The Playboys (1992) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Playboys (1992)



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Gillies MacKinnon directed this charming Irish romance, taking place in a small Irish village in 1957, just before the first television set makes an appearance in this conservative hamlet. There is a scandal in the village concerning the beautiful and independent Tara Maguire (Robin Wright) -- Tara is pregnant and refuses to identify the father. She goes into labor during Sunday Mass, which raises the ire of the parish priest (Alan Devlin), who thinks God will bring bad times down on the village for Tara's effrontery. The priest feels Tara should marry the local town constable, Sgt. Hagerty (Albert Finney), a dyspeptic reformed alcoholic who is in love with Tara. But she doesn't love Hagerty. This becomes particularly clear when a traveling band of actors known as the Playboys come into town. One of the players in the troupe, Tom Casey (Aidan Quinn), is caught by Tara stealing one of her chickens. But it is love at first sight, although it takes a while for their attraction to take root beyond some electric glances. Hagerty sees where the relationship is going and he is determined to undermine the burgeoning affair. Tara is wary and doesn't want to be dependent upon any man, even to the point of smuggling supplies to the Irish Republican Army. When Hagerty hears someone in the village is colluding with the IRA, he suspects Tom and throws him in jail. But Hagerty is a walking time bomb and finally his rage erupts with violent force.more
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Drama, Romance, Art House & International
Directed By:
Written By: Kerry Crabbe, Shane Connaughton
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 20, 2004
HBO Video


Albert Finney
as Constable Brendan He...
Robin Wright
as Tara Maguire
Aidan Quinn
as Tom Casey
Milo O'Shea
as Freddie
Lorcan Cranitch
as Ryan/John Joe
Aine Ni Mhuiri
as Mrs. Smith
Aine NiMhuiri
as Mrs. Smith
Doreen Hepburn
as Nualla Ryan
Michele Forbes
as Maggie Rudden
P.J. Brady
as McMahon
Michelle Forbes
as Maggie Rudden
Tony Rohr
as Kelly
Niall O'Brien
as Police Superintenden...
Shane Connaughton
as Customs Officer
Peter Morris
as Tara's Baby
James Morris
as Tara's Baby
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for The Playboys

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (10)

This familiar pattern of headstrong girl and passions brimming beneath the surface is well directed by first time Scottish helmer Gillies MacKinnon, though the pace slows in middle reels as plot gives way to the troupe's enjoyable stage performances.

Full Review… | March 11, 2008
Top Critic

It seems like everyone had a ball; I know I did.

Full Review… | March 11, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

This absorbing film boasts several outstanding performances as well as a richness in both story and character that is much too rare these days.

March 11, 2008
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

With time, place and mood sensitively evoked, this is solid, intelligent entertainment, mercifully free of the usual 'Oirish' clichés.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

There's magic in it.

March 6, 2005
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

Mr. Finney, looking puffy and ravaged in the role of a man who has lost much of himself to drink (and whose obsessive interest in Tara somehow offers him the chance of redemption), brings a furious, buried intensity to Hegarty's longing.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

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