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The Grass Arena

  • Film

Time Out says

Having already impressed with Conquest of the South Pole and Needles, MacKinnon here offers a tough, intelligent version of John Healy's autobiography. Brutalised by his father during a sickly childhood, Healy later ditched a promising boxing career to indulge his obsession for booze among the dossers in London's parks. Repeated stints in prison didn't help, and only when a cellmate taught him the game of chess did salvation seem a prospect. While MacKinnon makes great use of a highly mobile camera - though made for TV, this is real film-making - he and scriptwriter Frank Deasy respect the inherent drama of Healy's painful, often drily funny story, aided by an astonishing performance from Rylance as the shy, innocent and none-too-articulate Healy.
Written by GA

Release Details

  • Duration:90 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Gillies MacKinnon
  • Screenwriter:Frank Deasy
  • Cast:
    • Mark Rylance
    • Lynsey Baxter
    • Pete Postlethwaite
    • Billy Boyle
    • Gerard Horan
    • Bunny May
    • Harry Landis
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