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HOME IS THE HERO (aka SINS OF THE FATHER)

Director: J. Fielder Cook

1959 • BLACK AND WHITE • 82 MIN


Home is the Hero was the first film to go into production in the newly formed Ardmore Studios. Directed by American J. Fielder Cook, the script is by Henry Keating from the 1952 stage play of the same name by Walter Macken. It tells the story of Paddo O’Reilly (beautifully played by Macken himself), ‘the Goliath of Galway’, who is released from prison after a five-year conviction for killing the father of his son’s girlfriend, and his attempts to re-establish his role as head of the family, entering into conflict with his wife Daylia (Crowe), his daughter Josie (Joan O’Hara) and his assertive son Willie (played by American Arthur Kennedy). Cook’s direction is strong on mood and alternates studio shooting with familiar Dublin locations. A cast of Abbey actors including Philip O’Flynn, Harry Brogan, Eileen Crowe and Macken in particular give strong performances throughout. As the Sunday Press review noted on the film’s release: ‘Paddo will surely rank as one of the greatest characterisations the screen has given us… (The film) will bring Ardmore Studios into the front rank of film factories.’ This is the first screening of a restored 35mm print made from materials donated to the Archive by Vincent Dowling.

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