Page updated 20/4/2016
“Quackser Fortune Has a Cousin in the Bronx” (1970) (90 mins) Romantic Comedy.
Gene Wilder, Margot Kidder, Eileen Colgen, Seamus Ford, May Ollis, David Kelly, Martin Crosby.
Director: Waris Hussein.
Filmed in Dublin.
Reissued as “Fun Loving“.
From early on in life, Aloysius Fortune (Gene Wilder) has been a non-conformist. Nicknamed ‘Quackser’ as a child because of his constant imitation of ducks, he wouldn’t apply himself to learning his ABC’s, and never got through school. Despite the urgings of his parents, he refuses to go to work in the oppressive foundry that is the only means of a livelihood for the unskilled labourers of his community. However, Quackser is a happy and contented man as he ekes out a living by shoveling horse manure from the streets of Dublin, and selling it door to door to housewives for their window boxes and gardens.
When Zazel Pierce (Margot Kidder), an American exchange student from Connecticut studying at Trinity College, meets Quackser, an unlikely romance quickly develops. Beyond satisfying her curiosity about such a genuinely simple person who has barely scratched upon his potential as a man, she enlarges his limited knowledge of the city in which he was born and raised. A new Dublin with historical sites and legends is revealed to Quackser.
Available from Amazon.com on VHS and DVD.
“Quare Fellow, The” (1962) (85 mins) Prison Drama
Patrick McGoohan, Sylvia Syms, Dermot Kelly, Walter Macken, Jack Cunningham, Hilton Edwards, Pauline Delany, Harry Brogan, T.P. McKenna and Marie Kean.
Director: Arthur Dreifuss.
Adapted from Brendan Behan’s play, which were based upon his own prison experiences.
Filmed at Ardmore Studios in Bray and at Kilmainham Jail.
Thomas Crimmin (Patrick McGoohan) is a new warder in an Irish prison. He is young, naive, and idealistic, determined to serve his country by his part in meting out justice to criminals. His superior, Regan (Walter Macken), however, realizes that even prisoners are human beings, and Regan is sick of the eye-for-an-eye attitude that leads the state to execute condemned men, or “quare fellows.” Crimmins begins to see that not all is black and white in his new world, and when he becomes involved with Kathleen (Sylvia Sims), the wife of one of the condemned men, his attitude begins to change. When new evidence arises to suggest that Kathleen’s husband may not deserve his fate, Crimmins is torn between his duty and his humanity.
Available on VHS and DVD.
“Question of Suspense, A” (1961) (U.K.) (62 mins) Thriller.
Peter Reynolds, Noelle Middleton, Yvonne Buckingham.
Director: Max Varnell.
Filmed at Ardmore Studios in Bray.
Set in England. A rich fellow kills a young woman’s lover but she gets her revenge upon him.
Doesn’t appear to be available anywhere.
Margot Kidder, Barry Foster, Sean McCann and Emmet Bergin.
Director: Milad Bessada.
Adapted from a Canadian stage play by Andrew Dalrymple.
Set in Belfast but filmed in Dublin – Stoneybatter and Dublin city centre.
Truly a train wreck of a movie but one that is so bad that you’re compelled to keeping watching it right through to the bitter end. I don’t know which aspect of the film was the worst – the indescribably bad N.I. accents, the ridiculous storyline, the cast of stereotypical Oirish characters that looked like they had broken through from The Quiet Man, the props, clothing etc. that looked like they had been found in an Oxfam shop ….
The movie is set in Belfast but filmed in Dublin and, to be fair, the city is fairly unrecognizable – grotty local authority housing is the same throughout the British Isles. Everything from ‘the Troubles’ is squeezed into the movie from sectarian church burning, bigotry, no-warning bombings, children throwing rocks at soldiers, IRA snipers, tarring and feathering.
Emmet Bergin (left) and his mate – two of the British Army’s finest – spend most of the film guarding a farmer’s landrover in a back street while being pelted with rocks by local kids. Note the army regulation hair cuts!
Available used on VHS on Amazon.com – very scarce.
“Quiet Man, The” (1952) (153 mins) Drama.
John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara, Barry Fitzgerald, Victor McLaglen, Ward Bond, Francis Ford, Mildred Natwick, Michaeleen Og Flynn, Eileen Crowe, Jack McGowran, Arthur Shields, Charles Fitzsimons, May Craig.
Director: John Ford.
Filmed in County Mayo – Ashford Castle and in County Galway – Connemara, Clifden, Cong, Maam etc.
Sean Thornton (John Wayne) is an Irish-American ex-boxer who swears off fighting after accidentally killing an opponent in the ring. Returning to Ireland and the town of his birth, he finds happiness when he falls in love with Mary Kate Danaher (Maureen O’Hara) sister of the local Squire. Though sorely tempted to pick up his gloves again to fight her brother Squire ‘Red’ Will Danaher (Victor McLaglen) , who disapproves of their relationship, Sean is determined not to use his fists again. Mary Kate and Sean wed but her brother refuses to pay her dowry. Despite the provocation, Sean would rather walk away than accept this challenge – even when his new wife accuses him of cowardice.
Available from Amazon on VHS and DVD.
“Quirke” (2013) (270 mins) Crime Drama. 3 part BBC/RTE TV mini-series.
Gabriel Byrne, Michael Gambon, Geraldine Somerville, Nick Dunning, Aisling Franciosi, Brian Gleeson, Lee Ingleby, Colin Morgan, Charlie Murphy, Sara Stewart and Stanley Townsend.
Co-production between Element Pictures and Tyrone Productions.
Filmed in Dublin.
Quirke (Gabriel Byrne) is the chief pathologist in the Dublin city morgue – a charismatic loner whose job takes him into fascinating places as he investigates sudden death in 1950s Dublin. His pleasures in life are raw and deep, a drink, a smoke, good food, a woman. One woman in particular – his adoptive brother’s wife Sarah – and the forbidden love that has shaped and dominated Quirke’s life. Adapted from the novels by John Banville writing as Benjamin Black, the three feature length films – Christine Falls, The Silver Swan and Elegy for April – reveal the tangled truth about Quirke’s living family, even as he uncovers the secrets of the Dublin dead.
First aired on RTE during February 2014.
Available on DVD.