Hidden Agenda

Directed by Ken Loach, Written by Jim Allen, Produced by Eric Fellner

Set in Northern Ireland. Hidden Agenda depicts an investigation into the murder of an American civil rights activist in Northern Ireland by the police while driving in the company of a Provisional Irish Republican Army sympathiser. The activist’s girlfriend and a tough police detective investigate the killing and a conspiracy is gradually revealed which involves the highest levels in government.

Though given a theatrical release, was originally conceived of as a television documentary/drama.

Although fictional, the film was inspired by the investigation into the Royal Ulster Constabulary’s alleged ‘shoot to kill’ policy. Cox’s character represents John Stalker the leader of that investigation. E4A an undercover unit of the Royal Ulster Constabulary claimed to be involved in the killings is mentioned briefly in the film.

During one scene late in the movie a renegade SAS agent possessing an audio tape that incriminates the British government is kidnapped by an SAS squad and bundled into a van on O’Connell Bridge in Dublin a very busy river crossing in the center of the city. Loach filmed the scene with a hidden camera and without letting passers-by know that they were witnessing a movie shoot.

Further Infomation


Thriller/Drama - Theatrical


Initial Film and Television, Hemdale Holdings

Release Year


Period Set




Jim Allen


Ken Loach


Eric Fellner


Frances McDormand - Ingrid Jessner

Brian Cox - Kerrigan

Brad Dourif - Paul Sullivan

Mai Zetterling - Moa

Bernard Archard - Sir Robert Neil

Maureen Bell - Mrs. Molloy

John Benfield - Maxwell

Bernard Bloch - Henri

Stephen Brigden - Army major

Victoria D’Angelo - Journalist

Kym Dyson - Carol

Michelle Fairley - Teresa Doyle

Gerry Fearon - Taxi driver

Llew Gardner - TV announcer

Patrick Kavanagh - Alec Nevin

Ron Kavana - Musician

Des McAleer - Sgt. Kennedy

Jim McAllister - Liam Philbin

Brian McCann - Molloy

John McDonnell - Labour MP

Ian McElhinney - Jack Cunningham

Mandy McIlwaine - RUC policewoman

Jim Norton - Brodie

Robert Patterson - Ian Logan

Maurice Roëves - Harris

Terry Woods - Musician