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The Field


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Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Harris, John Hurt, Sean Bean, Frances Tomelty, Brenda Fricker
  • Directors: Jim Sheridan
  • Writers: Jim Sheridan, John B. Keane
  • Producers: Arthur Lappin, Noel Pearson, Steve Morrison
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: February 26, 2002
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005V1WP
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,298 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Field" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Richard Harris, John Hurt, Sean Bean. A rural farmer sews his seeds in rich Irish soil, only to find himself at the middle of a power struggle when a wealthy American plans to buy the land from its legal owner and develop the area. 1990/color/113 min/PG-13/widescreen.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

185 of 190 people found the following review helpful By Russell Fanelli VINE VOICE on November 18, 2005
Format: DVD
In order to understand Jim Sheridan's fine film, The Field, based on the play by the same name by J.B. Keane, it is useful to know some of the Irish history that relates directly to this tragic story.

A little less than 800 years ago the English first came to Ireland and initiated a slow but steady conquest of the island and people. By the 19th century the catholic Irish had lost most of their land and their freedom to the protestant English. The great Irish statesman Daniel O'Connell made modest progress in winning some liberty for the Irish catholics in the early part of the 19th century. Unfortunately, the Great Famine, which began in 1845 and lasted until 1848, killed a million or more Irish people who were dependent on the potato, which suffered from a disastrous blight. Two million more people fled the island to foreign shores, America being one preferred destination. A population of approximately eight million people was reduced by about 36%. The Irish never forgave the English for allowing this great tragedy to occur. The ill effects of this disaster lasted well into the 20th century.

In the film The Field, "The Bull" McCabe (Richard Harris), a tenant farmer in a small town in southwestern Ireland, mentions the famine and its after effects several times to justify his right to buy the field that he and his family have given their love and labor for generations. The English woman who owns the field has put her property up for auction and an American, Tom Berrenger, appears ready to outbid McCabe for the field. McCabe will not permit what he perceives to be a miscarriage of justice.

Against him are the American and his ally, the local parish priest. McCabe does his best to reason with these men and explain why he feels he has a right to the field.
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69 of 72 people found the following review helpful By skunktrain on December 3, 2002
Format: DVD
Richard Harris is absolutely outstanding in this film. No wonder he got an Oscar nomination. This film about pride and struggle keeps you rivited from beginning to end. And a sad, frantic, tragic end it is.
Sean Bean plays Harris's son, and he is very effective as a somewhat dimwitted fellow who is cowed by his powerful and stubborn father. Brenda Fricker (as Bean's mom and Harris's wife) is fine too. And John Hurt plays an amusing gap-toothed buddy with great humor! He was a particular favorite.
Tom Berenger as "The American" gives a fine performance as well (he did a good "East Coast" accent), but it's unfortunate that his character's motivations in buying the field are not more clearly defined--it would have helped explain more of the plot.
Beautiful scenery, and a great score by Elmer Bernstein add much to this film as well! However, closed captions definitely were needed in this movie. The accents are too thick for American ears. (Except for Berenger's accent, of course!) I don't understand why this film was not subtitled or closed-captioned. Not only do the hearing impaired need the captioning, anyone who has trouble with the thick accents will need it too. What gives?
An excellent film. Depressing and dramatic, but it keeps you thinking after the film is over. Richard Harris is *amazing*. What a treat to see him shine in such a way.
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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Christian B. Martin on October 3, 2001
Format: DVD
First of all, do not rent or buy this brilliantly photographed film until it is released in a widescreen / letterbox version. Period. Not only has it been "edited to fit your screen," this Pioneer Video edition is so fuzzy, it looks as if it was transferred from a bootleg VHS tape.
Second, PLEASE ignore the reviews below in which the reviewer (a) couldn't understand the dialogue "because the Irish accents are way too thick" and therefore only understood the scenes with Tom Berenger as the Yank; (b) is a clown more concerned about possible animal abuse than filmmaking ("many animals were harmed and drugged for this movie -- got this info from a non-profit web site !"); or (c) thinks "Prince of the City" was a five star movie like Mostafa Hefny does (no kidding folks -- check out his other reviews).
"The Field" is a masterful movie on every level: story, directing, acting, photography. If for no other reason, see it for Richard Harris' performance as the Bull McCabe. It is simply one of the finest acting performances ever filmed -- a "tour de force" as the cliche goes. But remember, wait till a proper widescreen / letterbox edition becomes available.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By R. DelParto VINE VOICE on August 7, 2007
Format: DVD
Based on the play by John B. Keane, Director Jim Sheridan presents a gripping tale that is rich with Irish tradition and history in the film THE FIELD. Legendary actor, Richard Harris (Bull McCabe) plays a stubborn farmer who treasures the land he has cultivated, and forcefully and close to manically guards the land when he finds out that an American or as Bull refers to him, "Yank", played by Tom Berenger, suddenly appears to buy the land from the original landowner, Maggie Butler (Frances Tomelty); all tensions ensue.

THE FIELD brazens the Irish past, which includes its religious, social and class struggles and the unfortunate Irish famine. These issues come crashing down as the film plot thickens especially during the climax. The story revolves around Bull McCabe, a man who has carried the guilt and bitterness of the past, the death of one of his sons, Shamus, and his present burdens that exist with his only son, Tadgh (Sean Bean), who along with his cohort Bird O'Donnell played by John Hurt, exert unkind and child-like deeds toward Butler forcing her to sell her land.

The entire of production of the film is outstanding. Director of photography, Jack Conroy captures the beautiful mountainous and seashore landscape, which complement each dramatic scene. Jim Sheridan and Steve Morrison do a fine job in adapting Keane's play to film, and the story and its characters come alive with their production.

THE FIELD is tremendously moving. It starts out a little slow in the beginning, but it is the last hour that is both disturbing and powerful. Richard Harris received an Oscar nomination for best actor, and deservingly, by watching the film he is worthy of that distinction.
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