"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
Eamon Keane, who played Dan Paddy Andy (Matchmaker) in this movie, was John B. Keane's brother. Keane was the man who wrote the source stage play "The Field" (1965), which was eventually made into this movie. See more »
During the opening scene when the donkey is thrown off the cliff, as it hits the water its legs collapse into it. This shows that the donkey was a stuffed animal. See more »
She's a woman like your mother. If we knew how to keep the women happy we'd still be in paradise.
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Stubborn Irishman's love of the land destroys his soul...
A more simplistic view of the Irishmen and their love of the land was voiced by Gerald O'Hara in GONE WITH THE WIND: "Land is the only thing worth fighting for, worth dying for." And that is precisely what the theme of THE FIELD is, with RICHARD HARRIS giving a towering performance as "Bull" McCabe, who believes with all his heart that the land he covets cannot be taken away from him by anyone else, least of all an American he calls "the Yank" (TOM BERENGER in an underwritten role).
Irish traditions and landscapes are beautifully captured by the camera in this picturesque tale, a grim tragedy that plays out like a twisted morality tale with the viewer hating what McCabe does with his strong beliefs, tainted by false values and his own uncompromising ways.
As impressive as Harris is, JOHN HURT overplays his dimwitted brother to the point where his role seems like a parody of a clumsy character. SEAN BEAN is wonderfully restrained as the brother who is uneasy with his father's strong prejudices and beliefs and would rather not fight Berenger over a piece of land.
The tale becomes a Greek tragedy once Harris allows his passionate love of the land to overcome all reason. The parish priest tells his stoic villagers that such love of the soil can destroy the soil and that's what happens here.
There are some brilliant moments including the savagely staged fight scene by the sea on a misty night, but the story (based on a play) never quite achieves a meaningful conclusion with its very downbeat ending.
Realism of most of the performances is unquestionable, but the main reason for seeing it has to be Richard Harris' unforgettable performance as an Irishman who lets "the field" destroy his reasoning to the point of madness.
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