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THE BISHOP’S WIFE

Director: HENRY KLOSTER

IRELAND • 1965 RESTORED 1998 • 37MIN


THE IRISH FILM ARCHIVE IS DELIGHTED TO WELCOME RONNIE DREW, BARNEY MCKENNA AND JOHN SHEEHAN TO THE IFI FOR A SPECIAL SCREENING OF O’DONOGHUE’S OPERA.Actor (and himself an accomplished trad musician) Brendan Gleeson will chat with the original members of The Dubliners in what promises to be one to the most interesting evenings all year.
O’DONOGHUE’S OPERA IS IRELAND’S FIRST MUSICAL FILM. A MOCK OPERA MADE IN 1965 WHICH RAN INTO FINANCIAL DIFFICULTIES BEFORE IT WAS PROPERLY COMPLETED—BUT AFTER IT HAD GATHERED CULT STATUS.
Extraordinarily, it remained unseen until veteran filmmaker Tom Hayes brought the out-takes to Se Merry Doyle, who oversaw its painstaking restoration around 10 year ago. The hilarious film stars Ronnie Drew and his band of bohemian merrymakers, The Dubliners. Based on the ballad ‘The Night That Larry Was Stretched’, sung by a young Johnny Moynihan, the film finds Drew caught in a hangman’s noose as a reward for his dubious career as ‘the best burglar in all Ireland’. This tongue-in-cheek film has the flavour of an Irish Spaghetti Western and captures the spirit of Dublin camaraderie like no other work before or since: the Guinness, the music, the wit and the grit, it’s all there in abundance. The original elements of this film are preserved at the Irish Film Archive.

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