The Quare Fellow (1963)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
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 and produced in Ireland, it seems a inappropriately glum tribute to one of the country's boldest and most brilliant talents. Quare Fellow was directed by American "B" specialist Arthur Dreifuss, who also adapted Behan's play for the screen. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi … More
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as Thomas Crimmin
as Chief Warder
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 Old Patriot
as Shamrock Attendant
as Publican Woman
as Reception Warder
as Food Orderly
as 2nd Publican
as Reception Clerk
as Dock Worker
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Critic Reviews for The Quare Fellow
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.
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.
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