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Film Details

Production companyRobert Flaherty
Gaumont Studios, London
SponsorDepartment of Education
Country of originIreland
ProducerFLAHERTY, Robert
DirectorFLAHERTY, Robert
CastTomas ODiorain, Maggie Dirrane, Tiger King, Patch Ruadh, Michaeleen
Production date1935
SummaryA storyteller tells tales of the sea to listeners at the hearth of a cottage. Shots of the cottage are interspersed with seascapes.
NoteOIDHCHE SHEANCHAIS was filmed at Gaumont-British Studios, London, during the time members of the cast of Robert Rahertys MAN OF ARAN (GB 1934) were in London to dub a voice-over track on that film. A cottage interior was built in which members of the cast of MAN OF ARAN, Maggie Dirrane, Tiger King, Patch Ruadh, and Michaeleen listen as Tomas Ó Diorain, a well-known seanchai (storyteller), tells his tales. Off-cuts of seascapes from MAN OF ARAN were intercut with Ó Diorains dialogue. When the project was originally suggested it was hoped that the film would be released with MAN OF ARAN. The government supported the project with a grant of £200, the only such state support for a film project in the 1930s. The Irish Press welcomed the decision with an editorial, "The Irish Talkie Comes (14/6/1933:6). The film was not released until a year after MAN OF ARANs release, and thus was not shown with it. OIDHCHE SHEANCHAIS received a polite, if unenthusiastic, reception. It was the first sound film in the Irish language. One review (SI 17/3/1935:4) identifies the seanchai as Sean Tom Sheain who is said to relate a tale of Mairtín Ó Conraoi, while another (IT 19/3/1935:4) MSB identifies the seanchai as Tomas Ó Diorain. The script which was foisted on [Flaherty] by our enlightened Department of Education was utterly devoid of any filmic content. (Ó Laoghaire 1945:159).
ReferenceDEM 19/3/1935:3.
Production creditsp.c: Robert Flaherty for the Department of Education, p/d: Robert Flaherty, p.facL Gaumont Studios, London, with Tomas ODiorain, Maggie Dirrane, Tiger King, Patch Ruadh, Michaeleen, b&w, 15 mins, 1934.
Genre/CategoryShort Documentary
Government Sponsored

Contact: | Last updated: Aug 13 2019.