If Gillies MacKinnon's The Playboys came closer to Shane Connaughton's portrait of County Cavan village life, it did not supply the star part that Albert Finney simply inhabits in Peter Yates' film of the same writer's novel The Run of the Country. They're both small but touching movies, though here Finney's policeman father is so psychologically layered that his magnetic field at times suggests Lear, the Mayor of Casterbridge and Liam O'Flaherty's anguished protagonists. Teenage Danny (Keeslar) finds it impossible to reconcile himself to life with father (Finney) after his mother dies, and moves out to shack up with Prunty (Brophy), the local wide-boy. Danny falls in love with Annagh (Smurfit), gets her pregnant, and falls foul of the local lynch mob. There's a cautious reconciliation with his father, and a realisation that they both suffer similar character deficiencies. Finney's village policeman dreams of the windfall of a murder in place of missing tail-lights, and bitterly resents what Ireland has become after its republican idealism. But the root cause of his frustration is sexual, and this gives great momentum to the clashes with his randy son.
The Run of the Country
Cast and crew