Juno and the Paycock Reviews
October 11, 2007
This is one of Hitchcock's early efforts, and, I believe, his second "talkie". It's also a very atypical effort in that it is a human drama based on an acclaimed play concerning the trials and tribulations of an average Dublin tenemant family during Ireland's "troubles" in the early 1920s.
That it covers material different from what Hitch would later become a master at makes it kinda interesting, if only to see how he would handle things. Well, apparently this film is a close adaptation, but that doesn't mean that it really works.
In all honesty, this film is a real drag. It's boring, unengaging, and reminded me a lot (to an extent) of Angela's Ashes, only not as good and harder to sit through. It also feels far longer than it is. Sara Allgood gives a decent performance, and holds everything together, but everyone else falls short. On top of that, the sound quality is pretty bad (the kinks hadn't been worked out yet) and that, combined with the thick accents of some of the performers makes it really difficult to discern what is going on at times.
Visually the film is at least sort of interesting, with a bulk of the film being a series of static medium shots, sometimes done in long takes. Aside from that though, the film isn't really innovative or captivating.
I don't really recommend it unless you are a completist or have a big fascination with early "talkies".
October 14, 2009
One of the real Early Works of Alfred Hitchcock, has it his first, I don't know, but it lacks any real sign of the master himself in this film. I would give it a 1/2 star but Being a Hitchcock film, I will give it a single star. Think its supposed to be a British Comedy, no wonder I never dated a British Girl, Dry as a Bone. Must have come out right after sound was put on film, It came in a 10 Movie Hitchcock Collection. Your time is better spent playing in the middle of the road of a busy highway. If Hitchcock makes and appearance in this one, will someone please tell me where. 1 star its TRASH
March 25, 2014
This film is often noted for the fact that it is just plain slow, mainly because it is shot like a stage-play, and it is fairly true. Hitchcock took a successful play, and just shot it with very little in the way of interest or speed that the director is more commonly associated with. Quite frankly, Hitchcock's earlier British films tend not to be the kind of thing people usually think of when they hear his name. I think near the end of his time working in the British system his films became the kind of thing people think of though...this film is a dull and uninteresting (and plain) adaptation of a play, and I'm sure as a play it was far more interesting.
April 28, 2012
Staged like a play, filmed from a mostly fixed perspective, little is done to adapt the story to film and dull direction and mixed performances are not the best for such a dialogue heavy piece; a real misstep.
July 9, 2014
Review In A Nutshell:
I never thought there would ever be a film from Hitchcock that would disappoint me. Juno and the Paycock is so incredibly dull that it couldn't even hold my attention at least for a minute. I go in and out of consciousness while watching this. Right from the start, I know this film has something to say and themes to explore but it is done in such a poor and uninteresting way that all of the story's power is wiped away. Juno and the Paycock is based on a play by Sean O'Casey; Hitchcock, most likely, tried to retain that simplistic quality where the bulk of the film takes place in a single room, which I wouldn't really mind if the film was able to execute it in a dynamic and entertaining way. The film is so stiff, featuring shots that stay on the actors that ramble on and on, most of which is unintelligible due to both the poor quality of original elements and the thick accents of the actors. There was no sense of drama in the scene at all; this would probably the only time when I would actually look for melodrama as the material is just so stale that presenting it in a natural fashion would just fail to keep its audience engaged. The film also lacked a musical score which made the film feel so empty and lifeless. The acting was the only thing that kept it from being the worst film I have ever seen, as actors were able to come off as mediocre; which is definitely a high point for this film. If one wants to keep thinking that Hitchcock is a master filmmaker who hasn't created anything tiresome, then please avoid this film.
February 26, 2014
It's rather boring, simple, and lacking. It's not Hitchcock's best work. The story is alright but not too interesting. There are decent parts, a slow ending, but overall it's a bit hard to sit through.
January 10, 2012
"Boyle, no man can do enough for Ireland."
Not much happens. A family and neighbors stand around talking, waiting for a inheritance check.
"I'll take no breakfest,I still have a little spirit left in me."-Captain John 'Paycock' Boyle (Edward Chapman)