual London settings are visually pleasing, as is the unusual point of view. Rupert Graves plays the terrified victim to perfection and his scenes with Graham Crowden as a 'knight of the road' are superb. Annabella Sciorra does all she can with her part, but seems to me to be miscast: she is just too classy for her interest in the homeless. The rest of the cast, however, seem either to be padding (like the pleasant John Hannah) or slumming: Michael Gambon plays the cardboard villain, as does Franco Nero.
This should have been a great film, given its idea, cast, and cinematography, but the direction and pace let it down. It is poignant, funny, emotional and pretty, but don't expect to sit on the edge of your seat.
4 people found this helpful
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