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Playboys (HBO) (1992)

 NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004XMVB
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,147,092 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Playboys (HBO)" on IMDb

Editorial Reviews

With delicate charm and dignity, The Playboys finds laughter, love, and scandal in a cozy Irish village in 1957. For her disapproving neighbors, it's bad enough that Tara Maguire (Robin Wright, with a fair Irish accent) won't identify the father of her baby, and she's making matters worse by inviting romance with Tom (Aidan Quinn), a carefree actor in a band of traveling players. Constable Hagerty (Albert Finney) is insanely jealous and possessive; he knows Tara's secret while hiding one of his own, and his roiling emotions lead to a climax with dangerous shades of Othello. Oscar®-nominated screenwriter Shane Connaughton (My Left Foot) maintains the gravity of this situation (including a subplot involving IRA smugglers), but never loses track of his character-based humor, especially in the good-natured clash between free spirits and dowdy conservative locals. Filmed in the idyllic Redhills Village of County Cavan, The Playboys is well-acted (especially by Finney) and refreshingly free of blarney. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Irish love story..... May 21, 2001
THE PLAYBOYS stars Albert Finney, Aiden Quinn and Robin Wright. I saw the film in the theatre several years ago and have been waiting to buy the DVD. I don't remember the characters names, but the gist of the story is this: Robin Wright plays a young woman living in a small village in Ireland. She is the mother of an adorable out-of-wedlock baby. She will not divulge the identity of the baby's father. Albert Finney plays the village constable. He wants to marry Wright, but she refuses to marry him or to identify her child's father. Many folks in the village feel Wright ought to marry the good cop.
One day, a very small traveling carnival arrives in the village. The carnival is so small all the members of the troupe perform multiple tasks. One of the troupe is played by Aiden Quinn. Quinn has a nifty motorcycle which he spins round and round the village green to impress Wright. Finney disapproves of Quinn's interest in Wright. When the carnival leaves the village, Quinn asks Wright to ride aways with him on his motorbike. Will she, should she? You'll have to watch the film to find out whether she chooses the good cop or the dashing young man, and you will discover the identity of the baby's father by the end of the film.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Irish "Cannary Row" January 27, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Give this one a second chance. First time through, I thought plot was thin and weak. Second time through I picked up on the nuances of personal relationships in a rural Irish village, as intertwined as a Celtic knot. Good acting all around - even the stoic children do their part. When traveling players come to town, secrets are revealed and personalities clash, but in the repressed undercurrents common where small groups must live together. A global story with an Irish accent, told in the days before television homogenized the world.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of 1992's best films February 25, 2007
I know 1992 was a long time ago so I'll remind you of the film's nominated for the best picture Oscar that year: "Unforgiven", Clint Eastwood's cowboy movie with a modern edge that won the award, and competitors "The Crying Game", "A Few Good Men", "Howards End" and "Scent of a Woman". This film, "The Playboys", is better than all those films, in my opinion.

A story about secrets, love, fidelity, irony and small town life, "The Playboys" features a stunning performance by Alber Finney and likely the best film work of Aidan Quinn's career as they compete for unwed-but-pregnant Robin Wright, a young woman in a small Irish town that won't disclose the father of her child circa 1957.

While the film is not completely convincing in its representation of the 1950s (who knows what rural Ireland was like then?) it nonetheless remains an involving drama about people, circumstances, personal honor and what is important in life. Shane Connaughton's script plays the competition between the two men -- the standup cop Finney, representing good and irony, against actor-playboy Quinn, representing free spirits --against the overall conservatism and situational condemnation of village residents. The result is good fun and enticing cinema verite.

Filmed in Ireland, "The Playboys" is a wonderful movie that avoids nonsense and sentimentality, ends realistically, and asks the viewer what happenend when it's all over. It is a story on a lesser scale than some of the year's Oscar contenders; yet it stands up to all of them in terms of intelligence, viewer involvement, acting, onsite filming and the fulfilling the vision of its screenwriter. It's a film and story you won't soon forget.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Playboys April 19, 2006
By Bomojaz
Set in a rural Irish village near the border with Northern Ireland, a young woman (Robin Wright) has a baby, but refuses to say who the father is. The town constable (Albert Finney) and another local landowner vie for her hand in marriage, but she refuses them both. Meanwhile, a troupe of traveling actors (The Playboys) comes to town to do nightly tent shows, and one of the actors (Aiden Quinn) falls in love with Wright, too. She sees him as an escape to Dublin - and maybe (only maybe) falls in love with him, too - and at the end of the movie is seen leaving town with him.

The script is fairly complex (a subplot involving smuggling supplies to the IRA is also part of the proceedings), with a lot going on with the complicated relationships. Wright is seen as the strongest of the characters - fending for herself, knowing what she wants; the males are depicted as being weak: either blindly and hopelessly in love (Finney's desperation is wonderfully portrayed) or simply a means to an end for Wright. The acting is excellent throughout, and the storyline and direction are subtle and interesting. Worth a watch.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finney's The Spine of This Slow, Soft-Focus Film November 29, 2007
"The Playboys,"(1992), is a drama/romance/comedy set in a pretty, provincial Irish village of the 1950's. The rural landscape of County Cavan is lovely in this film directed by Gillies MacKinnon, who was born in the urban, unlovely town of Glasgow, Scotland. The clothes, cars and houses look authentic and atmospheric, the dialogue's good, and there's plenty of "crac," that Irish wit.

The movie, which is full of faces familiar from other Irish films, concerns one Tara Maguire, played by the American Robin Wright, who's been delivered of a boy child and refuses to identify his father. (This part was to have been played by Annette Bening, but she turned up pregnant.) Tara's sister Brigid, played by Niamh Cusack, of the well-known Irish theatrical family, is solidly supportive. Adrian Dunbar - has a modern Irish movie ever been made without him ?- plays a local farmer who kills himself, possibly over bad luck with his cattle, possibly because of Tara's refusal to marry him. She's also refusing to marry the older man, the local Constable, Brendan Hegarty, who, we come to learn, actually is the child's father. As played by an adamantine Albert Finney, he really is the spine of this slow, low-key, soft-focus film. For although the village priest is calling Tara out from the pulpit, the locals can't be too hard on her: they've known her from her own birth.

Into this pregnant situation comes a threadbare traveling troupe of actors, led by Freddie, the marvelously talented Milo O'Shea. Tom Casey, played by the American, handsome blue-eyed Aidan Quinn, is the leading man of their performances. Performances that are always eccentric, and frequently downright hilarious. And Tara, who rather unusually for the time and place, insists on marrying for love, sure loves Tom.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I'd give this movie 10 stars if I could
Everyone in this movie played their parts so well you forget you are watching a movie I could watch it over and over.
Published 7 months ago by Geradine Dinardo
1.0 out of 5 stars Not remotely as advertised, no response to refund request
This arrived in German and with European coding. Totally useless to me. I have had no response to my refund request. Really angry and disappointed.
Published 15 months ago by N Duncan
5.0 out of 5 stars Provocative Irish Romance
The setting for "The Playboys" is an Irish farming village in 1957. Order is maintained equally by the Catholic Church and the local constabulary represented primarily by a moody... Read more
Published on October 28, 2012 by David Baldwin
5.0 out of 5 stars The Playboys
I love Aidan Quinn and Robin Wright. What a beautiful movie. I can watch and fall in love with any movie that tells such a beautiful story and place it in Ireland and that is the... Read more
Published on October 4, 2012 by 1800's Lady at heart
5.0 out of 5 stars I Love This Movie!
This is one of my favorite movies. Aidan Quinn and Robin Wright have wonderful chemistry and if you like romance you can't help but enjoy it. Great date night movie!
Published on June 3, 2010 by Splenitive
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical story
A beautiful story, acted similarly. It has a great ring of truth--growing up in the west of Ireland,I well remember the traveling performers who set up their tent on Monday and... Read more
Published on August 21, 2009 by Emmanuel S. Forde
5.0 out of 5 stars like The Snapper
The Playboys is a very good drama about village life and how everyone is up on everyone else's business--the typical smalltown denizens. Read more
Published on February 9, 2009 by Marie Sharon
4.0 out of 5 stars well-acted, sweet
It's the 1950s in rural Ireland and lovely, unmarried Tara gives birth to a son. Who's the father? She won't say. Read more
Published on December 20, 2008 by Alan A. Elsner
4.0 out of 5 stars Men Suck, as Usual.
The Sheriff Rapes a Younge Girl, who goes on to have a baby and will not name the father of the child. She is ostrasized by the town. Read more
Published on August 28, 2008 by Joan M. Mckeown
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth the time spent watching
Although this is not a "Great" film, it is a good representation of a time period and life in that time. Read more
Published on January 14, 2008 by Robin
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