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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

Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

20 June 1963 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Der Todeskandidat  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The interior prison scenes were filmed in Dublin's Kilmainham Gaol (jail), which is no longer in operation, and is open for tours by the public. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Doesn't pull any punches
17 July 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"The Quare Fellow" is a 1962 film starring Patrick McGoohan and Sylvia Syms. Based on the play by Brendan Beehan, it is not faithful to the source. If you know the play, you will probably be disappointed.

McGoohan plays Thomas Crimmon, a new guard at a prison - he's young, devoted to the law, and believes in his work. He soon finds his belief challenged. He meets a woman, Kathleen, (the beautiful Sylvia Syms) with whom he becomes smitten almost immediately. She is trying to get her husband a stay of execution and not having much luck. It turns out that she and Thomas live in the same rooming house, and the two are attracted to one another. She appeals to him to help her get a stay- will he? Thomas goes to a senior guard, Regan (Thomas Macken) to ask for his help and guidance.

This is a hard-hitting film about capital punishment. It shows men digging the grave, the hangman going in to see the prisoner as someone else so he can observe the size of his neck, etc. It's pretty gruesome stuff.

The entire atmosphere is depressing. The performances are wonderful. McGoohan, whom most of us know as an assured, smart man, here is young and naive. He is excellent. Syms is compelling as Kathleen. Thomas Macken as Regan is a real standout as a humanitarian guard who has seen too many hangings.

"The Quare Fellow" - and quare means a man about to be executed - is not a film to watch if you're feeling down. It's a strong indictment against capital punishment and very well done. But watching a movie that takes place in a dank prison, a bar, and cheap lodgings where people talk about death makes for a real downer. Still, it's a good movie.


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