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The Field (1990)

PG-13 | | Drama, Thriller | March 1991 (USA)
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3:08 | Clip

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When a field (which has been farmed by the McCabe family for generations) goes up for auction, the patriarch of the McCabe family will stop at nothing to prevent a rich American from buying it.

Director:

Jim Sheridan

Writers:

Jim Sheridan (screenplay), John B. Keane (play)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Harris ... 'Bull' McCabe
Sean Bean ... Tadgh McCabe
Frances Tomelty ... Widow
Brenda Fricker ... Maggie McCabe
John Hurt ... Bird' O'Donnell
Ruth McCabe ... Tinker Woman
Jer O'Leary ... Tinker Girl's Father
Noel O'Donovan Noel O'Donovan ... Tomás
John Cowley John Cowley ... Flanagan
Ronan Wilmot ... Tinker
Jenny Conroy Jenny Conroy ... Katie - The Tinker Girl
Joan Sheehy Joan Sheehy ... 2nd Tinker Woman
Sean McGinley ... Father Chris Doran
Malachy McCourt ... Sergeant
Frank McDonald Frank McDonald ... Quarryman
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Storyline

"Bull" McCabe's family has farmed a field for generations, sacrificing endlessly for the sake of the land, and when the widow, who owns the field, decides to sell the field in a public auction, McCabe knows that he must own it. But while no one in the village would dare bid against him, an American with deep pockets decides that he needs the field to build a highway. The Bull and his son decide to convince the American to give up bidding on the field, but things go horribly wrong. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

An unforgettable story of power and passion from the producer and director of My Left Foot. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Ireland

Language:

English

Release Date:

March 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A rét See more »

Filming Locations:

County Galway, Ireland See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

IEP5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$27,948, 25 December 1990

Gross USA:

$1,494,399

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,494,399
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The size of the field is given as three acres, one rood, and thirty-two perches. In metric measure, this is 1.6 hectares. See more »

Goofs

In the final sequence when Tadhg gets to the edge of the cliff and turns, a crew members head can be seen at his feet. See more »

Quotes

"Bull" McCabe: Outsiders? Are these the same outsiders who took the corn from our mouths when the potatoes went rotten in the ditches?
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Killinaskully: The Pitch (2004) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
By Right Of Sweat
3 April 2008 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Tenant farmers in Ireland and their problems accounts for some of the great political movements in that country. So it was interesting to learn that in The Field those problems have not gone away even though it's not British who are absentee landlords.

Shot mostly in County Galway in Ireland, The Field certainly has the look and feel of The Quiet Man, but it's hardly in the same lighthearted spirit. In fact the priest in this film functions more like Karl Malden's priest of the docks in On The Waterfront.

Richard Harris has been a tenant farmer working the land for widow Frances Tomelty for years and has raised his family there. It's pretty much accepted by the villagers that it's Harris's land by right of sweat so when the widow wants to sell no one bids against him except Harris's sidekick John Hurt. But American Tom Berenger doesn't know the rules around there and he does bid.

But what Berenger wants to do is develop the place, put some Americanized shopping mall there. Imagine a strip mall on some of that beach-front property that John Ford so lovingly photographed in The Quiet Man and you can understand the feelings there. It all leads to a lot of tragedy.

Originally Harris was supposed to play the priest role that Sean McGinley had and who played it well. The lead was to go to Ray McAnally who had done this role on stage. When McAnally died, Harris was moved up to the lead and responded with an Oscar nominated performance for Best Actor. Harris lost that year to Jeremy Irons in Reversal of Fortune.

Also look for some nice performances here by Sean Bean as Harris's son and Brenda Fricker as his wife. All part of a very violent household.

Religion specifically the Roman Catholic Church takes a beating and The Field does touch on the conservative role of the church in society. It's a generally accepted fact that the Church did its level best to discourage revolutionary activity during the 19th century after the Irish lost their parliament in the Wolfe Tone rebellion. Harris and others in the film comment about how no priests died during the potato famine that they don't know how the tenant farmers live. And Sean McGinley as the village priest is by no means portrayed as a bad man.

There's also bad feelings towards Berenger who is seen as the descendant of people who cut and ran during the Irish troubles. Of course if a lot hadn't emigrated to all points of the globe, there would be a lot more trying to share the land that Harris wants to hold on to.

The Field is a fine drama about Ireland and the problems there that may not have been totally resolved with independence.


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