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Run of the Country, The (1995, Albert Finney, Victoria Smurfit)

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Adapted from his own novel by Shane Connaughton, the writer of The Playboys and My Left Foot, and directed by Peter Yates (Bullitt, The Dresser), The Run Of The Country is a romantic drama set in a border town in contemporary Ireland. Shot on location in the lush green countryside of the Emerald Isle, Empire called the film a ‘highly enjoyable romantic parable of doomed love and the pitfalls of coming-of-age, gently mocking the gulf between the generations while preaching tolerance as the only solution.’

ALBERT FINNEY stars as a stern, emotionally detached policeman who’s struggling to raise his teenage son, Danny (MATT KEESLAR), following the recent death of his wife. Danny rebels and leaves home to live with his friend Prunty (ANTHONY BROPHY) on a nearby farm. It’s here that Danny becomes versed in the ways of the world, getting involved in scrapes that anger both his father and the local priest (DAVID KELLY, most recently seen in Waking Ned). It’s also at this time that he meets a beautiful young woman, Annagh (VICTORIA SMURFIT, best known for Ballykissangel but recently seen in The Beach), who’s from a well-to-do family in the North.

They start an affair but she soon becomes pregnant, with Danny’s father refusing to pay for an abortion. Danny’s friend offers to help raise money to send the lovers to England, but tragedy strikes when Prunty is killed in a farming accident. It’s only at the funeral that Danny discovers that his friend was in the IRA. A further tragedy will shape Danny and Annagh’s futures, leaving him to make the biggest decision of his young life.

production details
Ireland – USA | 100 minutes | 1995

Director: Peter Yates
Script: Shane Connaughton

cast
Albert Finney as Danny’s Father
Matt Keeslar as Danny
Victoria Smurfit as Annagh
Anthony Brophy as Prunty
David Kelly as Father Gaynor
Dearbhla Molloy as Danny’s Mother