Fifty Dead Men Walking is a 2008 English-language crime thriller film written and directed by Kari Skogland. It is a loose adaptation of Martin McGartland's 1997 autobiography of the same name. It premiered in September 2008, and stars Jim Sturgess as Martin McGartland, a British agent who went undercover into the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA), and Ben Kingsley as Fergus, his British handler.
The film is set from 1988 until 1991, the time in which McGartland acted as an undercover agent within the IRA during The Troubles. In 1991, his cover was blown and he was kidnapped by the IRA, although he later escaped from an interrogation and execution, and went into hiding.
At the time of the release of the film, McGartland was still in hiding. The film takes its name from McGartland's claim within his book to have saved the lives of fifty people (police officers, soldiers, and prison guards) during his time as an agent.
McGartland disowned the film as was reported in the Sunday Times on 29 March 2009. He told the Sunday Times that "they are saying it was based on a true story, but what is the definition of 'based on a true story'? Is it 50% true, 70% true, 10%?" The Sunday Times further reported that McGartland contended "that the movie is fundamentally a lie that misrepresents his career and his motivation. He believes that if Kari Skogland, the director, had stuck closer to the account he gave in his book and in a BBC documentary, then she would have had a better film." The film is also notable for an infamous error which has remained uncorrected from the cinema release to the DVD and Netflix release: the end titles refer to the peace process of "2007", when of course the Good Friday Agreement and associated talks were almost a whole decade earlier, in 1998 .