Skip Trinity Banner Navigation

Skip to main content »

Trinity College Dublin

Skip Main Navigation

Film Details

TitleHARD SHOULDER
Production companyMirror Films
SponsorChannel Four Television
Radio Telefís Éireann/RTE
Arts Council Of Ireland
Country of originIreland
ProducerGOGAN, Jane
DirectorKILROY, Mark
Script/AdaptationKILROY, Mark
BLACK, Cathal (Scipt Ed)
PhotographyO'NEILL, Shane
Sound recordingHAYES, Pat
EditingMERRY DOYLE, Sé
Art directionGANTLY, Arden
DOWLING, Gabby
Music composerKELLY, Paul
Songs'Texas Boxcar Incident' by P Cummins, 'Jailhouse Blues' by F Lane, perf. by The Fleadh Cowboys (Side Kick Records); 'Smoke Along the Track' by Rose & Helms, perf. by Big Tom and the Mainliners (Denver Records); 'Coventry Carol' by M Shaw, perf. by A Jones and the BBC Orchestra (Virgin Records)
CastOlwen Fouere (Ella Burke), Johnny Murphy (Charlie Henshaw), Donal O'Kelly (Tony), Geoff Golden (Burke), Eamonn Hunt (Michael), Gina Moxley (secretary), Kira Carroll (Jackie), Tom O'Brien (taxi driver). Pat Leavy (landlady), Jackie Mulvey, David Gorry (young couple selling), Carmel Rooney (housewife), Sheila Flitton (mother), Michael Ó Briain (father), Mick Nolan (Spanner), Jer O'Leary (1st heavy), Maurice Kehoe (2nd heavy), Joan Sheehy (cafe waitress), John Cowley (bikeshop owner), Karen O'Brien (hotel waitress), Caroline Winterson (woman in hotel bar), Agnes Bernelle (bar proprietor). Jack Lynch (man in bar), Lisa Tiemey-Keogh, Demian McAdam, Rosie Gogan-Keogh, Naoise McNamara (ice cream eaters), Molly Magahy (young girl), Bemie Downes (nurse), Fiona Nolan (2nd nurse), Molly Fogarty (souvenir shop owner), Brendan Gleeson (lorry driver).
Colourcol
Soundsound
Duration72
Release date1990
CopyIFA
IFA (VHS)
SummaryAll five people who turn up for an interview are employed by Charlie Henshaw to sell fire extinguishers, but unknown to them the extinguish- ers have been stolen. By the end of the first day's selling, three of the recruits, including Michael, who is beaten up for an unknown reason, abandon Henshaw and his merchandise. This leaves Henshaw with just two salespeople - the mysterious Ella and the apparently innocent Tony. They agree to go west in Henshaw's car, but before their departure Henshaw receives a threatening message on his answering machine about the merchandise. He sets fire to his office, taking the fire extinguishers with him, and heads west with Ella and Tony. While on the road, Charlie calls Burke, the owner of his office premises and the supplier of the merchandise, who tries to find out where he is. Charlie asks him whether he has one of his henchmen. Spanner, out looking for him. The three of them leave and travel further west. Charlie is hospitalised with nervous exhaustion. Ella tells him that Burke is her father and that he wants her to go back to him. Charlie tells them to continue on to T. J.'s garage in Westport and he'll join them there. Ella discovers a gun in the car as another car begins to chase them. As they try to escape from their pur- suers, Ella gets out of the car and heads across country, while Tony tries to evade them. Tony crashes the car on the outskirts of Knock. As he wanders around the religious artefacts on display in thevillage, Ella finds him. She tells him that Charlie is dead. Ella won't reveal why their pursuers knew her name, but she tells Tony that she is still going to Westport. Leaving only two crosses on the bedroom mirror, Ella walks to the outskirts of town where Spanner tells her that Burke will be at the crossroads. When she gets there, she asks her father what he wants. He takes out her passport, noting that she's been travelling around. As she walks away from him, he pursues her and Ella gets into his car. He gives back her passport and begins stoking her hair. She tells him that she has something for him and takes out the gun and shoots him. She walks away from the car. Tony travels with a truck driver along the same road and continues west like Ella. (V).
NoteIR Rel 9/2/1990; TX RTE 5/1/1991.
ReferenceCE 3/4/1990; EH 8/2/1990; FBN No. 15:10-14; FBN No. 17:20-21; FBN No. 21:13 (still); IP 9/2/1990:22; IT 9/2/1990; SI 11/2/1990:19.

Evening Herald, 8/2/90, ‘An extinguished cast’, interview with Mark Kilroy, director of the film Hard Shoulder (Paddy Kehoe).

Irish Times, 9/2/90, ‘Awkward but engaging journey’, favourable review of the film Hard Shoulder (Michael Dwyer).

Irish Times, 9/2/90, ‘Jane Gogan: from gardener to film producer’, profile of the career of Jane Gogan, producer of the film HARD SHOULDER (Michael Dwyer).

Irish Press, 9/2/90:22-3, ‘Making It Onto the Big Screen’, interview with director Mark Kilroy, and review of his film HARD SHOULDER (Patricia Murray).

Cork Examiner, 31/3/90, ‘Camera rolls for a new Irish director’, interview with director Mark Kilroy about his career, and the making of the film HARD SHOULDER (Barry Roche).

Irish Times, Feb. 1989 (?), ‘Meanwhile, a new Irish feature film...’, short review of film.

Film Base News, Nov/Dec 1989:10-4, interview with director Mark Kilroy and producer Jane Gogan about making the film (Patsey Murphy).
Format16mm
LanguageEnglish
Production creditsp.c: Mirror Films. For Channel Four Television and Radio Telifis Eire- ann. With assistance from the Arts Council of Ireland, p: Jane Gogan, d/sc: Mark Kilroy, sc. ed: Cathal Black, dop: Shane O'Neill, ed: Se Merry Doyle, art d: Arden Gantly, Gabby Dowling, a. to d: Trish McAdam, cont: Jean Skinner, p.m: Martin O'Malley, p. co-ord: Anneliese O'Callaghan, loc. super: Yvonne McDonald, p. secretary: Siobhan Gibbons, 1st a.d: Seamus Collins, 2nd a.d: Nick McCarthy, trainee a.d: Edel O'Brien, Brendan Geraghty, Catriona Ryan, m: Paul Kelly, s: Pat Hayes, boom op.: Jack Armstrong, focus puller: Ivan Meagher, clapper loader: Donal Gilligan, trainee clapper loader: Stephen Burke, gaffer: Tony Byrne, elec: Kevin Scott, Kieran Dempsey, grip: Luke Quigley, Joe Quigley, a. grip: Gerry Quigley, dub. ed: Geraldine Creed, s. mix: Richard King, a. ed: Bemadette Moloney, a. dub. ed: Brendan McCarthy, trainee a. ed: Paul Melrose, a. s: Jackie Crawford, songs: 'Texas Boxcar Incident' by P Cummins, 'Jailhouse Blues' by F Lane, perf. by The Fleadh Cowboys (Side Kick Records); 'Smoke Along the Track' by Rose & Helms, perf. by Big Tom and the Mainliners (Denver Records); 'Coventry Carol' by M Shaw, perf. by A Jones and the BBC Orchestra (Virgin Records), ward: Marie Tiemey, a. ward: Caroline Winterson, make-up: Ken Jennings, hair: Bemie Dooley, carpenter: John Lamon, stand-by props: Kevin Hudson, painters: Paul Fleming, Martin Duff, studio cnstr: Tommy Bassett, mechanic: Fintan Connolly, accnt: Laura Magahy, stills: Jonathan Hession, Denis Mortell, titles: The Graphiconies, sp. effs: Film Engineering Irish.
Genre/CategoryRoad Movie
Thriller
Feature Film Drama

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