Up 824 this week

The Field (1990)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  March 1991 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 3,940 users  
Reviews: 50 user | 14 critic

"Bull" McCabe's family has farmed a field for generations, sacrificing endlessly for the sake of the land. And when the widow who owns the field decides to sell the field in a public ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (play)
Watch Trailer
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

Celebrate IMDb's 25th Anniversary with Photos We Love

IMDb turns a classy 25 on October 17! To celebrate, we put together a gallery of some of our favorite movie, TV, and event photos from the last 25 years.

See the Photos We Love

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 23 titles
created 06 Jun 2011
a list of 28 titles
created 10 Jul 2013
a list of 32 titles
created 30 Apr 2014
a list of 41 titles
created 10 months ago
a list of 47 titles
created 6 months ago

Related Items

Search for "The Field" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Field (1990)

The Field (1990) on IMDb 7.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Field.

User Polls

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Snapper (TV Movie 1993)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Set in Ireland, Sharon Curley is a 20 year old living with her parents and many brothers and sisters. When she gets herself pregnant and refuses to name the father, she becomes the talk of ... See full summary »

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Colm Meaney, Tina Kellegher, Ruth McCabe
The Van (1996)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The third installment of Irish author Roddy Doyle's 'Barrytown Trilogy', following 'The Commitments' and 'The Snapper', depicts the hilarious yet poignant adventures of Bimbo. Upon being ... See full summary »

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Colm Meaney, Donal O'Kelly, Ger Ryan
I Went Down (1997)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Fresh out of prison, Git rescues a former best friend (now living with Git's girlfriend) from a beating at the hands of loan sharks. He's now in trouble with the mob boss, Tom French, who ... See full summary »

Director: Paddy Breathnach
Stars: Brendan Gleeson, Peter McDonald, Antoine Byrne
The Boxer (1997)
Drama | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Young Danny Flynn is released from prison after 14 years after "taking the rap" for the IRA and tries to rebuild his life in his old Belfast neighborhood.

Director: Jim Sheridan
Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Daragh Donnelly, Frank Coughlan
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A teacher meets a woman who turns out to be a thief and they introduce each other to new things.

Director: Kieron J. Walsh
Stars: Peter McDonald, Flora Montgomery, Marie Mullen
The General (1998)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The real-life story of Dublin folk hero and criminal Martin Cahill, who pulled off two daring robberies in Ireland with his team, but attracted unwanted attention from the police, the IRA, the UVF and members of his own team.

Director: John Boorman
Stars: Brendan Gleeson, Adrian Dunbar, Sean McGinley
In America (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A family of Irish immigrants adjust to life on the mean streets of Hell's Kitchen while also grieving the death of a child.

Director: Jim Sheridan
Stars: Paddy Considine, Samantha Morton, Djimon Hounsou
Biography | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Neil Jordan's historical biopic of Irish revolutionary Michael Collins, the man who led a guerrilla war against the British and who negotiated Ireland's independence in the 1920s.

Director: Neil Jordan
Stars: Liam Neeson, Aidan Quinn, Julia Roberts
My Left Foot (1989)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Christy Brown, born with cerebral palsy, learns to paint and write with his only controllable limb - his left foot.

Director: Jim Sheridan
Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Brenda Fricker, Alison Whelan
Intermission (2003)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A variety of losers in Dublin have harrowingly farcical intersecting stories of love, greed and violence.

Director: John Crowley
Stars: Cillian Murphy, Kelly Macdonald, Colin Farrell
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Francie and Joe live the usual playful, fantasy filled childhoods of normal boys. However, with a violent, alcoholic father and a manic depressive, suicidal mother the pressure on Francie ... See full summary »

Director: Neil Jordan
Stars: Stephen Rea, Fiona Shaw, Eamonn Owens
The Treaty (TV Movie 1991)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A faithful depiction of how a key treaty between the Southern Irish, represented by Michael Collins, and the English government was concluded after tough long high-stakes negotiations in 1921.

Director: Jonathan Lewis
Stars: Patrick Condren, Ian Bannen, Julian Fellowes


Cast overview, first billed only:
Frances Tomelty ...
Maggie McCabe
Bird' O'Donnell
Ruth McCabe ...
Tinker Woman
Tinker Girl's Father
Noel O'Donovan ...
John Cowley ...
Ronan Wilmot ...
Jenny Conroy ...
Katie - The Tinker Girl
Joan Sheehy ...
2nd Tinker Woman
Father Chris Doran
Frank McDonald ...


"Bull" McCabe's family has farmed a field for generations, sacrificing endlessly for the sake of the land. And when the widow who owns the field decides to sell the field in a public auction, McCabe knows that he must own it. But while no one in the village would dare bid against him, an American with deep pockets decides that he needs the field to build a highway. The Bull and his son decide to convince the American to give up bidding on the field, but things go horribly wrong. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He's let no outsider take it away. See more »


Drama | Thriller


PG-13 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

March 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A rét  »

Box Office


IEP 5,000,000 (estimated)


$1,414,017 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Sean Bean and Richard Harris later acted together in Patriot Games (1992). See more »


In the final sequence when Tadhg gets to the edge of the cliff and turns, a crew members head can be seen at his feet. See more »


"Bull" McCabe: There's another law stronger than the common law.
Father Doran: What's that?
"Bull" McCabe: The law of the land.
See more »


Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Oscar Nomination Surprises (1991) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A rich adaption of an Irish stage classic
10 September 2006 | by (Ireland) – See all my reviews

John B. Keane's critically acclaimed play The Field, is the one play that 90% of the population of Ireland will know. They will either know the plot or have studied it for state exams. My own grandmother is 80 years of age and she dislikes any kind of media and theater describing them as pure noise. But when she hears that The Field is playing she will instantly take an interest not because of it's fame but the themes that are produced in this play are very important to her and her generation and many generation that followed her up until the late 1980's when Ireland slowly began to change into a European union state, with it Irelands ethnic identity began to disappear. We may still have the accent but our lifestyles and attitudes are very different in some cases evidently for the better, but more often then not for the worst. In the early 90's two films documented the Ireland of old, these were The Commitments a joyous look at young Irish people using their musical talents to broaden their horizons and The Field an unforgiving bleak look at the life of a headstrong farmer whose life begins to falter when a stranger arrives in his village. Arrival of the stranger symbolizing change. A change that could disrupt the harmonious existence of life in the little village long after this stranger has gone.

Bull McCabe is a poor Irish farmer that works a rented field. This Field represents everything that has happened in the Bulls life. His families blood is soaked in the field. He rents it from a local Irish Widow who the Field belonged to her late husband. All the Bull wants now is to own this precious land. He has worked this field for many years. He brings seaweed from the coast line every day and plants it on the grass to enhance it's fertility giving it the freshest looking grass. To look at the Bulls special field we know that it takes years to attain that result and what's more any dereliction in maintaining the field will result in the field acquiring the same unfertile status as the surrounding land. When The Bull speaks about the field there is no pride but it is replaced by a nostalgic tone. His nostalgic tones also produce a chilling portrait of a man who is willing to stop at nothing to protect the field that is dear to him. When the actions of his son lead to the widow selling the Bulls precious field at public auction. The Bull comes face to face with losing his field to an American.

Jim Sheridan's direction is magnificent and his script (totally unlike the stage version) is also brilliant. Playing the Bull is legendary thespian Richard Harris whose fiery temperament and personal beliefs match that of The Bull. Harris's reputation of being difficult and uncompromising attitude nearly cost him role. A role that was originally going to the late great Ray McNally who unfortunately died before filming commenced. Today I cannot imagine The Bull being played by anyone other than Richard Harris. His portrayal of The Bull McCabe is that of being a brutally uncompromising farmer. A farmer despite his evident aggression had vision and respect for the earth he walked on. A farmer who would kill for you if it was needed or kill you if the tables were reversed. For me personally this is Harris's best role because with every word and action on screen I see that Harris is truly immersed in the role of the Bull.

Sheridan is in my opinion is Irelands Best Director. He uses the theme of the relationships between Irish father and son in all his films. In this film we learn about a stubborn man whose materialistic desires and expectations of his surviving son lead to horrible catastrophic results that affect the a community. The son in this film is Tadgh who is played Sean Bean. Unfortunately with all Sheridans films the supporting cast who are always very strong are overshadowed by one performance. In this film Bean is very under rated. His portrayal of Tadgh is that of a loner who is uncomfortable with the expectations of his father The Bull. These expectations lead him to develop an eagerness to please his father and lift of some of the burden that these expectations place on his own life. Also in the cast is excellent Tom Berenger who portrays an eager yank whose only hope is for his ancestors town land to prosper with his investment in the Bulls field. Berenger's yank character is very similar to that of Tadgh. He has returned not only to see his ancestors home place prosper but he too is doing it to please his families expectations back in America. Both men are determined to succeed in their respective duties. Berenger captures exactly what we Irish dislike about Irish American's coming to Ireland and that is their naive approach to a country they know very little about. A mistake that Berenger's character makes with his airs and graces.

As an Irish Film The Field is the best by a long shot. The script is good, the cast are excellent but most importantly it succeeds in drawing you into it but the strength of the story alone. It has not been bestowed the same commercial success as Sheridans other films for one reason. This reason is that the film contains a lot of Irish traits such as attitudes to strangers, the churches stance on suicide and many hidden references to Irish History. To me personally this is not a fault of the film, but a fault of peoples ignorance to ethnic film makers who want to tell stories from their ethnic back ground. All together a very fine film full of very fine performances. 10 out of 10

13 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Not one message?? For Harris even! Jefferson_Smith
Didn't 'King Lear' Jump Right Out? goodc
'Someone left Richard Harris out in the rain.' noah-35
Shamey? campbejt
DVD extras? sean-hastings
Other films based on John B Keane writing? slmiller-1
Discuss The Field (1990) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: