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The Quare Fellow (1962)

 -  Drama  -  19 February 1963 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 195 users  
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Thomas Crimmins is a new warder, or guard, in an Irish prison. He is young, naive, and idealistic, determined to serve his country by his part in meting out justice to criminals. His ... See full summary »


(as Arthur Dreyfuss)


(play), (adaptation), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Quare Fellow (1962)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Walter Macken ...
Dermot Kelly ...
Jack Cunningham ...
Chief Warder
Hilton Edwards ...
Holy Healy
Philip O'Flynn ...
Prison Governor
Leo McCabe ...
Doctor Flyn
Norman Rodway ...
Marie Kean ...
Mrs. O'Hara
Pauline Delaney ...
Mickser's wife (as Pauline Delany)
Geoffrey Golden ...
1st Customs Officer (as Geoff Golden)
Tom Irwin ...
2nd Customs Officer
Joseph O'Donnell ...
Agnes Bernelle ...


Thomas Crimmins is a new warder, or guard, in an Irish prison. He is young, naive, and idealistic, determined to serve his country by his part in meting out justice to criminals. His superior, Regan, however, realizes that even prisoners are human beings, and Regan is sick of the eye-for-an-eye attitude that leads the state to execute condemned men, or "quare fellows." Crimmins begins to see that not all is black and white in his new world, and when he becomes involved with Kathleen, the wife of one of the condemned men, his attitude begins to change. When new evidence arises to suggest that Kathleen's husband may not deserve his fate, Crimmins is torn between his duty and his humanity. Written by Jim Beaver <>

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Release Date:

19 February 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Quare Fellow  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


First film of Aubrey Morris. See more »

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User Reviews

I think the same sort of plot has been done better....
23 December 2012 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

"The Quare Fellow" is a film about prisons--particularly focusing on capital punishment. It's all told from the viewpoint of a new prison guard (Patrick McGoohan) who has learned that his new job will include assisting in the executions. At first, this doesn't seem to bother him, as he sees his job as a public service and the men being killed had earned their fate. However, after meeting the wife of the man he's about to execute, doubts enter his mind--especially since her actions led to her husband committing murder.

The film is clearly anti-death penalty and shows the prison guards pretty uniformly despising it. Whether this is true in reality, I have no idea but the idea is interesting. The story is also told in a nice straight-forward manner--without a lot of melodrama and told almost documentary style. However, the film has a big weakness--you never really connect with the condemned nor is there much of a sense that you should feel sorry for the guy. Yes, no one likes capital punishment but this particularly case just doesn't seem all that compelling. As a result, it's a film that fails to connect on an emotional level and loses some of its impact as a result. A decent film but no more....and there are certainly better anti death penalty films.

By the way, the title apparently is a reference to the condemned man--called 'quare fellows' in the Irish prison system.

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