The Quare Fellow

Directed by Arthur Dreifuss

Release Year: 1962
Running Time: 89
Color Type: B&W
Country: Ireland, U.K.
Language: English [audio]
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Cast
Jack Cunningham
Dermot Kelly
Walter Macken
Patrick McGoohan
Sylvia Syms

Crew
Directed by Arthur Dreifuss

In 1962, legendary Irish playwright Brendan Behan's incendiary insider's look at life on death row, The Quare Fellow, became a film "studded with gem-like performances" (Hollywood Reporter) that packs "a harsh Irish eloquence and a brutal dramatic punch" (New York Times).

Zealous rookie prison guard Thomas Crimmin (Patrick McGoohan - The Prisoner, Escape From Alcatraz) arrives at a crumbling correctional facility where inmates and turnkeys alike anxiously await a man's imminent trip to the gallows. Though the condemned (called the "quare fellow" in Hibernian jailhouse slang) remains unseen, the cruelty of the brutal murder that has marked his days and the system that would take a life for a life are both keenly felt. Under the tutelage of a retiring guard, and via a chance liaison with Kathleen (Sylvia Syms), a woman with a deep connection to both the man awaiting execution and the crime of passion he committed, Crimmin's duty-bound veneer erodes and the tragedy of state-sanctioned murder threatens to claim more than just the life of the guilty.

Working in Dublin with an Anglo-Irish cast and crew, American writer-director Arthur Dreifuss tells in The Quare Fellow a "compelling story with swift, succinct strokes," (LA Times) combining visual ingenuity with Behan's "rueful, randy dialogue" (The New Yorker) and uncommon humanity.

Critical Acclaim

"Finely acted... Excellent script." - Leonard Maltin

“... A fascinating picture... Eloquently acted.” - San Francisco Chronicle

“a harsh Irish eloquence and a brutal dramatic punch” - New York Times