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Great Film I wish I could see again
wasper-112 September 2006
Originally saw it on UK TV early 80's when first shown. It was put out as a series on Channel 4 TV

Haven't seen it since ( or got a copy. Only wish I had one) but I don't think it's available in any format anywhere.

It's an evocative and atmospheric recreation of a failed French Landing in the port of Killala (North Mayo Ireland) in 1798 in support of (yet another) Irish revolt against English oppression. Probably of limited interest generally (French with English subtitles) but I loved it - OK I'm Irish.

The film follows the route of the French force through North Mayo through the beautiful but rugged 'Windy Gap' and into the town of Castlebar where they routed the English Garrison and set up HQ in what's now the Imperial Hotel.

The role of General Humbert is played with striking conviction.
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Trying to locate film/DVD/VHS
martin88725 September 2007
I thought that the production of the television drama 'the Year of the French' in 1982 was excellent and I have been searching everywhere to try and find a copy of it. My parents were in the production as extra's so it is of great sentimental value to me. I have searched everywhere so perhaps it was never put out on VHS?DVD? The period is of a lesser known era in Irish and British history so I feel that it should be released as it is of great interest. The 'Castlebar races' certainly gave the British a 'bloody nose' and it was sometime before the rebellion was put down. Many re-en-actors from the UK took part playing both French/British troops as they were already trained to fire cannons/muskets/drumming etc with the 'Sealed Knot' Society.
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I remember it fondly - but will I ever see it again?
finnn9 November 2007
Well, I also saw it when it first came out (more than once actually, may have also seen it on RTE or a repeat) - and I have to disagree with one of the previous comments - it isn't in French with English subtitles! The 6 part miniseries covers the events of 1798 when a French army was sent by the revolutionary government to support the Irish rebellion there at the time from a number of perspectives - the French army's being only one (and the only one in French).

I remember it as not being the best series I've ever seen - by a long shot - but I still enjoyed it, and it's a fascinating period in Irish history that could do with a revisit from the cinema. I wonder if it'll ever get re-released or shown again?
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Anyone know of anywhere I may be able to get a copy of the series?
frharrington4 December 2006
I've looked everywhere, without success. Any information grateful. Really would like to get my hands on a copy. I've read the book. It recalls the 1798 rebellion focusing on a number of locals from mayo and going into great detail describing the lands of the area and the battles/skirmishes that took place at the time.

Anyway I read the book which my dad gave me and since I discussed it with him he has not stopped talking about the drama series made in 1982 and how good it was and how much I would enjoy it and how much he would like to see it again. He saw it in the early 80s on channel 4 or RTE he cannot remember exactly. I would like to return the favour and give him a present of the TV series for Christmas but after all my searching online and in DVD stores I cannot lay my hand on it anywhere. In fact at this stage I am coming to doubt it is available in any format anywhere!

Please post a comment if you know of anywhere I may be able to find a copy. Thanking you all in advance for your help.
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A favourite, despite the critics.
seanbarry-7771611 March 2017
I first saw this on RTE Television back in '82 on first release. I saw a few episodes when Channel 4 (UK), ran it later in the year. I seem to remember at the time that it was a three party production involving FR3 France, Channel 4 UK, and RTE Ireland. It was indeed tri lingual with subtitles for the foreign dialog.

Though the series was quite popular at the time, and drew very good viewer ratings on RTE, it didn't get much approval from the critics. Citing poor editing, bad acting, historical inaccuracy's, amidst the criticisms. None of this though changes the fact that it remained popular with viewers. And of course being a period of Irish history that was not covered by popular media, it attracted all the more attention. And of course not forgetting the excellent soundtrack produced by The Chieftains & The RTE Concert Orchestra.

I have seen many posts on various forums from people looking for this title on DVD, but as far as I am aware, the reason why it hasn't thus far become available, is due to licensing issues between the three countries. So in the meantime, I guess we just wait until this has been resolved. I certainly for one will be looking forward to it's release on digital media of whichever format.
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The Year of the French TV series.
sweetmanpc1 March 2016
The series was trilingual.

Trilingual with Irish, French and English.

I cannot remember subtitles, but there must have been, because I understood the dialogue.

What I remember is the Irish and the French talking together in their own languages and understanding each other.

They required a translator to begin with but soon understood each other enough to only occasionally require a translator.

And the various ethnicities pronouncing "Ballina" differently.

Subtle and thoughtful use of language differences.

I too would part with hard-earned lucre for a copy of this series.
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Music Sound Track by The Chieftains & RTE Orchestra
gowing15 October 2013
My late husband saw some or all of the series; alas, I saw none of it. However, he found a tape cassette produced in 1983 by Shanachie Records Corp., The Chieftains: The Year of the French© 5Shan-79036 (1 Hollywood Ave., Dalebrook Park, Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ 07423), which we have listened to so frequently, especially while traveling, that it's a wonder it still plays flawlessly. There are some vocals, background tavern noise, and the compelling beat of the theme song. It is also copyrighted by Paddy Maloney in the original recording: Radio Telefis Eirann, 1982.

We acquired many albums by The Chieftains; this is one of my favorites -- and I never saw the show!
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