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MONTHLY MUST-SEE CINEMA: THE BIG BIRTHDAY

Director: george pollock

77 minutes, 1959, Black and White


In celebration of our own big birthday we are delighted to present this wonderfully whimsical comedy about a truculent 110-year-old (Barry Fitzgerald) in the quaint Irish village of Ballymorrissey. He is discovered by a young British producer determined to make a big TV special about the oldest man in the world. However Fitzgerald is a far from telegenic; he is a widely disliked poacher who is determined to avoid the TV cameras at any cost. The screenplay, adapted by writing duo Blanaid Irvine and Patrick Kirwan from Hugh Leonard’s original stage play, is a surprising and entertaining satire about exploitative journalism, British and Irish sensibilities, and encroaching modernity.

Fitzgerald, in his final screen role, plays the cute hoor with characteristic comic genius and is ably supported by a great cast of Abbey actors Philip O’Flynn, Maire Keane, Godfrey Quigley, T.P. McKenna and, in particular, by Harry Brogan as his elderly, infantilised son.

Join us for a screening and a slice of our Big Birthday cake on September 12th.

This event is part of IFI20: Celebrating 20 Years in Temple Bar.

 

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