The Shame of Mary Boyle (Juno and the Paycock)


The Shame of Mary Boyle (Juno and the Paycock)

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Average Rating: 2.5/5

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Movie Info

Alfred Hitchcock's second talkie was a surprisingly static adaptation of the Sean O'Casey stage drama Juno and the Paycock. Set during the Irish "troubles" of the early 1920s, the film focuses on the trials and tribulations of a typical Dublin tenement family. Sara Allgood is brilliant as family matriarch Juno Boyle, who must contend with her bibulous, braggadocio husband, Captain Jack Boyle (Edward Chapman), known as the "paycock" because he always struts around like he owns the world. As Captain Jack carouses with his drinking buddy Joxer Daly (Sydney Morgan), Juno tries to keep her family together, a task that proves harder with each passing day, especially when daughter Mary (Kathleen O'Regan) is impregnated by her irresponsible boyfriend. Things take a tragic turn when Juno's weakling son Johnny (John Laurie), a member of the IRA, is shot as an informer by his own comrades. Sara Allgood's scenes after the death of her son are absolutely heart-wrenching, offering ample compensation for Hitchcock's plodding direction and the hopelessly hammy performance by Edward Chapman. Many of the supporting actors were drawn from the ranks of Dublin's Abbey Players, notably Barry Fitzgerald, making his film debut as The Orator. Juno and the Paycock was adapted for the screen by Hitchcock and his wife Alma Reville.


Sara Allgood
as Juno Boyle
Edward Chapman
as Captain Boyle
Sydney Morgan
as Joxer Daly
John Longden
as Charles Bentham
Kathleen O'Regan
as Mary Boyle
John Laurie
as Johnny Boyle
John Loder
as Bentham
Donald Calthrop
as Needle Nugent
Maire O'Neill
as Maisie Madigan
Dave Morris
as Jerry Devine
Dennis Wyndham
as Mobilizer
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Critic Reviews for The Shame of Mary Boyle (Juno and the Paycock)

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (3)

Audience Reviews for The Shame of Mary Boyle (Juno and the Paycock)


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".

Chris Weber
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

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

Bruce Bruce
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

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