Far and Away (1992) Poster


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Underrated storybook of a movie that embraces its cliches
DeathByTelevision27 December 2003
If you pay too much attention to the cliches and unlikely situations the characters are placed, you really miss the charm of this movie. I can see how people would be put off if they were expecting a serious historical reenactment. Still, I believe that Ron Howard fully meant for this to be a fully romanticized account of the time. This movie works in many of the ways Titanic does, and I think it does it more effectively. Still, with Titanic, most people seemed more than willing to overlook the absurdities. With Far and Away, I don't think Ron Howard was trying to trick us or dumb us down. I don't think he was ever trying to underestimate the intelligence of his viewers. I think he was asking us to follow him and trust him as he told a story. I enjoyed it. Kidman and Cruise were both fun to watch. The supporting cast, although they did seem like they came from a comic book, were entertaining. I hope this movie has life on cable and DVD.
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Involving, Old-Fashioned Epic
ccthemovieman-114 January 2007
This is a fairly long movie but one that keeps your interest - at least it did mine - all the way with an epic-type adventure tale of Irish immigrants back in the 1880s in the U.S.

This movie is broken down into three distinct parts: 1 - Ireland (40 minutes, featuring some stunning scenery and good Irish music); 2 - Boston (one hour, featuring many brutal scenes of tough Irish immigrants and bare-knuckle fights); 3 - Oklahoma (the days on mining and the famous "land rush.")

The story is very intense and involving. One well-known critic called it "old-fashioned" and meant it as an insult. Well, I think the opposite. I agree that it's old-fashioned, in that it's epic storytelling and that's a good thing. It features solid acting by Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman and all the others, and Kidman isn't the only attractive thing in there. The photography is magnificent. I only wish the sound was better as there is almost nothing from the rear speakers.

Cruise is very convincing as a good man, so much so I hated to see some of those beatings he took in the Boston segment. Then again, I'm old-fashioned: I don't like to see the bad guys win over the good guys.

Overall, a memorable movie and one that you truly will care about the characters and the final outcome.
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Irish immigrants caught in a cross-class romance set amidst late 19th century Boston and the Oklahoma Land Rush.
txobri3 August 1998
A truly brilliant film, this is Ron Howard's masterpiece. I never tire of viewing Far and Away, and enjoy every moment each time I see it. This film is admirable in several respects: 1)it shows how a romance can develop over time, without the typical Hollywood touches of "whirlwind" happenings and people hopping in the sack after only a couple of days (a la "Titanic"), 2)Ron Howard captured the beauty of Ireland, the filth of a large city, and the expanse of the open prairie by resurrecting 70mm film - the colors in this film are absolutely incredible, 3)a simple, character-driven story is enhanced by the historical backdrop. In fact, there are many similarities between the romance in "Titanic" and in "Far and Away." I feel that the depiction in this film works much better than the other, mainly because of the plausibility factor (how many times would you run into the same person on a huge ship?). We understand why Shannon would want to take Joseph along with her. This is the opportunity she's been waiting for. Along the way, and through helping each other through tough circumstances, they fall for each other. This is not some momentary crush that will pass when the next good looking person walks by, we know that these two truly care for each other, and admire each other. Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman are perfect - one would think that they're both Irish natives. If their marriage is anything like their relationship here, it is bound to last for some time. This is, hands down, Tom Cruise's best movie ever. Here we don't see the typical cocky young man, but instead, a man driven by passion and destiny to do what needs to be done. This is probably much closer to the real Tom Cruise: Proud, without being arrogant. This film remains on my list of all-time favorites, and I look forward to seeing it on the large screen one day.
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Good, Underrated Movie
LynnK5419 December 2005
I thought this movie was very well done. It is an overlooked treasure. Ron Howard is a great film maker and he deserves more credit for this film. I'm a huge Ron Howard fan and I felt that this film was no better than any of his work done thus far. The dialog was a bit hard to understand, but the plot, acting and directing are what make the movie so great. Nicole Kidman is so beautiful in the movie and she really carries the movie with her charisma. Tom Cruise plays his part very well. The scenery in the movie is some of the best I've ever seen. It is easy to lose yourself in this movie. I would recommend this movie to anyone I know.
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Not too original, but Tom and Nicole heat up the scenes
Smells_Like_Cheese28 November 2003
While the whole rich girl falls in love with the poor boy routine is a little over done, Far and Away is actually a very romantic and wonderful movie starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. I think because they had such great chemistry, they made this movie into a tear jerker. Not to mention how great the story was, a part of our history that has always been ignored, the Irish immigrants coming over to America to have land and settle down. At a time when America was the new world and very exciting, where anyone could be free, Joesph and Shannon were two very lovable characters and you just keep hoping that their dreams come true.

Shannon is a very upper class lady in Ireland with her controlling mother who wishes her to marry a snobbish land owner, Stephen. Joesph is a farm boy who has just lost his father and his home has been burned by Stephen, Shannon's father owns the land, so Joesph goes to kill him, but fails. His punishment is a duel, but he and Shannon see each other and have an instant connection but won't admit it of course, but Shannon offers for him to come with her to America to claim some land with her. He accepts her offer and goes with her. They claim to be brother and sister to survive, but soon they can no longer resist each other's love, but their family may be too strong to let them be together when Shannon's family comes to get her in America.

Far and Away is a very charming film that I'm sure you will be impressed with. It's just a very romantic film, has fun comedy to it, good drama, and has terrific pictures and sights. Ron Howard is just a fine director, he got the whole feel of the old days and that race for land at the end was just shot so beautifully. Tom and Nicole did a great job, they were so beautiful to watch and made this into a great film. I highly recommend this movie, I think you'll love it.

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Who will deny Ron Howard his due?
kyle_7933 January 2002
Tom Cruise may have the "worst-looking" Irish accent on the face of the planet, but it is undeniable that he and Nicole Kidman are sizzling on the silver screen together. Their intensity shines as well as their artistic ability to envelop a character and relate their thoughts to a viewer. Besides their very well done performance, the film is absolutely beautiful. Kudos to the set and costume designers that spent long hours on Far and Away. But he real story in this film is Ron Howard. It is simply a asthetic masterpiece. I spent most of my time wishing that he had just set his camera up on the prairie and filmed the grass growing. It was truly beautiful. Incidentally, sometimes one scene just makes a film. Brings it up from a good film into near 'masterpiece' status. This is one of those films. The music (the best soundtrack of the year thanks to Horner) combined with Ron Howard's vision made the "land race" scene of Far and Away and classic within itself. Put this scene up there with the chariot race in Ben Hur and the parting of the Red Sea in The Ten Commmandments, it is just that good. This is, far and away, one of the best films of the year.
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The Frontier Thesis
bkoganbing10 August 2007
Back in Gone With the Wind Gerald O'Hara tried to tell Katie Scarlett the importance of the land, a lesson she took the entire film to learn. For Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman it's the land, their own bit of land to work as they please and answer to no one.

The story of Far and Away takes place in a very specific time period in the history of both Ireland and America. In Ireland the home rule movement had been dealt a stunning blow with the fall of Charles Stuart Parnell in scandal. Independence had been set back and the landlords were riding high, though not without opposition.

Opposition in this case comes in the form of Tom Cruise and his family who are Irish tenant farmers about to be tossed off their land because they can't pay the exorbitant rents. Turns out the landlord's got a most fetching daughter in Nicole Kidman who's got her eye on the peasant lad.

Far and Away is first and foremost a romance, the rich girl and the poor boy, two beautiful young people we all wish we were. Of course the real affair of Tom and Nicole and their eventual marriage is fairy tale storybook stuff on its own. It sure didn't hurt the film.

They've got a rough road ahead though. In Boston they get exploited by their own people as badly as the English are doing in the old country. Of course their eventual salvation is the Oklahoma land rush where Tom can get his own land to work.

Frederick Jackson Turner was a famous American historian who put forth the thesis that the reason America escaped the class struggles and revolutions of Europe was our frontier. It didn't work out so well for those Indians already there, but the proletarian masses instead of becoming a mob that agitators could stir to revolution just went west and made opportunities. Turner's thesis is still a widely respected paradigm in the study of American history and I think if he could have seen Far and Away, he'd say Ron Howard proved his point.

Speaking of Ron Howard, it's pretty obvious he was influenced by both versions of the Oklahoma land rush previously made in the two films of Edna Ferber's classic Cimarron. He doesn't do badly in recreating Boston of the Gay Nineties and Ireland of the same period.

And Tom and Nicole certainly look beautiful even when she's working in a factory and Tom's getting clobbered in a bare knuckle prize fight. Look for nice performances by Robert Prosky as Nicole's father, Thomas Gibson as Tom's rival for Nicole and Colm Meaney as the Irish political boss in Boston.

Maybe the world needs a frontier to solve its problems.
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A brilliant film!
RDgirl8 May 1999
Far and Away is definitely one of my favourite films. The acting and the scenery were both superb and I absolutely loved the story. Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise were both brilliant in their roles and the romance between Shannon and Joseph was very believable (most likely due to the fact that they were married anyway!). Nicole gave a superb performance as Shannon, the scenes in which she is acting the innocent, but rebellious and naive young girl were brilliant. And Tom was superb as the poor but ambitious Joseph. A truly brilliant film which deserves to be on the big screen, I hope to be able to see it at the cinemas one day!
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A wonderful film, a treat for the eyes and ears!
IMSully10 January 2003
This film is a wonderful tale of hope, failure and fulfillment. Unpopular with critics and snobs, it captures history in a rare and rewarding way, that recognizes the trials and travails of the Irish. The Gaels like so many other displaced ethnicities realized their full potential in America.

Most films never develop an audience, and even fewer develop one that transcends generations. `Far and Away' appeals to adults and young people, so much so, that it has recently been re-released in DVD format. It has also established a niche in television rebroadcasts. These annuals rebroadcasts put the lie to the "wisdom" of the critics, and prove the films natural popularity with movie-lovers.
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You're not in Ireland any more
petra_ste7 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
"His best friend is a talking pie!" "Sold! Howard, you've done it again!" (cue Happy Days theme) from The Simpsons

I didn't have such terrible memories of Far and Away, last seen when I was little more than a kid - probably for a number of factors, including John Williams' slick soundtrack, Enya's memorable Book of Days, my schoolboy crush for the young and radiant redhead Nicole Kidman... and mostly for the premise of the Oklahoma Land Rush, a fascinating topic.

Watching it as an adult, Far and Away is bad. Being a Ron Howard movie, emotions register with the subtlety of a stampede of buffaloes; the camera swoops around emphatically, rotates, takes flight; character moments are corny, comedic scenes juvenile. People complain about, say, Spielberg's populism and lack of sophistication... but, compared to Howard, good ol' Steven is as thematically dense and thought-provoking as Stanley Kubrick.

Kidman and Cruise, who later became competent (in Kidman's case even great) performers, here are just coasting on their looks. Cruise in particular attempts an Irish accent which sounds like he has a moribund but petulant leprechaun stuck in his larynx.

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Beautiful Film
chessirose18 August 2001
This film is beautiful. It's wonderful to see Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman in a good film. The movie has a pretty good historical point of view so the plot is kind of self telling. The scenery in this is great. And, it's fun to see Tom fight, and Nicole wash clothes. Oh, for the fight scenes nothing gory. For parents: this movie shouldn't be shown to really little kids. For teens it's cute. And, adults well take a crack at it. Oh by the way, a little bit of nudity, but nothing bad. Just trust me. It's a very well done and beautiful film. 9/10 stars.
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hu1419 June 2005
Set In Rural Ireland in the 19th Century, Young Irishman Joseph Donelly (Cruise) is facing eviction from his land after the death of his father. While seeking revenge on their rich protestant landlord, he meets the spoilt and rebellious daughter Shannon Christy (Kidman) and ends up tagging along when she runs away to 'modern' America. Misfortune leads them both to a poor part of Boston and they both dream of someday owning their own land, separately of course as each denies their obvious attraction to the other.

Blatantly obvious continuity errors make this 'film' look like a home movie shot by children and edited by a monkey. As someone who is Irish, the accents by both the leads were unbearable and over the top, as well as several occasions when Tom's American accent emerges. The acting was overly bad, the characters completely uninteresting, the storyline long-winded and predictable, and the script thoroughly stupid. Stupid is the word I would use to describe this movie, as everything from the plot, to the editing was utterly stupid.

I'd hate to see what a historian of this time period would think of this film, as it doesn't seem to be researched at all. According to the goofs on IMDb, American flags used in the movie had 50 stars, when at the time the official flag had only 44. But, because movies are essentially to entertain, not to be analysed, I gave this movie two stars more than it deserves because it does to a certain point, entertain. But more so from parts like when Kidman falls into the mud and comes out sparkling clean a moment later, than the parts of the movie that are meant to be entertaining.
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Great movie...bad ending
ewolf-31 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I loved the movie up to the very end. It's full of romance and suspense but the end really let me down. It was so stupid and cheesy. I mean, come on, let the man die or don't have him die at all, but to bring him back to life. And then after he comes back to life (after this fatal wound) he jumps right up, kisses Nicole, and together they plant their little flag in the ground. ARG It was so upsetting that I could not sleep. Could they not make up their mind on how to end it? Where they arguing about it and then decided to put them both in? I would really love to know the logic behind the ending. Everything other than that was just wonderful about the movie, but they totally ruined it in the last minutes...and those are the most important.
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Nice movie with happy ending
Mone-1129 December 2000
I don´t have problems with the accent of Cruise and Kidman - for me they simply speak German... I like this film because the landscape is nice, the story is nice and the end is nice. You cannot always watch movies which are difficult to understand. Sometimes you need a little movie which makes you smile at the end. And "the poor Irish boy gets the rich Protestant girl" is always a good theme.
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How Tom Cruise Won the West...
moonspinner556 August 2004
In 1892 Ireland, a penniless farmer(with an axe to grind--naturally, as it makes the character more..."complex"?)becomes reluctant allies with the rich, spoiled daughter of his hated landlord; together, they travel to America, landing in Boston where he becomes a bare-knuckle fighter. Long and tiring "search for better lives" movie has become something of a 'chick flick'(which I'm sure was not director Ron Howard's intent). Is 'chick flick' a criticism? In this context, yes. The film is soft and wan, glossy and condescending--not a knock-off of the classic 'chick flicks' but a regression of one. Filled with peaks and valleys, it exposes all of Howard's saccharin weaknesses as a director(he shows expansive style but very little inquistiveness, and not one little bit of throwaway cleverness; nothing escapes him and yet EVERYTHING escapes him). It plays like "The Quiet Man" on Quaaludes, arms-flailing and yet lethargic. Tom Cruise(God help us)is full of the kind of robust "Irish-ness" that immigrates only from good old Hollywood, U.S.A. As for then-wife Nicole Kidman, I found her surprisingly right in her role, and right at home(she was born to wear these period costumes). But--"Saints preserve us!"--it's a heavy screenplay(co-written by Howard), with many howlers in the mix, and the slick sheen of plastic covering the entire enterprise almost renders the on-location filming in Ireland and Montana fake. The whole flimsy "Far and Away" facade wilts completely at the end, but I'm sure Cruise was comfortable with his close-ups. ** from ****
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Irish Accents
sasskers2116 April 2007
Truly awful Irish accents. So bad I am humiliated for them! There were stories abound, when the filming was taking place, how they employed Irish scholars to give voice coaching lessons so that the accent was true to the Country!

I nearly died when I saw this movie. I actually never saw the end as I could not - well not without cringing behind the couch - watch the rest of this film.

I have been in the remotest part of Ireland and never heard anything this bad.

Please Hollywood treat the Irish accent with respect and stop all this nonsense.
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Far And Away: Both Far-Reaching (Ron Howard) and Far-Retching (Me)
bethjdickens8926 November 2007
Boy, the whole time I was being forced to watch this, I wished I was far and away. Like at a screening of "Babe" or something. Bob Dolman (who was later to write such classics as "How To Eat Fried Worms") and Ron Howard need some writing 411.

The first thing one I learned in screen writing class is as follows: Don't let your actors blab expository information. One of the first thing Joseph (Tom Cruise) says is: "I don't want to fight you." What he really wants to do it talk your ear off. When he feels his land has been stolen he promptly says: "I think I'll go kill the bloke who took my land." (or something to that effect) That's it. No internal conflict necessary here, folks. Of course, we already have been force-fed Joseph's personality due to a two-minute monologue concerning him being his dying Da. Later, Kidman does the same thing. "You wonder why I'm running away?" she asks Joe. "Well, I'll tell you." Do people do that in real life? Sure. It's called processing. But in the movies, it's false empathy.

Let's move on. Is there love in this movie? Oh I was definitely feeling the lust. Dolman/ Howard made that quite clear in various sequences of partial/hidden nudity. Ah the joy of a censored director. But love? Nah. Too little chemistry, driven by the usual emotional triggers (another man, another woman, a lusty old dude, a gunshot wound, charged bickering, drunkenness and a bathtub).

Cruise's accent? Not for me. Kidman looks beautiful and acts splendidly. Some great work from Colm Meany in the mid-section (probably the better slice of the story).

The whole thing falls apart gloriously in the last thirty minutes, where we understand nothing (why is Kidman's family vying for territory?), huge themes are destroyed (Joseph's prudishness? The value of honest work? The desperation of the times?) in order to create a huge slam-bash finish in a race for land. As if this entire thing had been about land vs. love... Or has it been? In the midst of convoluted plot lines, was that really IT?

The #1 worst excuse for a bad movie is "Great photography/costumes/action." Far and Away doesn't give us anything we haven't seen before, and sure Ireland's great but you can always rent a helicopter video.

The first third is basically Braveheart, the second Gangs of New York and the last Titanic, all three of which were (somewhat) better. Do yourself a favor. Watch them in succession. Stay far and away from this one.
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'Tis All About Tom And Nicole, 'Tis
jhclues17 September 2000
Warning: Spoilers
**Possible Spoilers** In 1892 Ireland, the son of a poor farmer forms an unlikely alliance with the daughter of a wealthy landowner, in `Far and Away,' a romantic adventure directed by Ron Howard, and starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. When his father dies, and an agent of the landlord to whom back rent is owed burns their modest home to the ground, Joseph Donnelly (Cruise) vows revenge. Armed with an ancient, rusty rifle, he travels to the estate of the landowner, Daniel Christie (Robert Prosky), intending to shoot him. But his plans to settle the score quickly go awry; as he draws a bead on Christie and pulls the trigger, the rifle explodes in his face. Christie takes him into his home to treat his wounds, and there Joseph catches the eye of Christie's daughter, Shannon (Kidman). The lad, she notes, has pluck, and he's obviously a scrapper; and she immediately sees him as the means by which she can effect her dream of running away to America, where they are giving land away for free (or so says the ad she has ripped from a newspaper). She realizes that such an undertaking would be impossible for a woman traveling alone, but with a man such as Joseph along to tend to her needs and offer protection, it could be done. Circumstances prevail in her favor, and soon the two of them are off, covertly, with the plan being to land in Boston, then head west to the Oklahoma Territory, where Shannon will be able to claim her land. Of course, Joseph sees land in it for himself, as well. They hit a snag, however, upon landing in Boston; Shannon's silver spoons, stolen from her mother, and with which the trek west was to be financed, are stolen from her, leaving them without means. With some help, they manage to find affordable accommodations (a room at a local bordello), and Shannon finds work in a factory. Meanwhile, Joseph finds he can make some money by prizefighting at one of the local pubs, under sponsorship of a man named Kelly (Colm Meaney), the `connected' Irishman of the town. It's enough to keep them going, temporarily, but the question is, can they make it to Oklahoma in time for the `land rush' of 1893? Cruise gives a credible performance here as Joseph, complete with a passable Irish accent, and he has a natural, charismatic persona that comes across so well on film. Kidman, too, fares well with her portrayal of Shannon; her accent is good, and the camera likes her. And, of course, there's a real chemistry between them. Howard has crafted a visually handsome movie, with a good story told in a predominately straight forward manner. There's not a lot of surprises, and much of it is predictable, beyond mere foreshadowing, but the pace is brisk and the characters are alive, which keeps it all interesting. Also, there's a touch of humor thrown in at appropriate junctures, which helps to offset the dramatics, maintain a positive atmosphere, and keep it all from becoming too sullen. The cinematography is especially notable, particularly early on, when capturing some of the lush vistas of Ireland, and later during the `land rush' sequence. The performances are good all around, and the excellent supporting cast includes Thomas Gibson (Steven), Barbara Babcock (Nora Christie), Cyril Cusack (Danty Duff) and Michelle Johnson (Grace). `Far and Away' is well made and delivered, and, most importantly, it's an entertaining movie; perhaps not one of the most memorable Howard has made, but it's an enjoyable film, and well worth seeing. All in all, it makes for a pleasant night at the movies. I rate this one 7/10.
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A really enjoyable storyline 10/10
janeregan12 April 2009
Nicole & Tom are Impressive!! This film is all round great acting.

I can't fault the photography & this film really did exceed my expectations due to the high standard the actors brought to each scene.

I'm sure that this movie is definitely underrated. I almost overlooked it due to a couple of bad reviews, especially the ones that slated tom's bad accent. Personally, I thought it was quite charming.

It wasn't just Nicole and tom who did a good job on this either, the entire cast was superb.

I give it a 10/10 for what it achieved. It was just the right length and the movie was rounded off with a good ending.
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A Ron Howard Masterpiece
alshehri24 December 2008
the movie is about Josef(Cruise) a young Irishman facing property after his father's death .he decides to take his revenge on his landlord.Instead, he is sentenced to a duel with his landlord .His only way to escape is joining Shannon(Kidman)the landlord's daughter who wants a wider country for her wide dreams(America) but when they get there,they realize they are not welcome.

the performances are phenomenal and so is the production . you won't forget the beautiful views during their journey .

after 16 years ,the movie is still amazing .it is better than the majority of movies we see nowadays .I really advise you to see it.
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Not a very entertaining romance
gcd7017 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Obviously, and almost unashamedly, a Cruise/Kidman vehicle, Ron Howard's film does have all the right ingredients, including a poor boy, a rich girl, forbidden love, and a country that promises to fulfill all their dreams.

Unfortunately that's all it does have. The script is largely uninspired, quite slow in the middle, and finishes with a predictable 'happy ending'. None of the cast really help proceedings, nor does John Williams' score, which surprisingly disappoints.

Director Howard mostly fails to generate real audience interest in his lead players, and humour is sadly lacking. "Far and Away" is romantic, but it seriously lacks depth.

Friday, June 5, 1992 - Knox District Centre

Seeing "Far and Away" a second time is not highly recommended. The story is boring, the comedy just is not effective and the film is far too long. Those prize-fights are a terrible rip-off of "Rocky".

A very painful second viewing. Just try and stay awake.

Friday, June 19, 1992 - Knox District Centre
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Fantastic drama I have ever seen.
Rid_mad18 October 2002
What can I say more about it !! The acting 0f Tom and Nic is mindblowing also the background environment makes me feel what true and first love is.The back groundsets is beautiful. Also the back ground music beautified the flick. First time i see it three years ago.BUT still when I see it I feel the same pleasure as I first time felt.
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robster799620 March 2012
Hollywood has put out a lot of crap since the seventies and I am disgusted with so much of the low brow crap that people think is entertaining these days. I bet Shirley Temple and most of the Acadamy award winning movies of yesteryear would be rejected today by most vulgar minded audiences; how sad. However, Hollywood has produced some of the finest films since the 70s also, Patton, Forest Gump, Titanic, Mrs. Pettygrew Lives for a Day, Saving Privet Rayan and many others to numerous to list and including Far and Away. Beautifully done in a classic and family quality Golden tradition of Hollywoods best. Unfortunately todays audiences need full frontal Porn and the F-word used as the main dialog to get a rise out of younger folks. I'm no prude. I served in the Navy on submarines and can use language that would make a Marine squirm with disgust. There is a place for everything, but for me great films are not that place. I think Far and Away is one of those rare films that didn't get it's just due from the public but it will always have a place on my Top 25 list of the best films ever made, just like Forest Gump; also a Ron Howard film. God help us.
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Good but the accents.....
aoifecxx4 March 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I am from Ireland and I can PROMISE those who have watched it that we do not speak like that. Secondly the names 'Joseph' and 'Shannon' are only recent names and were not the names of near 100 years ago! The film really is about when the British owned most of the land and the Irish had to pay high tax's so most went off the America. The plot was good only the boxing dragged on a bit and they were earning money but still never left to go and get land or to even get better accommodation other then staying in a brothel. It is a good movie to watch if there is nothing else but please do not judge the Irish by the accents of Tom and Nicole.
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