Irish Film Institute -Young Cassidy

Young Cassidy

Director: Jack Cardiff

Though only loosely based on the early life of Sean O’Casey (renamed Johnny Cassidy), this colourful drama includes key historical moments from 1911 to the late 1920s – the 1913 Lockout, 1916 Rising, and the riots at the opening of The Plough and the Stars, as it charts O’Casey’s ascent from bookish labourer to rebel to internationally renowned playwright. Australian Rod Taylor turns in a muscular performance as Cassidy bedding a series of women (Maggie Smith and Julie Christie) and swaggering through his encounters with Lady Gregory (an imperious turn by Dame Edith Evans) and W.B. Yeats (Michael Redgrave).

The film was begun by John Ford but when he became ill, acclaimed cinematographer Jack Cardiff stepped into the chair and directed a lushly hued visual delight – Dublin rarely looked better.



Notes by Sunniva O’Flynn

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