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Young Cassidy

4.0 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Young John Cassidy is a driven man. By day; he works manual labor; secretly trains in the hills with a band of revolutionaries eager to take Ireland's fate into their own hands; joins mates for a pint; or sometimes enjoys the company of a lovely Dublin lass. By night and into the wee hours; he puts pencil to paper and writes of working-class Irish life. He will - he must - be a writer. The coming of age of renowned Irish playwright Sean O' Casey (Cassidy is a name O' Casey sometimes used for himself) comes to the screen in a colorful and atmospheric biopic directed by legendary John Ford (who left the film due to illness) and Jack Cardiff. Rod Taylor plays the title character; bringing strength and earthiness to his "best role ever" (Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide). A talented cast - including Julie Christie and Maggie Smith - adds to the appeal of a film whose script was approved by O' Casey and based on his autobiography.

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Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Rod Taylor, Julie Christie, Edith Evans, Michael Redgrave, Flora Robson
  • Directors: Jack Cardiff
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Warner Archive
  • DVD Release Date: September 6, 2012
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008RNYMQK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,680 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David R. Eastwood on April 5, 2015
Format: DVD
John Ford's film YOUNG CASSIDY (1965) is a very good biopic dealing with the early struggles of Sean O'Casey (starting around 1910) as he made the transition from manual laborer to being one of Ireland's greatest playwrights. The film is based on portions of O'Casey's autobiography, and the screenplay itself was approved by O'Casey. When director John Ford became ill, Jack Cardiff completed this film.

Australian actor Rod Taylor plays the part of John Cassidy (a name O'Casey sometimes used), Flora Robson plays Cassidy's mother, Maggie Smith is wonderful as Cassidy's girlfriend, Edith Evans plays Lady Gregory of the Abbey Theater in Dublin, and Michael Redgrave is excellent as William Butler Yeats.

What brought this film to my attention was a 6-minute film-clip on Turner Classic Movies (cable) in which Rod Taylor told a few anecdotes about the making of this movie. One was how he developed his Irish accent by spending his first week in a Dublin pub talking with the customers. His best tale was about the filming of the scene immediately following Cassidy's discovery that his beloved mother (Flora Robson) has died. Cassidy goes out to a vacant lot where his mother's favorite tree, a small hawthorne, is blooming and kneels down close to it ... and his shoulders begin to shake as if he were weeping.

According to Taylor, he knelt there with his shoulders trembling for 5, 6, 7 minutes, waiting for John Ford to yell "Cut!" ... but nothing happened. More minutes passed, and finally Taylor turned his head and asked, "Aren't you going to say 'Cut'?"

And director John Ford walked over and gave him a kick and shouted, "You bastard! Y' made me CRY!!"

Of course I just HAD to see this film after hearing this. Yes, this scene is good ...
Read more ›
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It's disappointing in a lot of ways. Rod Taylor was a fine actor but he's much too old for the part. A nice try by John Ford who was always devoted to everything Irish The Quiet Man is an extremely entertaining film.
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Follows playwright Sean O'Casey's life from about 1913 as he begins to gel as a writer until he leaves Dublin in 1926 to further his career. It gives an idea of the life of poverty and oppression that Ireland lived in before and during the uprisings. I also shows his relationships with family, friend and lovers. A memorable ending as he must give up everything to pursue his destiny.
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In 1911 Ireland, a young labourer (Rod Taylor) has ambitions of being a writer. But poverty, working to overthrow the British invaders and romance slow his progress. Based on the life of the great Irish playwright Sean O'Casey, inexplicably called Johnny Cassidy in the film, and began by John Ford (though very little of his work is in the final film) and completed by Jack Cardiff. The film opens with "A John Ford Production" however and it has the feel of a Ford film, particularly in the propensity for Irish brawls but Cardiff brings his own sensibility to the film also which has the same empathy for Irish poor that he brought to the Welsh miners in his film of SONS AND LOVERS. Still, O'Casey's life, at least as portrayed here, simply wasn't interesting enough to sustain much interest for a feature film and despite a rousing performance by Taylor, the film follows the usual path of movie bios: poverty, struggle, success, fame, fade out. There is a compelling riot scene where the British overcome the Irish rebels by brute force. The suitably drab photography is by Edward Scaife (THE DIRTY DOZEN) and the authentically Irish score by Sean O'Riada. With Maggie Smith, Julie Christie, Michael Redgrave, Edith Evans, Flora Robson, Sian Phillips and Jack MacGowran.

The Spanish DVD from Regasa is an anamorphic wide screen (1.78) transfer that lacks sharpness but otherwise is an adequate transfer. The Spanish subtitles are easily removed.
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Wonderful movie with great actors. Taylor plays the role very well and has exceptional support.
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