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Published on Feb 10, 2015
Riders to the Sea (1935) Re-Mastered Re-mastered and re-released to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the film’s release and the 120th anniversary of the birth of the film’s director on 12th February 1895, Belfast born, Gallipoli veteran Brian Desmond Hurst. In this story of Western Ireland, the most famous work of Ireland’s greatest dramatist JOHN MILLINGTON SYNGE is brought to the screen by Ulster’s greatest film director BRIAN DESMOND HURST. It tells of a deeply religious people who speak English with all the poetry and strange turn of phrase f their Irish mother tongue. The women still keep the custom of ‘keening’ lamenting their dead. When the story opens, Maurya (Sara Allgood), the mother, has lost to the sea her father, husband and two sons. Now only two sons are left for her, Michael (Denis Johnston credits note as Denis Johnstone) and Bartley (Kevin Guthrie). The appearance of Synge’s bereaved fiancée Maire O’Neill as ‘first woman’ is most poignant (born as Mary Allgood and known as Molly and appearing alongside her sister Sara. Note the film credits show her as Maire O’Neill). Actor and film critic Patrick Kirwan plays the Donegal Priest and a host of Abbey players provide much of the cast. Gracie Fields helped Hurst finance the film and artist John Patrick Flanagan co-produced the film and provided the art direction. Location shots were at Renvyle, Connemara, Co Galway, Ireland.