Playboy of the Western World (1963) Poster

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Fredric Dannen21 January 2011
Synge's masterpiece, superbly acted and ingeniously shot. I regret the cuts in Act III, but they were necessary. Siobhan McKenna was one of the stars of the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, and an outstanding actress -- her Viola in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night and St. Joan in Shaw's play of the same name are available in audio book format, and are highly recommended. Though the great Cyril Cusack played the role of Christy Mahon -- the title character in Synge's play -- at the Abbey Theatre, I can't imagine anyone better suited for the role than Gary Raymond, McKenna's costar in this movie version. The entire cast is excellent, and the brogue is never too thick to be plainly intelligible to American ears. It's a shame this film is not available on DVD.
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The very highest grade of Irish blarney....
ccmiller14925 February 2006
A handsome young stranger (engagingly played by Gary Raymond) suddenly turns up in a remote coastal Irish village professing to be desperately fleeing ahead of the law after having murdered his own father by beating his head in. His lurid, high-spirited account very quickly earns the admiration of everyone in the local inn and stirs the lust of all the unattached women in the village, especially the fetching spinster running the inn (McKenna) and the aggressive man-starved widow Quin (March). However, the young hero's status changes abruptly when his old dad shows up just ahead of the police.

The strong regional flavor of this piece is the element that makes it so delightful and different. It overflows with the very highest grade of fluent Irish blarney. Gary Raymond, even if not Irish, is delightful as the irrepressible Christy Mahon and will leave a memorable impression on viewers.
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slash00713 February 2002
This film is ok, but I prefer reading the original than watching this bad quality version of the film. The words, as far I am concerned is gabbled too quickly, and the acting is of a poor quality. It seems to me as though characters such as Christy Mahon aren't, in fact, Irish, and after checking I found that the actor playing Christy was born in Islington, London.

It also doesn't stick to John Synge's original (images of the games on the beach), and interestingly all the female characters in the play seem to wear the same dress design. However, this play does underline the main message of the film: the importance of fantasy in the development of the story.

To appreciate this film properly, I would recommend reading the original.
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Great version of this play
David Sligar27 September 1999
This was the best production I've ever seen of this wonderful play. Most of the lines were clearly enough spoken so that even an unprepared American could comprehend almost every sentence. While I'm not Irish, and therefore don't have the sensitivities or the complete comprehension of linguistic nuance that a native speaker would have, the play and its expression in this case seemed entirely authentic to me.
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