The Plough and the Stars (1936)

 |  Drama  |  26 December 1936 (USA)
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A husband clashes with his wife over his membership to the Irish citizen army.



(screenplay), (play)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Denis O'Dea ...
The Covey
Eileen Crowe ...
F.J. McCormick ...
Arthur Shields ...
Moroni Olsen ...
J.M. Kerrigan ...
Uncle Peter
Erin O'Brien-Moore ...
Neil Fitzgerald ...
Robert Homans ...
Timmy the Barman
Brandon Hurst ...
Sergeant Tinley


A husband clashes with his wife over his membership to the Irish citizen army.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

26 December 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Horas Amargas  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Like his character Patrick Pearse, Arthur Shields fought in the Easter Rising in April 1916. See more »


Version of De ploeg en de sterren (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

a studio-wrecked travesty
21 March 2010 | by (Braintree, MA) – See all my reviews

THE PLOUGH AND THE STARS is one of the darker chapters in John Ford's sound film career. A "dream" project for the director, it instead became a debacle very early on in its tumultuous production history.

Among other things: RKO wouldn't import the full cast of the stage version, leading Ford to cast Preston Foster and Barbara Stanwyck in roles which arguably needed to go to Irish nationals more familiar with everything from the complex subject matter to the accents they would use. The producers misunderstood the story completely, and not only insisted on re-shooting sequences explaining the marriage of Stanwyck and Foster's characters (with a different director), but inserted newsreel footage and atrocious documentary-style narration. Contrary to another comment here, Ford had _nothing_ to do with the insertion of the archival footage... which is actually from the _wrong_ battle: it's from 1921, not the Easter Rebellion of 1916 described in the play/film.

Ford's generally deft handling of comic and dramatic elements collapses here into a confusing mess, in large part because Ford's depression over the project led him into an alcoholic bender during production.

Possibly Ford's worst sound film, which can be filed next to his other unfortunate duds such as THE WORLD MOVES ON and WHEN WILLIE COMES MARCHING HOME.

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