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Film Details

TitleFIELD, THE
Production companyNoel Pearson Productions
Granada Productions
Sovereign Pictures
Country of originIreland
Great Britain
ProducerPEARSON, Noel
DirectorSHERIDAN, Jim
Script/AdaptationSHERIDAN, Jim
PhotographyCONROY, Jack
Sound recordingHORGAN, Kieron
EditingDUFFNER, J. Patrick
Production designCONWAY, Frank
Costume designBERGIN, Joan
Executive producerMORRISON, Steve
CROSS, Pippa
Music composerBERNSTEIN, Leonard
Music performanceIrish Film Orchestra
CastRichard Harris (Bull McCabe), Sean Bean (Tadgh McCabe), Frances Tomelty (Widow), Brenda Fricker (Maggie McCabe), John Hurt ('Bird' O'Donnell), Ruth McCabe (Tinker woman), Jer O Leary (Tinker girl's father), Noel O'Donovan (Thomas), John Cowley (Flannagan), Ronan Wilmot (Tinker), Jenny Conroy (Tinker girl), Joan Sheehy (2nd Tinker girl), Dean McGinley (Father Doran), Malachy McCourt (Seargent), Frank McDonald, Brendan Gleeson (Quarrymen), Tom Berenger (the American), Eamon Keane (Dan Paddy Andy), Sara Anne Scaife (McRoarty girl), David Wilmot (boy at dance), Rachel Dowling, Saragh Cronin (girls at dance). Peadar Lamb (Paddy Joe O'Reilly), Aine Ní Mhuire (priests housekeeper), Martin Jamise, Tom Jordan, Johnny Choil Mike, Bina McGloughlin (gers).
ColourTechnicolor
SoundDolby Stereo
Duration110
Footage9927
Release date1990
CopyIFA
IFA (VHS)
SummaryIreland, 1939. The field that Bull McCabe has farmed for years is put up for auction by its owner, a young widow. Bull is at odds with a group of tinkers [who claim he killed their donkey] the local priest, and his wife, who has not spoken to him for 18 years. He is also haunted by the memory of his dead son Sheamie. At the auction, Bull is outbid by a rich American, but the sale is abandoned when the widow's reserve price is not reached. While the American tells Father Doran if his plans to build a power plant in the area, Bull sells cows to raise money. Bull and his son Taidh visit Father Doran, who reveals that for ten years the young widow has lived in fear of her life, because of harassment by Taidh. Bull nevertheless insists that the law of the land entitles him to the field, in which his mother died. In the pub, Bull learns that the American has bid for land on both sides of the falls around the field. Having established an alibi with his friends, Bull and Taidh confront the American at the falls. Forced to fight by his father, Taidh takes a severe beating; Bull intervenes, overpowers the American and drowns him. All this is watched by Bird, the village idiot. At the reconvened auction, Bull secures the field for the reserve price of one hundred pounds. Sensing Bulls pain at their sons Taidh's lack of feeling for the land, his wife Maggie breaks her silence. For the first time since Sheamie's death, they speak of their dead son, who hanged himself after hearing his father say the field would not support two son's, and that as the youngest he would have to emigrate. Taidh, who has fallen for the tinker's daughter, Redhead, brags to her about fighting and killing the American. On the way to church, Bull is confronted by the tinkers, who have found the dead donkey. Entering the church for the first time in 18 years, Bull is denounced in all but name by Father Doran, who condemns murder and obsessive hunger for land. The priest also accuses his congregation of protecting the killer, before driving them from the church and locking the gates. Tipped off by Redheads father, the police find the Americans body in the river. Father Doran castigates Bull, but Maggie turns on the priest, still bitter that her son was refused burial on consecrated ground. Bull plunges deeper into madness when Taidh says he's leaving with Redhead. Riding out of the village on a tinkers caravan, Taidh and Redhead see Bull driving his cattle over the cliff, when Taidh tries to head them off, he is himself forced over to his death. Wading into the sea, Bull rails into the incoming waves of madness.
NoteRel 20/9/1990 (world premiere, Toronto Film Festival); IR Rel 19/9/1990 (Official World Premiere, Dublin). Filmed on location in Ireland in Counties Galway (the village of Linnane and vicinity), Kerry, Mayo, and Wicklow, and at MTM Ardmore Studios. The play and film were based on a real dispute over a patch of bog which culminated in the death of Maurice 'Moss' Moore on 6/11/1958 in Reamore, Co Kerry. (See SI 23/9/1990:26). Richard Harris was nominated for the Best Actor Award in the 1991 Academy Awards for his role in this film. THE FIELD was the most commercially successful film at the Irish box office in 1990.
ReferenceEP 20/9/1990:13; FBN No. 20, Nov-Dec 1990; IT 28/10/1989:W1, 3; IT 29/6/1990:8; IT 14/7/1990:10; IT 14/9/1990:10; IT 21/9/1990:2, 10; IT 22/9/1990:W5; IT 19/10/1990:12; IT 28/12/1990:14; MFB 1991:78; SI 15/7/1990:4; SI 23/9/1990:28, Ll-2; ST 23/9/1990:27, B31; Times 5/5/1990:R31. Rockett in Hill et al, eds, 1994:138-9.

Report on revenue brought to Ireland by films and the sources of funding, including My Left Foot, The Field and Fatal Inheritance et al. Held at the Tiernan MacBride Library of the irish Film Institute.

Irish Times, ‘True son of Dublin to be proud of’, tribute article on Noel Pearson, producer of The Field (Ulick O'Connor).

Irish Times (Weekend), 28/10/89:2,‘ Harris takes The Field’, on-location interview with crew and cast of The Field (Michael Dwyer).

Irish Independent, 14/9/90, ‘Canada hails premiere of John B. film’, short article about world premiere of The Field, and plans for director Jim Sheridan and producer Noel Pearson's next projects (Philip Molloy).

Irish Times, 25/3/91, ‘Field director and producer reject criticism by Harris’, actor Richard Harris critical of efforts by director Jim Sheridan and producer Noel Pearson in run-up to Oscars, where The Field was nominated (Michael Dwyer).

Irish Times, 21/9/90:10, ‘The power and the glory of The Field’, favourable review of film The Field on release (Michael Dwyer).

Irish Times, 21/9/90, ‘A Keane reception for The Field's opening night’, report of the gala world premiere of the film The Field (Michael Dwyer).

Film Base News, Nov/Dec 1990:19-20, critical review of the film The Field by film director Johnny Gogan (Johnny Gogan).

Sunday Independent, 23/8/98:3L, ‘John B makes the Gradam’, writer of The Field, John B. Keane receives award from National Theatre Society (Emer O'Kelly).

Monthly Film Bulletin, March 1991:78-9, review (Nigel Floyd).

Sunday Times (Culture), 25/10/98:17, ‘Blagger's Guide No. 26: Richard Harris’, trivia on actor Richard Harris, who stars in The Field (Shane Hegarty).

Dublin Film Festival programme, March 1996:102, quote from newspaper review.

The European, 15-17/2/91:7, ‘A Keane Eye on Stormy Ireland’, article on John B Keane whose play The Field is now an acclaimed film (Peter Donnelly).

Sunday Tribune (Property), 30/07/00:3, ‘In a field of its own’, article on the house featured in The Field (Colin Doyle).
Format35mm
DistributorEnterprise (GB)
Miramax Film Corp (USA)
LanguageEnglish
Production creditsp.c.: Noel Pearson/Granada production in association with Sovereign Pictures. d: Jim Sheridan, p: Noel Pearson, p.d.: Frank Conway, cost dsgn: Joan Bergin, dop: Jack Conroy, ed: J. Patrick Duffner, m: Elmer Bernstein, line p.: Arthur Lappin, exec.p.:Steve Morrison, sc: Jim Sheridan, cast: Nuala Moiselle, p.man: Mary Alleguen, super.s.ed: Ron Davis, legal advisor: James Hickey, exec.p. for Granada: Pippa Cross, 1st a.d.: Kevin Barker, Teddy Needham, 2nd ad: Seamus Collins, Nick McCarthy, 3rd a.d: David Byrne, sc.super: Jean Bourne, story cnslt: Nye Heron, assistant to Mr Bernstein: Cynthia Millar, m.ed.:Kathy Durning, m. perf: Irish Film Orchestra, Orchestra leader: Audrey Collins, Orchestra manager: Bill Whelan, Uileann pipes: Liam O'Flynn, music recorded and mixed by Brian Masterson, assistants. engnr: Mary Kettle, music copyist: Des Moore, Traditional music for dance: Stocktons Wing, sp.effs. co-ord: Maurice Foley, Assisted by: Michael Doyle, Brendan Walsh, Gerry Drennan, wrangler and stunt.co-ord. Bronco McLoughlin, Fight co-ord.: Harlan Cary Poe, Stuntman and asst wrangler: Patrick Condrin, unit nurse: Anne McManus, choreographer: Connie Ryan, c.op: Des Whelan, focus puller: Alan Butler, clapper loader: Ivan Meagher, grip: John Murphy, s.mix: Kieran Horgan, boom op.: Paul Delany, s.a.: Jackie Crawford, loc.m.: Grania O'S'hannon, Don Geraghty, cnstr.man.: Russ Bailey, art d: Frank Hallinan Flood, set dsgn.: Josie Macavin, prop. buyer: Sunny Mulligan, prop.man: Eamonn O'Higgins, a.p. dsgn.: Padraig O'Neill, ward mistress: Janet O'leary, ward.asst: Ann Stokes, Jack Gallagher, chief make-up: Tommie Manderson, make-up artist: Ken Jennings, make-up: Jennifer Hegarthy, hair: Anne Dunne, a.hair: Bernie Dooley, p.co-ord: Niamh Nolan, asst to line p.: Kathryn Lennon, Mr Pearson's secretary: Barbara Napier, typing services: Rose Schwally, p. accnt: Donal Geraghty, cashier: Brian Moloney, stills: Jonathan Hession, unit publicist: Jerry Lundberg, 1st asst ed: Adrienne Ross, 2nd asst ed: Mary Casey, chief dub.mix.: Graham V Hartstone, dub.mix: Nicholas le Messeriur, Michael A Carter, dial.ed.: Tony Message, a.ed.: Michael Gelliher, Footsteps artists: Jenny Lee Wright, Pauline Griffiths, choreographer: Connie Ryan, Assisted by: Betty Mckoy, Jo Mcnamara, Vet Advisor: Charlie Lyndon, Prosthetic mask: David Anderson Creations, prop. photograph: Amelia Stein, Botany advisor: Dr Graham Wilson U.C.D., Donkey prepared by Snowdonia Taxidermi, stand-by props: P. J. Smith, stand-by carpenter: Larry O'Toole, stand-by printer: Chris O'Shaughnessy, stand-by stagehand: Gerry Quigley, stand-by rigger: Robert Reilly, gaffer: Philip Fitzsimons, best boy: Pat Ryder electricians, Terry Eiffe, Derek Hale, Generator op: Brian Sheridan, Kevin Scott, Peter O'Toole. 2nd unit Crew: dop: James Devis, c.op: David Worley, focus puller: Jonathan Taylor, clapper loaders: Jo Gibney, Brendan Galvin, trainee clapper loader: P. J. Dillon, Luke Quigley, gaffer: Con Dempsey, sp.effs.: Gerry Johnston. Underwater Crew: c: Peter Dorney, dive master: William Siddall,a.c.: Pat Hayes, diver: Cillian Gray, chargehand carpenter: Vivion O'Brien, carpenters: George Joyce, Alex Basset, Lojos Botos, master painter: Owen Murnane, painters: Alan Scott, Bobbie Richardson, Edward Richardson, stagehands: Andy Lee, John Dunne, riggers:William O'Brien, Jimmy Merrigan, John Purdie, plasterers: Frank Mathews, Brian Kenny, dressing props: Cos Egan, Daragh Lewis, Peter Gallagher, drapes: Jimmy Kavanagh, transport: Arthur Dunne, trainee a.d.: Catrina Ryan, Ashling Prior, trainee clapper loader: John Conry, ward trainees: Ger Scully, Gabriel O'Brien, make-up trainees: Ursula Goggin, Driscoll Calder, trainee hairs: Martina McCarthy, Moira O'Connell, Carol Dunne, props asst: Siobhan Burgess, Jaimie Harris, Marie Corchoron, stand ins: Paddy Lennon, Seamus Kane, Terry Kilcoyne, Barbara Halford, John Markey, Gordon Geraghty, Des Bowe, Jill Harris, drivers: Pat Egan, Martin Dempsey, Louis O'Connor, Maurice Thompson, Johnny Gilbert, Sean Cummins, Michael O'Donoghue, Seamus M'Cabe, Peter Hill, Dave Wilders, John Kavanagh, Niall O'Meaghar, Johnny Thompson, John Fearon, Michael Cummins, Joe Kelly, Maurice Kilduff, Harry Bradshaw, Gerry Daly, Gerard Sheridan, music recorded at Ringsend Studios, Dublin, ADR recording at Mayflower Film Recording Ltd., Footsteps and recording: Twickenham Film Studios, Re recorded at Pinewood Studios, editing equip: Edit Hire Catering, Location Catering Services, Chef: Carmel Pike, camera equip: Joe Dunton Cameras IRL Ltd, electrical: Cine Electric, sound transfers: Screenscene, cost.: 20th Century costumes, underwater equip: Oceantel LTD, underwater video equip: Pat McNmee, underwater camera equip: Sammys, Insurance brokers: Sedgewick Dineen, insurance:Chubb Insurance Company LTD, auditors: AD Spence and Co. LTD, Bank: Ulster Bank: completion guarantor: Film Finances LTD, couriers: Airbridge Couriers, Aerly Couriers, Mayday Couriers, originated on Eastman Colour Film, Colour: Technicolor, titles dsgned by: Charlie O'Neill (Graphiconies), titles and opticals: Peter Govey Film Opticals. The producers acknowledge with gratitude, the co- operation of the people of Leenane, Connemara, Co Galway,in the making of this film. And the management and staff of the Renvyle House Hotel. Filmed entirely on location in Ireland,in countys Galway,Kerry,Mayo,and Wicklow,and at MTM Ardmore Studios A Noel Pearson/ Granada production in association with Sovereign Pictures. Copyright Granada TV LTD 1990. No animals killed or injured in the making of this film.
LocationGalway
Kerry
Wicklow
RightsGranada TV Ltd.
Genre/CategoryFeature Film Drama
Historical Drama
Period Drama
Literary Adaptation
Rural Drama
KeywordsRural Ireland
Farming
Agriculture
Gypsies
Landlords
Land
Madness
Insanity
Murder
1930s

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