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A Man of No Importance (1994)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  February 1995 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 736 users   Metascore: 62/100
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Alfie Byrne is a middle-aged bus conductor in Dublin in 1963. He would appear to live a life of quiet desperation: he's gay, but firmly closeted, and his sister is always trying to find him... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Inspector Carson
Mick Lally ...
Father Ignatius Kenny
Anna Manahan ...
Mrs. Grace
Joe Pilkington ...
Ernie Lally
Brendan Conroy ...
Rasher Flynn
Joan O'Hara ...
Mrs. Crowe
Eileen Reid ...
Mrs. Rock
Eileen Conroy ...
Mrs. Curtin
Maureen Egan ...
Mrs. Dunne


Alfie Byrne is a middle-aged bus conductor in Dublin in 1963. He would appear to live a life of quiet desperation: he's gay, but firmly closeted, and his sister is always trying to find him "the right girl". His passion is Oscar Wilde, his hobby is putting on amateur theatre productions in the local church hall. We follow him as he struggles with temptation, friendship, disapproval, and the conservative yet oddly lyrical world of Ireland in the early 1960s. Written by Michael C. Berch <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


an extraordinary tale of an ordinary hero.


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a scene of sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

February 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Um Homem Sem Importância  »

Box Office


$934,550 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


See  »

Did You Know?


Alfie Byrne: She is like a dove that has strayed. She is like a Narcissus trembling in the wind. She is like a silver flower.
Robbie Fay: You know what I think?
Alfie Byrne: What, Bosie?
Robbie Fay: I think you're soft on her.
See more »


Written by Carl Sigman (as C. Sigman) & Charles Danvers (as C. Danvers)
Published by Chappell & Co.
Performed by Percy Faith
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

Surprisingly dull stuff
1 September 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

In 1963's Dublin Alfred Byrne is a bus conductor who pleasures his working class passengers with poetry recitals as he punches their tickets. Head of a local theatre group, Byrne is inspired by meeting new passenger Adele Rice to drop his plans to do Importance of Being Earnest and instead go up with Salome. With the challenges to the material from those who would usually support him, Byrne also faces much more negative attention than he would usually like as various truths and secrets come out.

Although the plot does have some interesting aspects to it, it is hard to ignore how average a fist it makes of this story. The threads are there to be delivered and at its heart is Byrne, who is a complex character and one that could have been more interesting. Sadly Krishnamma cannot seem to bring this out of the script with any degree of sharpness. Although I get the idea of the mood and tone that the director was going for, the effect it has is to slow the film right down to the point where it crawls and is surprisingly unengaging. Visually the film has a nice feel of the period but the drab looks again tend to drag the film down a bit.

On paper the cast suggests that they can lift the material themselves but surprisingly nobody does and many of them deserved better. Finney's accent is pretty awful (which didn't help anything) and although he has a certain dignity befitting the character, and brings out some pain, he is never as convincing as he should have been. Fricker, Gambon, Sewell and Fitzgerald are mostly OK but they are given little to do in this film.

A fairly uninspiring affair then. There are things of interest in here but they aren't delivered that well and the film is surprisingly dull.

6 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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