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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 »



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

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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
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 <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Release Date:

20 June 1963 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Der Todeskandidat  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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

Misses the mark
15 July 2009 | by (NY, NY) – See all my reviews

This is certainly a compelling movie. The acting is fine to very good. Sylvia Syms is especially good. I think she may be a little miscast: Her elegant manner comes through even in a cat fight.

I guess it was an admirable undertaking. And the basic theme is still there: Hanging is a pretty brutal thing for civilized men to do, even in the name of justice.

But the wit of the original play is mostly lost. The story is opened up for the movie. That happened a lot, especially in those times. But in making it more cinematic, its original punch was lost.

A major character is either left out or greatly toned-down. What's left is a 1930s Warner Brother prison movie transposed to the UK. Those movies were almost always at least entertaining and were often powerful. This is entertaining and a little powerful. But I'm not sure it's Brendan Behan.

10 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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