Broth of a Boy

A forgotten comic gem from Emmet Dalton Productions, Broth of a Boy was filmed at Ardmore Studios and surrounding locations in 1959. Based on an Abbey Theatre play by Hugh Leonard, it begins with the arrival of British television producer Tony Randall (Tony Wright) in the village of Ballymorrissey, where birthday celebrations are underway for the irascible Patrick Farrell (Barry Fitzgerald). At the age of 110, Patrick is considered the oldest man in the world. Randall proposes a TV programme on the birthday party and enlists the help
of Patrick’s niece, Silin (June Thorburn). Soon, however, he encounters the opposition of both Patrick (who wants to hide the fact that he falsified his date of birth to claim an early pension) and Phillips (Godfrey Quigley), a gombeen man who is annoyed by Patrick and his 80-year-old son Willie (Harry Brogan) for poaching on his property. Featuring a hilarious two-hander by Fitzgerald as the wily, porter-quaffing Patrick and the ever-excellent Brogan as his long-suffering son, the film also features strong support from many Abbey Players. Directed by George Pollock, the British filmmaker who also made the Irish-set Rooney and The Poacher’s Wife, Broth of a Boy was described by the Monthly Film Bulletin on its release as ‘a guileless little comedy, simple and charming and quite unsophisticated.’ This rarely-seen 16mm print was donated to the Archive by film collector Paul Balbirnie.
(U.K.-Ireland, 1959. Black and white. 77 mins.)
The price of admission to Irish Film Archive screenings is €4.

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