Juno and the Paycock

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Giving the play’s original Abbey cast the opportunity to perform on the cinema screen, Alfred Hitchcock also offers here signs of his later style in this intelligent adaptation of O’Casey’s play. A narrator (Barry Fitzgerald) explains the action that sees the impoverished Boyle family have a brush with fortune in Dublin during the Irish Civil War. When promised a large inheritance, some of the family begin to live what seems to them to be the high life, spending money before it has come into their hands. However the shadowy presence of the IRA, betrayed by a member of the family, as the well as the spectres of infidelity and misfortune, all conspire to take this luck away from them. Distinguished Abbey actors Sara and Molly Allgood provide fine performances in the pivotal roles of mother Juno Boyle and publican Maisie Madigan in this early example of directors turning to Ireland’s famed literary canon for inspiration.

Notes by Charles Barr.

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