The Field


(out of 5)

Exceptional drama based on the play by John B. Keane, and Jim Sheridan’s follow-up to his Oscar-winning My Left Foot.  is superb as “Bull” McCabe, whose family has been farming a gorgeous, grassy field for generations, its lustrous green colour the result of their lugging seaweed from the ocean and using it to fertilize. When the widow who owns the plot decides to sell the field and go back to her own people, Harris attends the public auction to buy it with the confidence that none of his fellow townspeople will try to outdo him. Unfortunately, an American visitor () has arrived with the hopes of building a concrete highway over the field, and his big dollars end up being a match for Harris and propel the drama towards disastrous results. Plays and films about the destructive effect that the modern world has had on the beautifully pastoral life of Ireland in the twentieth century are not hard to find (Dancing At Lughnasa is an example that springs to mind immediately), and this one’s allegory isn’t exactly subtle. Even taking in its well-worn cliches, however, right down to the village idiot played by  (effectively filling in for John Mills in Ryan’s Daughter), this is a marvelous drama worthy of Yeats, captivating from beginning to end, not the least because of Harris’ performance and  and  backing him up effectively as his family.

Granada Television, Noel Pearson, Sovereign Pictures

Ireland/United Kingdom, 1990

Directed by

Screenplay by Jim Sheridan, based on the play by 

Cinematography by 

Produced by

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Academy Awards 1990

Golden Globe Awards 1990


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