The Playboy of the Western World


The Playboy of the Western World

The Playboy of the Western World: The Playboy of the Western World is a 1962 film version of the 1907 play written by John Millington Synge. It was directed and co-written by Brian Desmond Hurst and stars Gary Raymond and Siobhán McKenna. The Playboy of the Western World Filmed in County Kerry, the film features many of the Abbey Players. The film was produced by the Four Provinces company created in 1952 by Hurst and Michael Morris, 3rd Baron Killanin who had previously produced John Ford’s The Rising of the Moon and Gideon's Day.

The Playboy of the Western World: The play premiered in 1907 at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. The play takes place at a public house in western Ireland, and the events are set in motion when a man name Christy Mahon enters the pub. The Playboy of the Western World Christy claims to have killed his father with a spade, and now he’s on the run. He relates his story in an engaging style using a unique Irish dialect known as Hiberno-English. The Playboy of the Western World His gift for language enraptures those in the pub, winning him praise from the pub’s owner as well as his daughter, the barmaid. Later, however, Christy’s wounded father stumbles into the pub, where his son attacks him again. The Playboy of the Western World The father survives the second attack, and the two eventually depart, reconciled. Synge’s play sparked riots on the occasion of its premiere. Irish nationalists found the play’s apparent celebration of patricide immoral, and they condemned it as a stain on Ireland. Even so, the play remains an influential work in Irish literary history. In 2007, on the hundredth anniversary of its premiere, a modern adaptation returned to the Abbey Theatre stage.

The Playboy of the Western World: Burgess Meredith, in full Oliver Burgess Meredith, (born November 16, 1907, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.—died September 9, 1997, Malibu, California), American actor and director who, in a career that spanned nearly seven decades, played a diverse range of characters on the stage, on television, and in film. Meredith attended Amherst College but left before graduating. The Playboy of the Western World He subsequently held a variety of jobs—notably working as a reporter and a merchant seaman—before pursuing an acting career. In 1929 he became an unpaid apprentice with Eva Le Gallienne’s Civic Repertory Company in New York City. The Playboy of the Western World The following year he made his Broadway debut in Romeo and Juliet, and he achieved great success in 1935 as Mio in the Maxwell Anderson play Winterset. He reprised the role for the 1936 film version, which was his first credited screen appearance.

The Playboy of the Western World: After notable stage performances in High Tor (1937) and Liliom (1940), he served as a captain in the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II. He returned to acting after the war, in plays that included The Playboy of the Western World (1946–47), Major Barbara (1956–57), and I Was Dancing (1964). The Playboy of the Western World Meredith also directed a number of Broadway productions, notably A Thurber Carnival (1960), for which he received a special Tony Award; James Baldwin’s Blues for Mister Charlie (1964); and Ulysses in Nighttown (1974), for which he earned a Tony Award nomination. During this time Meredith made numerous film appearances. He had memorable roles as George Milton in Of Mice and Men (1939), an adaptation of John Steinbeck’s classic novella, and as Ernie Pyle in The Story of G.I. Joe (1945). The Playboy of the Western World Meredith also wrote and starred in Jean Renoir’s The Diary of a Chambermaid (1946), a romantic drama that featured his third wife, Paulette Goddard. His film career stalled in the 1950s, however, when his liberal views drew the ire of U.S. Sen. Joseph McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee. His blacklisting eased with his roles in several Otto Preminger films, including Advise & Consent (1962).

The Playboy of the Western World

The Playboy of the Western World: In 1975 Meredith played a former vaudeville performer working as a door-to-door salesman in The Day of the Locust, for which he received his first Academy Award nomination. He garnered a second Oscar nod for his portrayal of a cantankerous boxing trainer in Rocky (1976). The Playboy of the Western World The film was a blockbuster, and Meredith appeared in several sequels. Later movies included Grumpy Old Men (1993) and Grumpier Old Men (1995). Meredith also directed the films The Man on the Eiffel Tower (1950) and The Yin and Yang of Mr. Go (1978), the latter of which he wrote. In addition to his work on stage and screen, Meredith was a staple character actor in American television. He appeared in such series as Rawhide, Bonanza, and The Virginian, and he was cast in numerous TV movies, notably Tail Gunner Joe (1977). The Playboy of the Western World The latter was a biopic about McCarthy, and Meredith gave an Emmy Award-winning performance as army lawyer Joseph Welch, who famously asked the senator, “Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?” However, Meredith was perhaps most widely known for his role as the villainous Penguin in the 1960s TV series Batman. The character brought him renewed popularity—as well as a younger fan base—and he reprised the role for the 1966 film version. In 1994 Meredith published his autobiography, So Far, So Good.

The Playboy of the Western World: Irish literary renaissance, flowering of Irish literary talent at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century that was closely allied with a strong political nationalism and a revival of interest in Ireland’s Gaelic literary heritage. The renaissance was inspired by the nationalistic pride of the Gaelic revival (q.v.); by the retelling of ancient heroic legends in books such as the History of Ireland (1880) by Standish O’Grady and A Literary History of Ireland (1899) by Douglas Hyde; and by the Gaelic League, which was formed in 1893 to revive the Irish language and culture. The Playboy of the Western World The early leaders of the renaissance wrote rich and passionate verse, filled with the grandeur of Ireland’s past and the music and mysticism of Gaelic poetry. The Playboy of the Western World They were mainly members of the privileged class and were adept at English verse forms and familiar with lyric poetry that extolled the simple dignity of the Irish peasant and the natural beauty of Ireland. The movement developed into a vigorous literary force centred on the poet and playwright William Butler Yeats. Though he contributed to the foundation of the Abbey Theatre, the first Irish national theatre, he wrote only a few plays, which were beautiful but difficult to stage. His chief colleague was Lady Isabella Augusta Gregory, who took a leading part in the Abbey’s management and wrote many plays. The Irish Literary Theatre, established in 1898, also excelled in the production of peasant plays. The Playboy of the Western World The greatest dramatist of the movement was John Millington Synge, who wrote plays of great beauty and power in a stylized peasant dialect. Later, the theatre turned toward realism, mostly rural realism. Lennox Robinson, best known for his political play, The Lost Leader (1918), and his comedy, The Whiteheaded Boy (1916), and T.C. Murray, author of The Briary Gap (1917), were among the early realists. In reaction to peasant realism, Sean O’Casey wrote three great dramas of the Dublin slums: The Shadow of a Gunman (1923), Juno and the Paycock (1924), and The Plough and the Stars (1926). In poetry, in addition to Yeats, the mystic George Russell (pseudonym AE) composed works of enduring interest. Notable among their younger contemporaries were Padraic Colum, Austin Clarke, Seumas O’Sullivan (James Sullivan Starkey), F.R. Higgins, and Oliver St. John Gogarty. The Playboy of the Western World The Irish Republican movement had its poets in Patrick Henry Pearse, Thomas MacDonagh, and Joseph Plunkett, all executed in 1916 for their part in the Easter Rising.

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