The Grass Arena is the true story of John Healy. Raised in an ultra religious family, with an abusive father, young Johnny soon learns that he has to learn to defend himself. He takes up ... See full summary »

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
John Healy
...
The Dipper
Lynsey Baxter ...
Madalena
Marian McLoughlin ...
Mrs. Healy
Billy Boyle ...
Mr. Healy
Andrew Dicks ...
Young John Healy
Nick Dawney ...
Young Terry Healy (as Nick Dawnay)
Simon Napper ...
Terry Healy
John Garrett ...
Albert
...
George
Gerard Horan ...
The Sham
...
Mac
Louis Mellis ...
Jock
Anna Keaveney ...
Liverpool Lil
Paddy Joyce ...
Kelly
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Storyline

The Grass Arena is the true story of John Healy. Raised in an ultra religious family, with an abusive father, young Johnny soon learns that he has to learn to defend himself. He takes up boxing, but soon falls victim to alcholism. His boxing career over, John takes to the Grass Arena (the park) where he lives with other alcoholics. Written by Blair Stannard <stannard@sonetis.com>

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19 January 1992 (UK)  »

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1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

 
An excellent and moving film.
2 November 1998 | by (Bolton, England) – See all my reviews

'The Grass Arena' is an excellent book and a remarkable film. Mark Rylance, of the Royal Shakespeare Company, is outstanding as John Healy.

What makes the film especially moving is that it shows true faith in the human potential. John Healy though living right to the point of utter destitution as a drunken vagrant finds salvation through chess. When he attempts to enter the elite world of chess masters his background is used against him. The pomposity of this narrow minded prejudice is well exposed in the film.

Unlike the film the book ends with John Healy trying to find solace through Buddhism and travelling to India. What is sad in both endings is that John's brutalisation, stretching from his father's boxing lessons to the alcoholism of the grass arena, make it very difficult for him to get close with women he is attracted to. A wonderful film and a great story.


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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