Dead Man's Shoes Recap

In Milan, John Gilsen is trying to sleep in a hotel room. He grabs a revolver and stares up at the ceiling, trying to focus. Finally he takes some pills just as the phone rings. Instead of answering, Gilsen goes to the door and hears voices outside. He turns off the lights and gets a shotgun out of his bag. In the hallway, three thugs approach the door and two of them knock at the door, calling to Gilsen by name. When they get no response, they barge in and Gilsen shoots them. The third man shoots Gilsen, who manages to shoot him with the second barrel despite his wounded arm. Gilsen shoves an envelope into his shirt, grabs the bills, and staggers out, leaving photos of a woman behind.

Sometime later, McGill arrives in a sleepy English village. He approaches the locals and asks if they know Gilsen, and they ignore him. When McGill goes to the local store, the owner slams the door shut and puts up the closed sign. Three young toughs get in his way and refuse to let him pass. McGill shoves past them and they surround him, led by local Joe Mason. As a fight breaks out, the local bobbie--Roberts-- orders them on their way. When McGill wonders what’s going on, Roberts says that he’s been asking about Gilsen.

McGill goes to the town pub and makes a call. A woman, Juliet Crowther, glances at him and then goes over to the bartender William and confirms that McGill has been asking around about Gilsen. William assures Juliet that no one has said anything. Meanwhile, McGill tells the secretary working for his employer, Michael, but she claims that Michaels it out. McGill tells her to pass on that something strange is up and tells her to have Michaels call her because he has a few questions.

When McGill goes to get a drink, Juliet tells McGill that he has never met Gilsen. McGill admits that he doesn’t know Gilsen, and Juliet warns that the Gilsens have lived there for twelve generations. She shows him a newspaper article about an outbreak of violence in the area. All the people targeted were once close to Gilsen and still are. McGill doesn’t have any answers for her.

Back in London, a thug named Lucas Guardino meets with his employer, Peters. Lucas assures his boss that he’s spreading terror, and Peters’ associate Van Ruys complains that Lucas isn’t getting results. Peters tells Van Ruys to stick to politics, and Lucas tells him to work for a living like the men Gilsen killed in Milan. Peters reminds them that Gilsen could destroy them all. He figures that Gilsen will go back to the village as long as they escalate the violence. McGill will tell them when Gilsen arrives.

That night, McGill wakes up in his hotel room when he hears a nearby riding stable burning. He goes there and Juliet explains that someone burned down her stable and three horses. She isn’t impressed by McGill’s apologies.

Lucas meets with his men and tells his two henchmen Jacko and Henry that everything went fine. They load his motorcycle up in the truck and they drive off.

The next day, someone calls McGill anonymously and asks for a meeting at nearby bridge to discuss Gilsen. McGill goes there and finds two men waiting for him. The one in charge, Detective Sergeant James Hedley with the CID, comes over and shows his badge. He asks why McGill is asking about Gilsen, and advises him to give it up. Unimpressed, McGill walks away. The other man, Philip Kane, comes over and says that they need the ground cleared. Kane tells Hedley to hold off for a couple of days, well aware that Peters and his people are driving Gilsen there. Gilsen has been working for him for five years, and Kane is sure that Gilsen has broken the network. When Hedley wonders why they don’t set up a meet in a big city, Kane explains that there’s a leak and it has to be a straight handoff from Gilsen to him. Hedley doesn’t believe it, but Kane reminds him that they’re going after one of the biggest drug networks in the world. He asks Hedley for another couple of days before he brings in the authorities, and Hedley reluctantly agrees.

In Milan, Gilsen is reading about the village attacks when a man comes over and points at his watch. Gilsen goes with him while a waiter recognizes him and makes a call.

At the pub, McGill tries to call Michaels but the man’s secretary puts him off again.

In London, Van Ruys complains to Peters that McGill is causing trouble. Peters figures that McGill is a front and reminds Van Ruys that Van Ruys provides the raw materials. Van Ruys insists that he’s fighting for a cause, but Peters is unimpressed. A man calls and informs Van Ruys that an injured Gilsen has been spotted in Calais. Peters admits that Van Ruys’ inside man is effective and says that they had better hurry things up.

In the village, McGill goes to the church and talks to Rev. Simon Blanding. McGill notices a nearby dovecote and Blanding explains what it is. They go inside and Blanding explains that it’s part of the old monastery. As they leave, Blanding explains that the village has seen plenty of trouble in the past. Gilsen’s parents died in the war and the entire village helped raise him. He warns McGill that the village looks after its own, and McGill insists that he just wants to talk to him even though he doesn’t know why.

That night, Juliet is at home when Kane comes by and barges into her home. He says that he works for John and identifies the man from a photo to prove his claim. Juliet believes him and Kane gives her a coded contact number to give to Gilsen when she sees him. He says that Gilsen will return to the village because of the attacks, and assures Juliet that they’ll stop when Gilsen arrives. Kane invites her to call the police and confirm his story with Hedley, and Juliet is offended that they’re letting the attacks continue. She insists that the village is important, and Kane says that he can’t tell her anything else before he leaves.

Gilsen arrives in London.

Van Ruys tells Peters that the government knows what they’re up to. Peters insists that Gilsen will go to the village, and Van Ruys tells Peters to rely on his zealots. His traitor has told him that Gilsen is part of a joint British-American intelligence operation, and his contact is Kane. Van Nuys tells Peters to dispose of Kane and Gilsen, and Peters tells him to describe Kane to Lucas.

That night, Blanding goes to the monastery ruins for a smoke. On a nearby road, Lucas tells Jacko and Henry to deal; with Blanding at the crossroads. They split up to handle their assignment.

McGill goes to the ruins and meets Blanding. He advises the reverend to stay in, but Blanding insists that he walks in his parish wherever he wants. He leaves for his weekly checkers game with a woman, and Jacko and Henry run him over as the reverend walks along the road. McGill hears the noise and runs over, and tells the locals to get a doctor and leave Blanding where he is. Roberts asks if there were any witnesses, and Mason complains that McGill just happened to be there. McGill shoves him aside and walks off.

At Juliet’s home, McGill insists on talking to the woman. He tells her about the attack on Blanding and she lets him in. When Juliet tries to leave, McGill tells her that there’s nothing she can do. He offers his help and warns that Gilsen is being set up. McGill recognizes Kane from Juliet’s description and asks her to call him if she needs anything. Juliet agrees and McGill slips out the back. Kane is waiting and leads him off at gunpoint... while Lucas watches from the shadows.

Lucas takes out a silenced revolver and moves up behind Kane as the American intelligence operative warns McGill off. Kane figures that McGill is dirty and working with the drug syndicate. McGill protests his innocence, and Kane explains that Gilsen is coming in to give his report. Lucas shoots and kills Gilsen, and McGill takes cover as the killer calmly walks away. Hedley arrives and arrests McGill for the murder.

The next day, Peters and Van Ruys arrive and meet Lucas on a road near the village. They figure Gilsen will go to Juliet’s and they’ll catch him there at sunset.

In McGill’s room, McGill goes over what happened with Hedley. Hedley questions McGill’s scruples, and McGill points out that he’s letting the village suffer to catch Peters. A man drops off a lab test confirming that McGill didn’t fire any guns, but Hedley figures that they can put him away for running drugs. The CID inspector tells McGill to stay put and leaves.

Gilsen crosses a field and arrives on the village outskirts. He lies down to wait until nightfall. Meanwhile, Peters tells Henry to keep watch on Juliet’s house.

As night falls, McGill climbs out the second-story window and drops to the ground.

Gilsen makes his way to Juliet’s house and he has her draw the curtains. Jacko and Henry catch a glimpse of Gilsen and Jacko goes to get the others. Meanwhile, McGill sneaks past Jacko as he leaves.

Inside, Juliet tells Gilsen that Kane is dead. She tries to call a doctor but discovers that the line is dead, and Gilsen realizes that it’s too late. He draws his gun and tells Juliet to get out, she refuses to abandon him.

McGill takes out Henry and calls to Juliet to let him in. Gilsen recognizes McGill and warns Juliet that he can be bought, and has her let the ex-agent in. McGill asks for the report, pointing out that Gilsen is out of options. Gilsen refuses to trust McGill and prepares to leave, and they hear a car pull up outside. McGill knocks out the distracted Gilsen and shoves him in a closet, and hides his gun beneath a couch pillow for Juliet. He then explains that he’s going to leave with the report and they’ll follow him.

Lucas and Jacko approach the house and McGill runs out the back. She tells Lucas that McGill has the report, and Lucas goes after him. McGill is waiting and ambushes him, and then runs. Peters is waiting in his car and McGill runs into the forest as Lucas recovers and opens fire.

Henry wakes up and spots the dovecote, and McGill entering the ruins. McGill knocks him out and is forced to enter the dovecote when Van Nuys, Peters, and Lucas arrive. Lucas kicks the door in and spots McGill up on the ladder. He climbs down and they beat him for the report’s location.

Jacko trains a gun on Juliet. When Gilsen wakes up, Juliet shoots a distracted Jacko and tells Gilsen that McGill has the report.

McGill finally says that the report is in one of the nesting holes. Lucas climbs up to search them while Van Ruys goes outside to stand watch.

Juliet helps Gilsen to the village. They pass the church and he tells her to ring the bells and warn the village of danger. As she does, Gilsen passes out. Joe and the others find him and Gilsen tells them that the criminals are at the dovecote. They grab Van Ruys and drag him off, and another village knocks out Henry when he tries to run. Lucas and Peters come out and Lucas shoots one villager. Another one knocks the gun out of his hand with a rock, and all of the men grab him and Peters. The villagers beat both men while Juliet and Gilsen arrive. McGill staggers out as the villagers take Lucas and Peters away, and tells Gilsen that the report is hidden above the door. Hedley and the police arrive as a bloody and beaten McGill walks away.

Written by Gadfly on Oct 24, 2015