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Fact-based historical drama about the Irish farmer rebellion against the landed and privileged class. In 1880, prominent Irish politician Charles Stewart Parnell, President of the Irish Land League which represented tenants' rights, held a public speech against the landlords. In his fiery speech, Parnell urged shunning the landlords rather than killing them. One of the worst landlords, Captain Charles Boycott, lived in County Mayo and charged extortionate rents from his tenants and sharecroppers. In case of late payment, Captain Boycott forcibly evicted his tenants using the constabulary force or the army. Farmer Hugh Davin advocated the use of force rather than the passive resistance advocated by Irish politician Parnell. However, Parnell pertinently commented that use of force against the landlords will invite reprisals from the part of the army and the police. In the end, the farmers and those already evicted from their homes decide to give Parnell's idea a try. As part of their ...Written by
When the rivers of Mayo are flowing with blood, give a quick thought to what I said.
Captain Boycott is directed by Frank Launder and adapted to screenplay by Wolfgang Wilhelm from the novel written by Philip Rooney. It stars Stewart Granger, Kathleen Ryan, Cecil Parker, Mervyn Johns and Alastair Sim. Music is by William Alwyn and cinematography by Wilkie Cooper.
Ever wondered where the term to "boycott" something comes from? The answer lies within this enjoyable historical drama. Story is set in County Mayo circa 1880 and finds Parker as Captain Charles Boycott, a tyrannical British land owner who demands inflated rent charges from the local Irish farmers. With next to nobody able to pay such charges, this allows Boycott to evict the families from the premises. Finally having enough, the farmers, fronted by Hugh Davin (Granger), take their lead from a stirring speech by political reform agitator Charles Stewart Parnell (Robert Donat) and form the Irish Land League. Instead of using violence, they ostracise Boycott to the point where he has to seek outside military help to harvest his crop or face financial ruin...
In the mix is a love story, naturally, as Davin falls for the sultry charms of Ryan's Anne Killain. A problem since Anne and her father (Niall MacGinnis) have been housed in the farm of recent evictees, thus incurring death threats and ostracisation themselves. Launder moves it along without fuss and filler, neatly guiding a fine ensemble cast to produce quality drama decked with politico intrigue, while the actual location photography in Southern Ireland is ripe with realism and countryside delights. There's a small irritant with British actors doing iffy Irish accents, and some back screen projection work briefly cheapens the otherwise impressive efforts of the makers, but this is a well constructed and enjoyable film with some substantial historical worth. 7.5/10
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