Juno and the Paycock (1949)

Juno and the Paycock (1949)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Juno and the Paycock Photos

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.
Classics , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
British Instructional Films


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 Loder
as Bentham
John Laurie
as Johnny Boyle
Donald Calthrop
as Needle Nugent
Maire O'Neill
as Maisie Madigan
Dave Morris
as Jerry Devine
Dennis Wyndham
as Mobilizer
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Juno and the Paycock

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (3)

Three-quarters of the film is just photographed stage play -- excellently photographed, but slow in action.

Full Review… | March 25, 2009
Top Critic

By its failure to blend the two poles of drama the film resolves itself into virtually two plays.

Full Review… | March 24, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

A fairly deadly case of canned theater that's pretty close to what Hitchcock many years later would refer to as 'photographs of people talking.'

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

It had nothing to do with cinema, Hitchcock himself had said of his adaptation of Sean O'Casey play, though it's well acted by Sara Allgood and the rest of the ensemble

Full Review… | November 13, 2012

Though well photographed, the action is incredibly slow for Hitchcock.

Full Review… | March 20, 2012
TV Guide

A faithful Casey adaptation, but one that's stagebound and lackluster.

Full Review… | March 16, 2010
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Juno and the Paycock

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.

Ken Scheck
Ken Scheck

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.

Wes Shad
Wes Shad

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

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