Finally, Ireland with no leprechauns or terrorists!
Gerard V. Furey | 05/06/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is an interesting film that starts with a flashback to the Ireland of the 50's - a 50's alien to most of us. No TV's, little electricity, rudimentary radio. Ireland was strictly agrarian and suffering the drain of its people to America - especially New York, referred to as "the other Ireland". The adults of that time had lived through 'the troubles' of the Black and Tans and then the further horror of Civil War - with the 'Free-Staters' (Michael Collins followers) against the 'Republicans' (DeValera's contingent). It must have been horrible, though all that we're allowed to see is the reflection of the horror - much as the boy Jimmy O'Leary sees in his poor but proud father, Arthur's dealings with his prosperous Uncle Josie McCarthy who owns the farm next door, who loved and still loves Jimmy's mother. Arthur was a Republican and Josie a Free-Stater. Americans who expect to be 'told' every minute detail of explanation for characters' pasts may not like this film - but that's what makes it so good. We never know the full extent of that horror, but we come to appreciate and grow from that point; what the young man Jim finally achieves upon his return to the land of his father. The sound and lighting are a bit off and some of the actors are wooden but that adds to the niceness of the story, which is, as are the characters, rough around the edges."
Admirable Attempt to Depict Realities of Irish Life
Gerard V. Furey | 09/22/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is, to quote from a character in "The Devil's Own", an Irish story, not an American one. That is to say, it doesn't have a happy ending and the beginning and middle aren't all that jolly, either. However, I found it to be an engrossing story of the lingering effects of the Irish Civil War, a war that did much more harm to Ireland than the War of Independence did. As they say, the Irish have long memories and so do the characters in Broken Harvest, especially the father of the narrator, who cannot really move on beyond the republican passions of the 1920's. In showing the effect of this inability on his family and friends the movie helps us understand some of the intense emotions and divisions that are still abroad in Ireland today. I'm not sure Americans with little knowledge of Ireland's history will underestand fully what drives these characters but if you are familiar with the Civil War period, this story is well done, realistically presented and captures the essential tragedy underlying normal life in small-town Ireland of the 1950's."
A Classic Tale of Irish Woe
An Admirer | 12/05/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Broken Harvest" will in time be a Classic. Despite its meagre budget and poor direction, it tells the tale of the bitterness that surrounded the aftermath of the Irish Civil War with blunt precision. The main players in Irish life of the time are depicted with little embellishment, the Priest, the School Teacher and the Bank Manager.
The main characters, Arthur O'Leary (Colin Lane) and his wife Catherine (Marian Quinn) deliver a convincing portrayal of many middle class marriages of that time, a time when a woman stood by her man through thick and thin. 1950's Ireland was a troubled time to raise a family on a smallholding and poor Arthur O'Leary, despite his best efforts is not up to the task.
The movie captures all the emotions of the time and its stunning shots of breathtaking scenes of the Irish countryside are but a glimpse of what the Irish of today were to finally realise.
Colin Lane as Arthur gives a masterful performance as the Republican who can't forgive the likes of Free-Stater Josie (Niall O'Brien) for their betrayal, as he sees it, in settling for a 26 county Ireland and leaving the 6 counties of the North under British rule.
The movie is hard hitting and many of the emotions portrayed so well still live on today. Classic!