In every generation, a torch passes from father to son. And that timeless dynamic is the beating heart of Tommy's Honour - an intimate, powerfully moving tale of the real-life founders of the modern game of golf.
In St Andrews, Scotland in 1866, 15-year-old Tommy Morris is an avid golfer like his legendary and pioneering father, Tom Morris. "Old Tom" is greens-keeper for The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, as well as the town's club- and ball-maker. He is the two-time winner of the first major golf tournament, The Open Championship, which he founded in 1860. He also established golf's standard of 18 holes per round. But young Tommy is beginning to chafe at his father's dictates, especially in the rapidly changing world they live in. Tommy soon outshines his father, winning The Open three times in a row while still in his teens. The "dashing young man of golf", he draws flocks of spectators to the sport and becomes its first touring professional..
In 1867, the boys are playing Pitch and Toss using Queen Victoria pennies. The design of penny dates from 1860 and by 1867 the coins would still look almost new. However, the coins they are using show the wear typical of seventy or eighty years of use. See more »
"Your station in life was set well before you were born"
"Tommy's Honour" (2016 release from Scotland; 115 min.) brings the story of father and son Tommy and Tommy Jr. Morris. As the movie opens, a reporter from the Times of London wants to interview Tommy, by now an old man. But Tommy informs the reporter that the only story he is willing to give him, is about a young man. We then go back in time to the 1860s, and we learn that the young man referred to is Tommy Jr., an up-and-coming lad who loves the game of golf. His dad is a the groundskeeper of the local golf club and started the Open Championship. Along the way, we get to know other characters, including an aristocrat for whom the Morris lads play organized golf, and a young waitress who catches Tommy Jr.'s eye. At this point we are 10 min. into the movie, but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.
Couple of comments: this is the big screen adaptation of the book of the same name by Kevin Cook(who co-wrote the movie's script). The director is Jason Connery (yes, son of Scottish icon Sean Connery, and best known for his acting work in UK TV and movies). The movie is a mix of sports movie, family drama, romance, and war of the classes. The tensions between father and son are the most obvious, with the older Morris sticking to the 'agreed' behavior between working class and aristocrats, while young Tommy is eager to break the rules. When he pushes for a better financial arrangement, the Captain of the golf club sneers "Your station in life was set well before you were born", and later on (when Tommy wins yet another major golf event) "You're a hero to this town, but a gentleman you will never be", ouch! I found the movie a bit lightweight, to be honest, as those tensions never really feel real. It isn't until much later in the movie (when Tommy Jr.'s love life becomes the focus) that we feel emotionally involved. Along the way, the gorgeous photography (entirely filmed on location of course) makes this movie feel like one long advert for the beauty that is Scotland. The acting performances are fine: Peter Mullan as Old Tom Morris, Jack Lowden as Tommy Morris, and none other than Sam Neil as the Captain/villain aristocrat.
"Tommy's Honour" opened in US theaters this weekend. I imagine it's not a coincidence that this is the very weekend after the Masters, the Super Bowl of golf when interest in the game is at its peak in the US. This is an okay movie, in particular if you has a special interest in golf. I found it to be pleasant, nothing more, nothing else.
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