6.8/10
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10 user 5 critic

The Quare Fellow (1962)

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 »

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(play), (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

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

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 <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Drama

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Release Date:

20 June 1963 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Der Todeskandidat  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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First film of Aubrey Morris. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Condemned men, strange?
7 April 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The Quare Fellow is directed by Arthur Dreifuss who along with Jacqueline Sundstrom co-adapts the screenplay from the Brendan Behan play. It stars Patrick McGoohan, Sylvia Syms, Walter Macken and Dermot Kelly. Music is by Alexander Faris and cinematography by Peter Hennessy.

Thomas Crimmin (McGoohan) begins new employment at a Dublin jail firmly believing in the benefits of the death penalty. Not everyone of his colleagues feels the same, though, and as Crimmin works through his time and gets close to the wife of a condemned man, his beliefs are splintered.

The play by all accounts was awash with humour, something which this filmic version considerably lacks. Dreifuss prefers to make the film bleak, both in surroundings and via the characterisations. The prison is perpetually cold and grey, smiles are hard to find within these walls, cynicism and fatalism drip from the wrought iron doors, and of course moral compasses are all over the place. This doesn't make it a bad film, not a bit of it, it's a tough drama acted superbly, with some brains and brawn injected into the script. Yet it ultimately plays its hand as a straight forward anti-capital punishment peace, missing opportunities to expand upon hinted at themes, particularly where Syms' fraught wife character is concerned. Still, it's a must for McGoohan and Syms fans and for those who like gritty pics set in prisons. 6.5/10


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