A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1977)

 |  Drama  |  23 April 1979 (USA)
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Stephen Dedalus is a young man growing up in Ireland in the early part of the 20th century. His search for knowledge and undestanding, and the decline of his family's circumstances, lead ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
The Preacher
Rosaleen Linehan ...
Maureen Potter ...
Niall Buggy ...
Des Cave ...
Cranly (as Desmond Cave)
Leslie Lalor ...
Desmond Perry ...
Susan Fitzgerald ...
Luke Johnston ...
Stephen (age ten)
Danny Figgis ...
Cecil Sheehan ...
Uncle Charles
Brendan Cauldwell ...
Father Michael


Stephen Dedalus is a young man growing up in Ireland in the early part of the 20th century. His search for knowledge and undestanding, and the decline of his family's circumstances, lead him to revelations on the nature of art and politics. His personal renaissance makes him feel unwelcome in his own nation, and forces him to decide whether to leave and accept exile, or to stay and fight. Written by Craig Burley aka Tybalt <burley_c@lsa.lan.mcgill.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Release Date:

23 April 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ein Porträt des Künstlers als junger Mann  »

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Did You Know?


Stephen Dedalus: Welcome, O life! I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.
See more »


Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Danger!! Death Ray (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

Delicate and brooding
11 August 2000 | by (california) – See all my reviews

A delicate, brooding adaptation of Joyce's slim novel. The well-chosen cast struggles and mostly succeeds with the dialogue, largely taken directly from Joyce's words. In effect, this movie is the book come to life - as exactly as 90 minutes of film will allow.

Standouts include Stephen's father and a rousing interpretation of the famous description of Hell from John Gielgud.

The sensual novel, however, is made stiff and sometimes rather bland in deference to its philosophy. Bosco Hogan, as Stephen, gives a stone face and precious little energy to the interior monologue. By the end, his subtle gestures are a tad too subtle.

This movie takes perhaps too reverent a tone with the book. Even the sex scene is handled with a delicate, dry touch. What we are left with amounts to a series of images with a spoken word soundtrack. Sometimes this faithfulness to the book is to the detriment of the movie - It can be difficult to follow and drags in many places. Many of the shots are suggested directly from the text as if it were a screenplay in code - I found myself wishing that the director would take control and actually tell a story.

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