50 user 24 critic

Circle of Friends (1995)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance | 7 April 1995 (USA)
'Circle Of Friends' is set in 1950's Ireland. The movie focuses on Benny Hogan and her best friend, Eve Malone. The story centers around Benny and Eve as they enter student life at ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (novel)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nan Mahon
Sean Walsh
Simon Westward
Mick Lally ...
Dan Hogan
Britta Smith ...
Mrs. Hogan
Brian Mahon
Ruth McCabe ...
Emily Mahon
Professor Flynn
Dr. Foley
Marie Mullen ...
Mrs. Foley
Marie Conmee ...
Mrs. Healey


'Circle Of Friends' is set in 1950's Ireland. The movie focuses on Benny Hogan and her best friend, Eve Malone. The story centers around Benny and Eve as they enter student life at University College, Dublin. Here Benny and Eve reunite with their childhood friend, the ice-cool Nan Mahon, the 'college belle'. They also encounter the handsome and charming Jack Foley, whom Benny quickly falls for. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


For everyone who ever thought the person they loved was out of their reach See more »


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content | See all certifications »



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Release Date:

7 April 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Círculo de amigos  »

Box Office


$23,397,365 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The Long John Jump Band, who performed on the soundtrack and in the ballroom scenes, is fronted by John Sheridan (wearing a red suit jacket in the film). John Sheridan is the younger brother of Irish director Jim Sheridan. See more »


When Benny and Eve are walking down the street near the beginning of the film, the local butcher comes out of his shop holding a cleaver in his hand. In the immediate next shot, both of his hands are tucked into his apron with no cleaver in sight. See more »


[first lines]
Bernadette 'Benny' Hogan: When all this started, all our families have lived in Knockglen for as long as anybody could remember. And in Ireland people have very long memories.
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Bo Weevil
Written by Fats Domino (as Antonio Domino) and David Bartholomew
Performed by Fats Domino
Courtesy of EMI Records USA, a division of ERG
Under license from CEMA Special Markets
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User Reviews

Unpretentious romantic drama; sweet but not memorable

First of all, I've never read the novel by Maeve Binchy, so I'm not going to make a comparison between the book and the movie.

The plot:

Set in the 50s. Three young Irish girls with distinguish personalities get their share of lessons about friendship, love, family, betrayal and college life.

The characters:

Minnie Driver is very convincing as Benny, the straightforward, sensitive, caring, and humorous virgin with plum curves, a radiant smile, and expressive eyes. She is an only child and lives with her modest family, taking the bus on a daily basis to go to college in Dublin.

Chris O'Donnell is Jack Foley, a wealthy medical student and rugby star. He is attractive and a tad naive. He and Benny fall in love, their attempts to get close to each other, both in the physical and the emotional sense, are clumsy (because they lack experience), but sincere and touching.

Geraldine O'Rawe is Eve, Benny's lifetime friend, an orphan who was raised by the nuns but who has enough guts to ask for and obtain a scholarship, and stand up for Benny against Nan when need be.

The pretty Saffron Burrows plays Nan, Benny and Eve's childhood friend, who left the village early to live with her family in Dublin. She is very aware of her attractive looks, and attempts to use her wannabe sophistication to trap a wealthy man into marriage when she becomes pregnant with his baby (predictable). But the man rejects her (again, predictable), and so she betrays Benny by seducing Jack and claiming afterwards that she is carrying his child.

Alan Cumming is excellent as Sean Walsh, Benny's father's employee who constantly attempts to seduce the young girl, to no avail. You will probably hate him in this role, he truly is despicable, manipulative, sexually obsessed, voyeur, irritating, etc. His hairstyle (a fringe on the right please) and suspenders make him look ridiculous. In one word, Walsh is a real pain, but Cumming gives an excellent performance here. His sleezy mimics cannot go unnoticed.

The Irish landscape, with its hilltops, pittorresque rivers, woods, small roads, and adorable cottages is one of the fine aspects of the movie.

There isn't much to analyse here, the story line is simple and the dialog pretty straightforward. The overall atmosphere of the film is friendly, warm and 'cozy'.

There is definitely an emotional bond between Benny and the viewers, unless you're too much of a cynic to sympathize with a sensitive, self-conscious, modest girl set on a (realistic) journey of womanhood.

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