Producer: Noel Pearson. Writers: John B. Keane, Jim Sheridan
Richard Harris, John Hurt, Sean Bean, Brenda Fricker
Jim Sheridan’s second film was an epic tale of land rights and murder. The Field had initially been adapted with Ray McAnally – so wonderful as Mr Brown in My Left Foot – in mind, but the actor’s unexpected death left the role open. In stepped Richard Harris as the Bull McCabe. The rest certainly was history, with Harris thundering through a film that saw John B. Keane’s original stage play transferred from the 1960s to the 1930s and the figure of the outsider/property speculator altered from a returning British-Irish immigrant to a Yank. With echoes of Yeats’ Cuchulainn from ‘On Baile’s Strand’ and, in his final madness, King Lear, the film re-imagined the Irish past as Oedipal tragedy. Critics and audiences alike were shocked, some horrified by Sheridan’s bleak view of the West, with its mean-spirited natives and murderous patriarchs. Certainly the bucolic days of The Quiet Man were over.
Notes by Ruth Barton.
110 minutes, Ireland/UK, 1990, Colour
A HIDDEN LIFE
ARCHIVE AT LUNCHTIME JANUARY 2020: DOUBLE BILL
IFI & TRADFEST 2020: A SONG FOR IRELAND
THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD
13.00, 18.10, 20.40
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