Taken from one of the many O'Casey biographies, this film depicts Sean as a bookish young man. In pre-WWI Dublin where a new sense of freedom is taking hold of the land, money is in short supply. While trying to support his mother and siblings, Sean meets a fellow reader on the job. His new friend invites him to join a union. (Later he will inspire him to join the rebels.) He finds a purpose for his reading and writing and becomes increasingly useful to the cause with his pamphlets. His reading also leads to romance - he is caught stealing books by an attractive store clerk. His career in writing is bolstered by W.B. Yeats who found in Sean a true voice of working-class Ireland and produced his plays amid skepticism and even violent opposition. Three of his plays can be found on film. See: The Shadow of a Gunman, Juno and the Paycock. The third installment, The Plough and the Stars, is out of print but is available for streaming.
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Director Jack Cardiff
Writer John Whiting
Cast Rod Taylor, Maggie Smith, Julie Christie, Edith Evans, Michael Redgrave, Flora Robson