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She Didn’t Say No

Based on Una Troy’s charming 1955 novel We Are Seven, She Didn’t Say No depicts the Monaghan family of six children and their unmarried mother, Bridget, who live in the town of Doon, County Waterford. The children’s various fathers are local men who uneasily attempt to find a way to rid the town of their embarrassment. Their schemes begin with a court case intended to have the children removed from their ‘immoral’ mother and ends with hopes of relocating the family. The children are a central focus of attention, from the youngest, ‘Toughy’, a blustery boy full of independence and bravado, to ‘Poppy’, a twelve-year-old star-struck girl who cleverly manipulates her way into a film that’s being shot locally.
Although She Didn’t Say No was scheduled to be produced in Ireland, permission was refused and production was moved to Cornwall. Many Abbey Theatre actors are featured, including Ray McAnally, Niall McGinnis, Patrick McAlinney and Jack MacGowran as wayward fathers; Joan O’Hara, Eithne Dunne and Anna Manahan as local women; and Hilton Edwards of the Gate Theatre in the role of the pompous film director. The Irish-American Eileen Herlie plays the gentle and misguided mother, while Ian Bannon (of Waking Ned Devine fame) portrays a young Scots artist who pursues the eldest daughter, Mary. Una Troy co-wrote the script with T.J. Morrison. Fermoy-born, Troy wrote seventeen novels and had four plays (written as Elizabeth Connor) produced at the Abbey Theatre. The film was banned in Ireland for moral reasons, and this will be its first showing here. The screening will be introduced by Ann Butler.

U.K., 1958.
Colour.
96 mins.

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