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Film Details

TitleREEFER AND THE MODEL
Production companyBerber Films Productions
SponsorBórd Scánnán na hEireann/Irish Film Board
Channel Four/Film Four International
Radio Telefís Éireann/RTE
Hemdale Film Corporation
Country of originIreland
ProducerDOOLAN, Lelia
HAYES, Tom (Co-Prod)
DirectorCOMERFORD, Joe
Script/AdaptationCOMERFORD, Joe
DOOLAN, Lelia (Associate)
HARRIS, Eoghan (Story Ed)
PhotographyBYRNE, Breffni
Sound recordingHORGAN, Kieran
EditingMERRY DOYLE, Sé
Production designLUCAS, John
Music composerDUHAN, Johnny
Songs'After The Dream' by Duhan, perf. by Keane; 'You Come Back Into My Life' by and perf. by Duhan; 'Shanagolden' by Sean McCarthy, perf. by John Dooley & Creganna.
Castlan McElhinney (Reefer), Eve Watkinson (mother), Carol Scanlan (the Model), Birdy Sweeney (Instant Photo), Sean Lawlor (Spider), Ray McBride (Badger), Fionn Comerford (messenger boy), John Lillis (porter), Henry Comerford (waiter), Sabina Higgins (restaurant woman). Henry Waters (pub musician), Paraic Breathnach (quayside fisherman), Maire Chinsealach (island woman), Dave Duffy (sergeant), Rosena Brown (the blonde). Little John Nee (boy soldier), Sean Ó Coisdealbha ('Rossaveal' skipper), Noel Spain (boatman), Peter Fitzgerald (bank guard), Dick Sffi Donaghue, Maire Ní Mhaille (bank tellers), Mick Rowland (older bank guard), Patrick Blackaby (1st tinker guard), Uinseann MacThomais (2nd tinker guard), Deirdre Lawless (policewoman), Gary McMahon (young guard), Lelia Ní Chathmhoil, Iseult Ní Chathimiloil, Lera Ní Chathimiloil, Stephen Wall, Donal Mahon, Gabriel Fahy, Terry Waters, Padhraic Campbell, Maire Stafford, Nancy Coughlan, Deirdre Grandi, Tony Christofides, Noel Browne, Phyllis Browne, Mike Anderson, Mavis Buckley, Maggie Fagan, Kethrein Curtin, Carmel Campbell, Trish Bush, Eoin Bourke, Peadar Ó Cualain, Michael Flanagan, Enda O'Byrne, Liam Stenson, Brendan Dempsey, Steve Donohue, Deirdre Ní Thuairisg, James O'Meara, Patsy Dodd, Tessie Dodd, Bill Conway, Mary D'Arcy, MiriamAllen, Marcus Quinn, Liam Greene, Richard Byrne.
ColourTechnicolor
Soundsound
Duration93
Footage8399
Release date1988
CopyIFA
IFA (VHS)
SummaryOn a quiet road in Connemara in 1981, Reefer, an ex-IRA man, stops his car in which his mother is a passenger and gives a lift to the Model. The Model has just returned to Ireland from London where she decided to give up heroin when she became pregnant. On the trawler on which Reefer lives with his partners Spider and Badger, they discuss the hunger strike in Northern Ireland. Reefer and the Model go for dinner to an exclusive members-only restaurant and force their way in. In a phone call. Reefer learns from the Dublin police that the Model is suspected of IRA membership, has been a prostitute in London and is a known heroin user. After being challenged for non-membership. Reefer disturbs the quiet equilibrium of the restaurant before they leave. Reefer introduces the Model to Badger and Spider and she is accepted as one of the 'family' on the trawler. They go to an off-shore island with passengers and goods. During, a dance at a pub, Badger picks up a soldier who is on holiday from border duty. They are discovered in the toilets by the soldier's sergeant. Later, they dance in the pub, but when they are observed being intimate by the sergeant he attacks Badger. Spider intervenes on behalf of Badger an a vicious fight ensues, until Reefer separates the pair. Later, the sergeant goes to the trawler and tries to knife Reefer, but Reefer knocks him out and throws him overboard. On their way back to the mainland, the trawler breaks down, and Reefer suggests they rob a bank to pay for the parts. Before going on the raid, the Model invites Reefer to make love. In disguise, the three men rob a mobile bank. They make their getaway in a police car and hide the money. They come upon a crashed police car in which one of the policemen is dead. The second policeman wakes up and realises who they are. Spider plans to shoot him, but then changes his mind and tries to drown him. The police Task Force raid the trawler as Reefer observes them. The Model is arrested and then released. At the trawler, the Model starts up the engine as Reefer rows to meet her. Meanwhile, the police surround the hideout as Spider and Badger collect the money. Spider fires a loaded shotgun at them and is killed by the return fire. Badger is jailed. At the trawler. Reefer's mother holds up the policeman guarding the boat and forces him to take off his clothes. Meanwhile, the Model takes the trawler into the bay as she begins to give birth to the baby. In a rowing boat. Reefer tries to catch up with the trawler as it heads out to sea but the boat is destroyed by the trawler. As the trawler continues out to sea and the Model screams in pain from the birth. Reefer tries to catch up with the boat by swimming after her. (V).
NoteIR Rel 4/8/1988 (world premiere). The script for this film won an Arts Council Script Award in 1982. Filmed on location in Galway Bay, Connemara and the Aran Islands. This film won the Europa Prize at the Barcelona Film Festival, July 1988. The actress who play the Model, Carol Scanlan, wrote and directed GORT NA gCHAMH aka FIELD OF BONES (1998) under the name Carol Moore. Working Title: STORMY AND THE MODEL. The IFA holds a VHS tape of actor Dave Duffy auditioning for the role of Reefer (Stormy).
ReferenceCE 4/8/1988:2; FBN No. 5:3; FBN No. 8:6-7; FBN No. 9:12-13; ID 4-17 August 1988:16-19; IT 27/8/1987:10; IT 5/8/1988:12; MFB Dec 1989:373; SP 7/8/1988, part 2:6; ST 7/8/1988:18.

Reefer And The Model Programme, 4 Apr 1988, Programme for the film premiere in the Savoy, Dublin, listing cast and credits, filmmakers and cast details, and film score details for film.

Reefer And The Model - Advertisements for the film, 1988. Held at the Library of the Irish Film Institute.

'Glib Irish Tale', Critical review of the film.

'Irishman Wins Film Prize Worth £147,000', 30 Nov 1989, Brief report of director Joe Comerford winning Best Film prize at Barcelona. Clipping held at the Library of the Irish Film Institute.

IT, 8 July, 1988, Reefer and The Model review.

IT, 29 July 1988, 'Script to Screen, How Reefer Got Made', Interview with Joe Comerford and Lelia Doolan about the production of the film (Michael Finlan).

'A Tale of Two Telexes as Filmmakers Answer Haughey', 9 Aug 1988, Report of filmmakers' response to congratulatory telex from the Taoiseach (Paddy Woodworth). Clipping held at the Library of the Irish Film Institute.

Cork Examiner, 3 Aug 1988, 'Reefer And The Model - Cast-iron Case for Film Board Revival'.

Cork Examiner, 15 Aug 1988: 8, 'Chasing Connemara Sheep as Cameras Roll on Reefer', On-location report on production of film, Paddy Woodworth.

'Out of the Wild West of Ireland', Michael Finlan, review, Clipping held at the Library of the Irish Film Institute.

'True Grit', Olive Keogh, Interview with producer Lelia Doolan about the film. Clipping held at the Library of the Irish Film Institute.

EH, 2 Aug 1988, 'The Making of an Irish Movie', Interview with director Joe Comerford and producer Lelia Doolan about the making of the film. Journalist Mary Carr.

FilmBase News, Aug-Sept 1988: 6-8, 'Land ahoy! - Being the Model', Feature on film including interview with director Joe Comerford and producer Lelia Doolan, and actress Carol Scanlon (Mike Collins, Johnny Gogan).

FilmBase News, Oct-Nov 1988: 12, 'Reefer Talk' , Part of discussion about film by Luke Gibbons, Pat Murphy, Johnny Gogan and Frank Connolly (Stephanie McBride).

City Paper, Apr 1989, 'Rites and Wrongs', review of film showing at Baltimore Film Festival (Kevin Whitehead).

IT, 10 June 1989, 'Raves for Reefer in Paris'. Favourable response to film in France (Paddy Woodworth).

Monthly Film Bulletin, Dec 1989: 373, review by Farrah Anwar.
Film on Four, 1992: 114-5, Viewing Figures 1990/1991, Viewing figures for film shown on British television channel, and production details (John Pym).

The Observer, 26 Nov 1989: 1, review by Philip French.

ST, 7 Aug 1988, 'Floundering on the Reefer', review by Ciaran Carty.

The Guardian, 23 Nov 1989, review by Derek Malcolm.

Publicity for gala benefit premiere of Reefer And The Model, 4 Aug 1988, held at the Tiernan MacBride of The Irish Film Institute.

IT, 23 Mar 1988, 'Irish Film Wins', Reefer and the Model wins first prize in the feature film category at the Celtic Film Festival.
Format35mm
DistributorMetro Pictures
LanguageEnglish
Production creditsp.c: A Berber Films Production. With financial assistance from Bord Scannan na hEireann/Irish Film Board. In association with Radio Teleffs Eireann, Channel Four/Film Four International, Hemdale Film Corp. p/sc. assoc: Lelia Doolan, d/sc: Joe Comerford, story ed: Eoghan Harris, co-p. in development: Tom Hayes, p.m: Darryl Collins, dop: Breffni Byrne, loc: Yvonne McDonald, Dublin co-ord: Jane Gogan, 1st a.d: Dave Murphy, 2nd a.d: Mick Rowland, 3rd a.d: Seamus Collins, trainee: Martha O'Neill, cont: Deirdre O'Brien, p. secretary: Niamh Nolan, a. to p: Siobhan Gibbons, focus puller: Declan Emerson, clapper/loader: Conor Hammond, c. trainee: Donal Gilligan, grip: Eddie Burt, ed: Se Merry Doyle, a. ed: Adrienne Ross, Rebecca Curthoys, p.dsgn.: John Lucas, sp. effs: Maurice Foley, Owen MacCarthaigh, m: Johnny Duhan, m.p: Aiveen Anderson, Frankie Colohan, Brendan O'Regan, Duhan, Tony Maher, Eamon Murphy, Gerald O'Donoghue, Davy Spillane, Noel O'Brien, (vocals) Dolores Keane, m. co-ord: Peter Harkin, songs: 'After The Dream' by Duhan, perf. by Keane; 'You Come Back Into My Life' by and perf. by Duhan; 'Shanagolden' by Sean McCarthy, perf. by John Dooley & Creganna, s. ed: Martin Evans, s: Kieran Horgan, (m.) Gerald O'Donoghue, boom op.: Jack Armstrong, a.s. ed: Antonia Bruce, s. re-rd: David Old, s. transfers: Roger Cherrill Ltd, Transfer Bay, props master: Cos Egan, prop.buyer: Ronnie Skinner, a. props: Darragh Lewis, ward: Jacqueline Young, make-up: Ailbhe Lemass, hair: Eileen Doyle, gaffer: Philip Fitzsimons, elec: Terry Eiffe, cnstr. m: Tommy Bassett, stand-by painter. Paul Fleming, stand-by rigger: Jimmy O'Meara, stand-by carpenter: John Lamon, painter: Bobby Scott, titles/opticals: Optical Film Effects, stunt co-ord: Mick Rowland, stunts: Bronco McLoughlin, Patrick Condren, Susan Foreman, stand-in: Caitlin Connolly, best boy: Paddy O'Neill, publicist: Patsy O'Shannon, stills: Peter Harkin, Jonathan Hession, a. personnel: Pauline Geatons, Sean Creagh, Derek Hale, Galway), Dr Bemie Mclnemey, Tom Conroy, p. accnt: Kevin Moriarty, a. p. accnt: Jackie O'Dwyer, legal adv: Eddie McGarr (Taylor & Buchalter).
Genre/CategoryThriller
Crime Film
Feature Film Drama
KeywordsTroubles
Republicans
Smugglers
Fishing Trawlers
Misfits
Outlaws
Marijuana
Homosexuality
Sexual Relationships
IRA Men
Abortion

Contact: irishfilm@tcd.ie | Last updated: Nov 27 2006.