During the Depression, Jimmy Gralton returns home to Ireland after ten years of exile in America. Seeing the levels of poverty and oppression, the activist in him reawakens and he looks to re-open the dance hall that led to his deportation.
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1932. Jimmy Gralton is back home in the Irish countryside after ten years of forced exile in the USA. His widowed mother Alice is happy, Jimmy's friends are happy, all the young people who enjoy dancing and singing are happy. Which is not the case of Father Sheridan, the local priest, nor of the village squire, nor of Dennis O'Keefe, the chief of the fascists. The reason is simple: Jimmy is a socialist activist. So when the "intruder" reopens the village hall, thus enabling the villagers to gather to sing, dance, paint, study or box, they take a dim view of the whole thing. People who think and unite are difficult to manipulate, aren't they? From that moment on they will use every means possible to get rid of Jimmy and his "dangerous" hall.Written by
The real Jimmy Gralton was the only Irishman ever deported from Ireland after Irish Independence. After the release of the film, a campaign (including an online petition) was started with the aim to rescind the deportation order and extend an official apology to his family. See more »
Tobacco consumption (cigarettes, snuff and pipes) was extremely widespread at the time, yet none of the characters are seen to smoke, even at raucous social occasions. See more »
We have the Redemptorist Fathers coming to the parish for a mission. What if I was to bring around a doctor of divinity into your house, to explain to you where Gralton is leading you astray?
What if I was to bring a doctor of economics round to your house, Father, and explain to you where you're going astray?
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During the opening credits, black and white news reel footage of New York in the 1920s, accompanied by jazz music, is shown. See more »
In the States we didn't get much Irish history in our schools, particularly post-Rebellion history. Had no idea of the politics involved regarding the Socialist/Catholic Church alliance during the Depression, which is the basis of this film. We are influenced to root for the people versus this alliance, which seems to be the correct rooting interest. Jimmy comes back to his hometown after 10 years in exile, and takes up the same cause which got him deported in the first place. Once again the same forces that were against him are still in place, resulting in a duplication of events. Can't imagine how any moviegoer could fault him or his motives and the plot plays along with these sentiments.
That said, the story bogs down in the second half of the film, making the staunchest advocate fidgety and anxious for some movement. It seems longer than the 1hr 49min advertised, but does not impinge on the gorgeous photography and the marvelous acting. Barry Ward as Jimmy was good, Simone Kirby was even better and Jim Norton as Fr. Sheridan was outstanding. I recommend "Jimmy's Hall", especially if you went to school in the U.S. - I guarantee you will be enlightened.
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