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It's the mid 1960s. With a long tradition of Irish music in their bloods, middle aged John Joe McMahon and younger Jimmy McMahon, two of three brothers, grew up in County Clare, Ireland. They have long been estranged, their falling out over a woman. John Joe, still living in County Clare, has never married, while Jimmy, who long left County Clare to live in Liverpool, is on wife number five and probably counting. As fiddlers, they each lead their own ceili band, following those strict musical conventions in which they were raised. As such, Jimmy's talented flautist, Teddy, exasperates him if only because of Teddy being musically influenced by among others The Beatles. John Joe's band has won the best ceili band competition at the prestigious annual Irish music festival three years running. This year, Jimmy's band will also be in attendance for the first time. John Joe and Jimmy do not want to see each other and do whatever they can to ensure the other does not make it to the festival.... Written by
An Irish music competition such as the one portrayed in the film is called a "fleadh" (pronounced like "flahhh"). However, nobody uses this word in the movie. See more »
The film is supposedly set in the early 60's when the Beatles were a beat band. Yet we see an English car with an H registration - not issued until August 1969. Alex and Teddy also mention Kevin Keegan signing for Liverpool. This did not happen until 1971. See more »
A delightful film, with good lessons, pathos, fun, music & humour.
The Boys from County Clare is a delightful comedy with many dark, dramatic overtones. Two brothers, estranged for years, are competing in a ceili (Irish dance music) band competition. Each will stop at nothing to prevent the other from winning, or even entering, the competition. We do not know the cause of the rift but it soon becomes clear that other characters are involved in it. It kept me guessing: sometimes right and sometimes wrong. As time passes, we learn more about the dark secrets of these characters and how they work things out.
If you like Irish music, then you have one more thing to love about this film; it is full of that music. The cast was well chosen both for appearance and acting abilities. Whether or not they really are, they do appear to be playing the music. The characters appear to be very real and always interesting.
There is considerable foul language and drunkenness in the film but it is essential to the understanding of the characters and their ways. There are many beautiful lessons and much pathos but even more humour in the film. Watch for a delightful surprise near the end.
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