Biographical drama based on the early life of playwright Sean O'Casey, depicting his rise from the 1910 Dublin slums to the celebrated openings of his early plays. Johnny Cassidy, an ... See full summary »
Biographical drama based on the early life of playwright Sean O'Casey, depicting his rise from the 1910 Dublin slums to the celebrated openings of his early plays. Johnny Cassidy, an impoverished idealist whose ambitions are restricted by the demands of looking after his family, journeys through the social injustices of Dublin life - involving himself with the rowdy tramway-men strike, dawdling with prostitute Daisy Battles, seeking a better life. He falls in love with bookshop assistant Nora who encourages him toward a life of writing. Finding success at the Abbey Theatre, his unorthodox views estrange him from family, friends and his own past. Written by
Stage Door Theatre, San Francisco; May 19, 1965. Perfect venue for such things; an East Side art house in a West Coast town. I truly enjoyed every minute of this movie that night, and I still love it today. Rod Taylor was the ideal choice for the lead role in this always interesting vision of early life and career of Irish playwright Sean O'Casey, from his autobiog.
Dublin in the 1920s, with all the period feel and detail John Ford and Jack Cardiff could muster, beautifully photographed in Color and on location by Ted Scaife.
A splendid cast brings the days of O'Casey and the Troubles to vibrant and bitter life. Taylor's best work in many ways, though he did so many good movies and gave so many good pefs in his heyday, it's hard to pick just one.
Maggie Smith is marvelous as Cassidy's lost love: "I'm a small simple girl. I need a small simple life, not your terrible dreams and your anger." Smart girl, but two hearts are broken as Cassidy boards the boat for parts unknown.
Julie Christie's a revelation as Daisy, one of three stunningly good perfs she delivered in her Oscar winning golden year. Michael Redgrave is just right as Yeats; and Flora Robson gets a late career lift as Cassidy's Ma.
The entire production takes the viewer back in time to the turbulent setting of O'Casey's youth, in an exceptionally good yet unfairly overlooked film.
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