Young Cassidy

  • 1965
  • 1 HR 48 MIN
  • NR
  • Biography

The massive 13-volume autobiography of Irish playwright and rebel Sean O'Casey serves as the source material for this film. Taylor is a young Irishman from a poor family. He spends his days digging ditches and his nights at political meetings and reading books. He eventually turns his attention away from fighting the British to writing pamphlets against...read more

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The massive 13-volume autobiography of Irish playwright and rebel Sean O'Casey serves as the source material for this film. Taylor is a young Irishman from a poor family. He spends his days digging ditches and his nights at political meetings and reading books. He eventually turns his

attention away from fighting the British to writing pamphlets against them. When a riot, sparked by a Taylor pamphlet, breaks out, Taylor meets Christie, a music hall dancer, and they enter into an affair. After a time he leaves her and takes up with Smith, the owner of a small bookshop Taylor

frequents. His plays are produced at the Abbey Theatre, and he comes to the attention of the literary world. Yet he constantly struggles against his own background in poverty and tries to keep from being co-opted by the literary establishment. When his play "The Plough and the Stars" is produced,

the audience riots, but later it is hailed as a work of brilliance. As the film ends, Taylor is leaving his home for England and international acclaim. Although the film carries a title at the beginning claiming this as "A John Ford Film," the great director's contributions are small, totaling

less than 10 minutes of screen time. Although he was not in great health and was thoroughly occupied with making CHEYENNE AUTUMN, Ford jumped at the chance to direct this film, offering to forego his usual fee for a mere $50,000. When the shooting of CHEYENNE AUTUMN was complete, Ford went to

Ireland to look over locations. He drank steadily on the flight to Dublin, and when he got off the airplane, the producers of the film, Robert Ginna and Robert Graff, whom Ford came to call "the Bobs," had trouble believing that the drunken, unshaven man who stumbled off the airplane was really

Ford. Ford had only a week to spend in Dublin before returning to California for the premiere of CHEYENNE AUTUMN. When the Bobs expressed their dismay over the little time Ford could give them, the crusty director replied, "What do you expect for a lousy 50 grand?" When he returned to Ireland

after the disastrous reception of CHEYENNE AUTUMN, he worked only 13 days on the film before falling ill. The Bobs, who had never had much faith in Ford after that initial meeting, were just as happy when they replaced him with Jack Cardiff. The film is unsuccessful on a number of counts, but

mainly in that it lacks a focal point. The performances are good, though, especially those of Taylor and Christie.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: The massive 13-volume autobiography of Irish playwright and rebel Sean O'Casey serves as the source material for this film. Taylor is a young Irishman from a poor family. He spends his days digging ditches and his nights at political meetings and reading b… (more)

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