The Quare Fellow (1963)

The Quare Fellow





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Brendan Behan, the quixotic, eternally sloshed Irish poet/playwright, peppered his play The Quare Fellow with plenty of "gallows humor." The film version dispenses with most the play's morbid jests, leaving us with a grim, straightforward account of a Dublin death-row prison guard (Patrick McGoohan) and his growing empathy with two condemned prisoners. One could understand the removal of the play's comic elements had the film been made in timorous Hollywood. But since Quare Fellow was financed … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Classics
Directed By:
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 9, 2008


as Thomas Crimmin

as Kathleen

as Dunlavin

as Chief Warder

as Donnelly

as Holy Healy

as Mrs. O'Hara

as Prison Governor

as Dr. Flyn

as Mickser's wife

as 1st Customs Officer

as Customs Officer

as Prison Chaplain

as Silvertop

as Carroll

as Lavery

as Old Patriot

as Shamrock Attendant

as Publican Woman

as Reception Warder

as Neighbour

as Food Orderly

as 2nd Publican

as Reception Clerk

as Stretcher-Bearer

as Dock Worker
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for The Quare Fellow

All Critics (1)

The only thing carried over from Behan's play is the bleakness.

Full Review… | July 19, 2009
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for The Quare Fellow


Finally a movie starring Patrick McGoohan, I don't know why he didn't do more movies, he's a great actor. This movie is a really good drama, dealing with the inner turmoil of a new prison guard, and the wife of the prisoner who is about to be executed. It's really suspenseful, and I recommend it.

Aj V

Super Reviewer


In "The Quare Fellow," Thomas Crimmin(Patrick McGoohan) is a newly hired prison guard under the supervision of veteran guard Regan(Walter Macken) who is looking forward to a promotion but is instead being forced out at the end of one last task. That turns out to be a double hanging which turns into a single when the guards learn through the prison grapevine that one of the condemned has been given a reprieve. Now, they are left with the difficult task of telling Kathleen(Sylvia Syms) that it was not her husband.

While it certainly has its share of flaws(I don't know how small this town is but what are the odds of Kathleen and Thomas ending up at the same boardinghouse?) and whose punch has probably been diminished with time, "The Quare Fellow" is still a gritty look at prison life in Ireland which serves as a microcosm of the country in general. The former rebels from the time of the Troubles are now in charge while islanders are treated by most as outcasts. Of central concern is the hypocrisy surrounding the death penalty which is connected to the outside population as well.

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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