In this blend of documentary and fictional narrative from pioneering filmmaker Robert Flaherty, the everyday trials of life on Ireland's unforgiving Aran Islands are captured with attention to naturalistic beauty and historical detail.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Colman 'Tiger' King ...
A Man of Aran
Maggie Dirrane ...
His Wife
Michael Dirrane ...
Their Son
Pat Mullin ...
Shark Hunter
Patch 'Red Beard' Ruadh ...
Shark Hunter
Patcheen Faherty ...
Shark Hunter
Tommy O'Rourke ...
Shark Hunter
'Big Patcheen' Conneely of the West ...
Canoeman
Stephen Dirrane ...
Canoeman
Pat McDonough ...
Canoeman
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Storyline

In this blend of documentary and fictional narrative from pioneering filmmaker Robert Flaherty, the everyday trials of life on Ireland's unforgiving Aran Islands are captured with attention to naturalistic beauty and historical detail.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

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Details

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Release Date:

25 April 1934 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Die Männer von Aran  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The islanders hunt a basking shark for its oil, but they hadn't done so in generations. The filmmakers had to bring an Inuit hunter to show them how to do it as their ancestors might have. See more »

Connections

Featured in Stützen der Gesellschaft (1935) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Starring the ocean...
7 November 2006 | by (The New Intangible College) – See all my reviews

A silent movie with sounds added later, waves crashing and wind blowing and gulls calling and windy orchestral music based on Irish songs and people talking in heavy accents. Intertitles as well. There is no plot to speak of, just the rugged life on the Aran Isles, men going out to sea in small boats, women watching from the shore, a young boy eager to join the men, a shark hunt, big seas, and the men returning safely, but just barely. The photography is spectacular, giving a good sense of the near-barrenness of the islands and the old traditional life, not to mention providing amazing and frightening shots of huge waves thundering against cliffs and cascading back down in waterfalls all along the rim. All the men seem to wear the same outfit, work pants and a black wool sweater and a sort of tam with a big top-knot, and the almost too-cute boy wears the same. The dialogue must have been recorded separately and edited in: there's often none of the background noise we'd expect on location, and the lines have that tone of amateur improvisation. It might have been better to leave it as a silent movie—as brilliant as Flaherty was, he took longer to make the transition to sound than anybody. Another thing. I was wondering about the extent to which Flaherty orchestrated the doings of the Aran people to fit his story (and his conception of the primitive life). Notwithstanding these grumblings, I'd still have to rate this very high, largely because of the photography, including the many low-angle shots of the boy and his mother walking along the cliffs with the sky soaring above them, the ocean shots, the intercutting for continuity, and the loving attention to landscape and human detail.


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