The Field

The Field

name = The Field

caption = Film poster for "The Field"
imdb_id = 0099566
writer = John B. Keane(play)
Jim Sheridan
starring = Richard Harris
John Hurt
Sean Bean
Brenda Fricker
Frances Tomelty
Tom Berenger
director = Jim Sheridan
producer = Noel Pearson
distributor = Avenue Pictures
released = December 20, 1990
runtime = 107 min.
language = English

"The Field" is a play written by John B. Keane, first performed in 1965. It was adapted into a film in 1990 by Jim Sheridan. It tells the story of the hardened farmer "Bull" McCabe and his love for the land he rents. The play debuted at Dublin's Olympia Theatre in 1965, with Ray McAnally as "The Bull" and Eamon Keane as the "The Bird" O'Donnell. The play was published in 1967 by Mercier Press. A new version with some changes was produced in 1987.


"The Field" is set in a small country village in southwest Ireland. Bull McCabe has spent many hard years of labor turning the rocky land he rents from the widow Maggie Butler into a field suitable for grazing cattle. He has always considered the land his own, and dreams of buying it; Butler decides to sell the land at public auction. The McCabes intimidate most of the townspeople out of bidding in the auction, to the chagrin of auctioneer Mick Flanagan, but Galway man William Dee arrives from England, where he has lived for many years, with his own plans for the field. An encounter between Dee and the McCabes ends in bloodshed and a coverup. Other characters include the town priest Father Murphy, Flanagan's wife and son, and the loyal town drunk "Bird" O'Donnell.

Keane based the story on the 1959 murder of Moss Moore, a bachelor farmer living in Reamore, County Kerry. Dan Foley, a neighbour with whom Moore had a long-running dipute, was suspected of the murder, but the charges were denied by Foley's family. [ Fuil agus Dúch] , Broadcast on TG4, 22 Mar 2007 at 10 p.m. GMT.]

Film version

Jim Sheridan's 1990 film version starred Richard Harris as Bull McCabe, Sean Bean as Bull's son Tadgh, Brenda Fricker as Bull's wife Maggie, and John Hurt as Bird O'Donnell. Adaptations included changes to the cast; the town priest received an expanded role as Father Chris Doran, played by Sean McGinley, and English resident William Dee is replaced by the sympathetic Irish American Peter, played by Tom Berenger. The auctioneer's role is considerably reduced, while new additions include a family of Irish Travellers, despised by Bull McCabe for having lost their connection to the land. The ending was also changed for the film. "The Field" was released to generally mild or poor reviews, [ [] .] but Harris received an Academy Award nomination for his role. In 1996 the An Post, the Irish Post Office, issued a set of postage stamps to commemorate the centenary of Irish cinema; the 32p stamp featured an image from "The Field" of actors Harris, Bean, and Hurt standing against the backdrop of Killary Harbour. [ [ Detail of the 32p stamp] . From Retrieved July 15, 2006.]



* [ "John B Keane"] . Retrieved March 17, 2007.

External links

*imdb title|id=0099566|title=The Field

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