Familiar enemy

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German title Familiar enemy
Original title The Devil's Own
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1997
length 107 minutes
Age rating FSK from 12
Director Alan J. Pakula
script David Aaron Cohen ,
Kevin Jarre ,
Vincent Patrick
production Donald Laventhall ,
Lloyd Levin ,
Robert F. Colesberry
music James Horner
camera Gordon Willis
cut Tom Rolf , Dennis Virkler

Familiar Enemy (Original Title: The Devil's Own ) is an American thriller from 1997. Directed by Alan J. Pakula , the leading roles played Harrison Ford and Brad Pitt .


Frankie McGuire saw his father's murder by Protestants as an eight-year-old child in Northern Ireland and thus became a fighter for the opposing Irish Republican Army (IRA). As an IRA member, he also commits murders and becomes a wanted terrorist. His IRA group owns automatic weapons but cannot do much against the police helicopters, so Frankie decides to travel to the United States under the false name of Rory Devaney to buy anti-aircraft missiles for the IRA .

When he arrived in the USA, a judge friend of mine referred him to the police officer Tom O'Meara, who - without knowing the actual reasons for his stay and his true identity - took him into his house and soon treated him like a family member. Frankie and his friend Sean begin preparing an old fishing boat for arms smuggling back to Ireland.

Police officer O'Meara and his colleagues pursue a fugitive suspect while on duty. When it turns out that the man just stole a pack of condoms because he was too embarrassed to go to the checkout, O'Meara releases him. A few days later, O'Meara's partner Edwin Diaz kills a car thief who once shot down a weapon found in the vehicle, but later threw it away unnoticed. Diaz, who shot the man from behind while fleeing, puts the discarded weapon back into the dead man's hand in order to cover up his act. O'Meara covers his colleague, but gets a remorse for not telling the truth, and then wants to quit the police force.

Meanwhile, an accomplice of Frankie is murdered; he must therefore postpone the arms business. The arms dealer Billy Burke, from whom he is supposed to get the goods, does not agree because he needs the money at the agreed time.

Shortly afterwards, police officer O'Meara caught masked intruders in his house. The armed men threaten him and his wife. However, together with Frankie, the couple manage to put the burglars to flight. Frankie is sure it must have been people from Arms Dealer Burke who broke into the house to steal his money. So he pays Burke a visit and makes it clear to him that he is not alone, but that there are thousands of other fighters behind him. Burke is not impressed by this and leads him to a car: Frankie's friend Sean is bleeding in the trunk. Burke threatens to kill Sean if Frankie doesn't bring him the money.

Meanwhile, O'Meara discovers that the burglars did not steal anything in his house, but that everything in the basement where he kept Frankie was ransacked. He becomes suspicious and then finds the money to buy the gun. He suspects that his Irish guest works for the IRA.

When Devaney comes home looking for the money, O'Meara confronts him with his suspicions. Devaney explains to him why he wants to buy the guns and why there is war in Ireland. When O'Meara's colleague Diaz arrives, they overpower and arrest Frankie. However, he can escape, killing Diaz when he wants to point a gun at him; However, he can no longer get his money out of hiding.

During the planned handover of the rockets, Frankie sees that his friend Sean has been murdered. However, since he has a bomb in his pocket instead of the money, he can kill Burke and his helpers and flee with the weapons. He decides to return to Ireland immediately and tells his girlfriend Megan Doherty about this. Meanwhile, O'Meara is determined to arrest Frankie for the murder of his partner Diaz. He persuades Megan to tell him Frankie's plan, as this is the only way for him not to be killed.

On the fishing boat there is a fight between O'Meara and Frankie. Eventually they both shoot each other and wound each other. Frankie dies of his injury, but not without both showing understanding for each other again. O'Meara: "We never had a choice, you and me."


The magazine TV Spielfilm 7/1997 praised the "exciting" plot and the achievements of the actors. The magazine TV Movie 7/1997 also praised the film, while film-dienst 7/1997 described it as "mediocre" and "psychologically inconclusive". The week of March 28, 1997 criticized the film as "cheesy" and "ideological".

Ulrich Behrens accused the film on www.filmstarts.de of “moral-superficial impertinence”, a lack of credibility and “embarrassment”.


During the filming there were tensions between the main cast; a court ruling banned Brad Pitt from quitting his job prematurely. The cost of production was approximately $ 90 million, US theaters revenue was about half that.

The film was the last work by director Alan J. Pakula , who died in a car accident on November 19, 1998.

Dolores O'Riordan , singer of the Irish band The Cranberries, sings on the soundtrack for this film .

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