6.6/10
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19 user 10 critic

Young Cassidy (1965)

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 »

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screenplay), (autobiography "Mirror in My House")
Reviews
Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
W.B. Yeats
...
Lady Gregory
...
Mrs. Cassidy
...
Archie
...
Ella
...
Tom
Julie Ross ...
Sara
Robin Sumner ...
Michael
Philip O'Flynn ...
Mick Mullen (as Phillip O'Flynn)
...
Bessie Ballynoy (as Pauline Delany)
Arthur O'Sullivan ...
Foreman
Joe Lynch ...
1st Hurler
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Storyline

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 alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

No man is more earthy, none soars higher than he! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 April 1965 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

El soñador rebelde  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Rod Taylor said this was his favorite film that he starred in. See more »

Goofs

The story is set around 1910. One hour into the story a horse and carriage pass by. A 1960s-era car is seen turning at an intersection where it just came from. See more »

Crazy Credits

Billed as "A John Ford Film", although Jack Cardiff is credited as sole director. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rod Taylor: Return to Oz (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
not great
3 April 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Young Cassidy" is based on Sean O'Casey's autobiography of his early years, "A Mirror in My House."

Set in the early 1920s in Dublin, Johnny Cassidy is from a large, working class family and, like most families, struggles to put food on the table. His sister gave him a love of reading and writing which belies his rough exterior. Johnny loves his family, and feels the loss of family members very deeply, particularly his sister and his mother (Flora Robson).

But Johnny is young and enthusiastic, and, as portrayed by Rod Taylor, very attractive. (I don't think the real O'Casey was quite as good- looking.)

Cassidy becomes involved with a prostitute, Daisy Battles (Julie Christie), and his good friend is Mick Mullen (Philip O'Flynn). Mick gets him involved in Irish nationalism, defending the working class, and ending the British rule over Ireland.

Much of that activism seeps into his writing and informs it. One day, walking into a bookstore, he mets Nora (Maggie Smith), the clerk, and ultimately they fall in love.

Little by little, Cassidy finds success as his work is published and the Abbey Theatre decides to put on his plays. This is a controversial and difficult decision, as there will be some who will find the plays unacceptable. But the founders, William Butler Yeats (Michael Redgrave) and Lady Gregory (Edith Evans) take that chance anyway.

A powerful story with good production values that was let down by the script. It's a shame with a cast like this to give them such weak writing. Frankly, it was difficult for me to keep my attention on the movie.

But the making of the film was not without problems. John Ford became ill and was replaced by Jack Cardiff and supposedly only 4 minutes of Ford's work remained in the finished film. Had Ford's hand been all the way through, the film might have come off better.

Ford wanted Peter O'Toole or Richard Harris in the lead, and the role was offered to Sean Connery. Any one of them would have been effective and had great gravitas, but there was nothing wrong with Rod Taylor's work. And I think casting him gave the other actors a chance to shine as well.

The big surprise for me was Flora Robson as Cassidy's mother. In Fire over England (1937) I would have told you she was in her fifties, so I assumed she would be doddering around in this. She was 35 in 1937 and 63 here. She's excellent as Cassidy's encouraging and loving mother.

All in all, interesting, but for me, not really great. Deserves to be seen for the acting and the production values.


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