An off-screen narrator takes us into impoverished Dublin neighborhoods of tenements and heroes, not the least of whom is Sean O'Casey (1880-1964), playwright, poet, and Irish nationalist. We learn a bit about some of the women in his life, and we watch preparations for and the shooting of "Young Cassidy," a movie released in 1965 starring Rod Taylor as the young O'Casey. Rod sips stout and chats up the locals in public houses, in the name of research. We meet the director and see John Ford looking on. Written by
Sean O'Casey who chronicled the people if not the events of his beloved Ireland's liberation from Great Britain is probably Ireland's greatest man of letters. I say that knowing that both George Bernard Shaw and Oscar Wilde came from Ireland. But they did their work in Great Britain and O'Casey was first and foremost an Irish patriot.
But he saw all the human flaws as well as the good in his people and wrote what he saw in such work as Juno And The Paycock and The Plough And The Stars. That did not make him popular with his contemporaries, but these works and others are considered masterpieces now.
John Ford conceived of, but never actually worked in the final process of putting Young Cassidy together. The film was based on the life of O'Casey in his youth and got to the string with Jack Cardiff at the helm.
This short subject which has some of the cast and crew from Young Cassidy in it also shows some of contemporary Dublin which was O'Casey's city and not much changed from the Twenties to the Sixties. From what I'm told it's changed a great deal from then to the present.
Sean O'Casey: The Spirit Of Ireland is a nice promotional film for the feature Young Cassidy. It's a film I like so of course I would like this as well.
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