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The Field [DVD]

Richard Harris , John Hurt , Jim Sheridan    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
Price: 5.29
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The Field [DVD] + The Wind That Shakes The Barley  [DVD] + Michael Collins [DVD] [1996]
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Product details

  • Actors: Richard Harris, John Hurt, Sean Bean, Frances Tomelty, Brenda Fricker
  • Directors: Jim Sheridan
  • Writers: Jim Sheridan, John B. Keane
  • Producers: Arthur Lappin, Noel Pearson, Steve Morrison
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Cinema Club
  • DVD Release Date: 3 Dec 2001
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005Q57J
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,733 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Irish director Jim Sheridan made The Field after scoring an art house hit and Oscar nominations for his previous film, My Left Foot. Set in Ireland during the 1930s, this ambitious and hard-hitting drama is about one man's obsession with a plot of land that his family has tended for generations. The results are decidedly mixed, and it's obvious that this kind of tragic allegory is better suited for the stage (where it originated as a play by John B Keane). What makes the film worthwhile is the Oscar-nominated performance by Richard Harris as "Bull" McCabe, the fiercely stubborn man who's nurtured a prime field of rented land for decades, only to lose it when the owner auctions the land to an unwelcome American (Tom Berenger). Rather than sacrifice his life's work to this brazen invader, McCabe wages a personal war with powerfully tragic results. It's unfortunate that this potent drama never really connects on an emotional level, but Harris is never less than fascinating in a role that virtually seems to consume him as an actor. His performance approaches greatness, even when the film falls somewhat short of its dramatic ambitions. --Jeff Shannon,

Product Description


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Richard Harris in his element 24 Nov 2007
By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER
For the first ten minutes or so, I was pretty sure I was going to hate The Field. Every Irish cliché in casting and plotting is present: burly men with short tempers and long memories of the Potato Famine, family secrets, dead sons, weak heirs and overbearing fathers, Brenda Fricker's silent tough-as-nails wife, Francis Tomelty's widow woman scorned for the crime of coming from another village, Jenny Conley's tinker's girl, even the village priest played by an actor out of Father Ted and a score full of fiddles and ondes martinets from Elmer Bernstein. And look, isn't that John Hurt with blacked out teeth playing the village eejit? It is that. There's no evil English landlord, but at times there's the very real threat that it's going to spin off into Victorian melodrama, especially with Richard Harris, an actor not exactly known for his subtlety at the time, in the lead as "The Bull," who'll do anything to prevent the field of the title that represents two generations of his family's blood, sweat and tears ending up in American Tom Berenger's hands and buried under concrete. Thank the lord an American didn't direct it or we'd be seeing the little people as well.

Yet despite the melodramatic bear-traps that litter John B. Keane's play, screenwriter/director Jim Sheridan manages to turn it into something increasingly compelling. While not the most cinematic of directors, he does bring something truly elemental to the mix as Harris' patriarch sets himself against Heaven and Earth to guarantee a poisoned legacy his son doesn't even want rather than face the prospect that his entire life, and the lives of his parents and a dead son have been wasted.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than just a field 18 July 2005
By A Customer
'The Field' is an excellent rendering of John B. Keane's haunting play based loosely on a murder which took place in his native Co. Kerry. It was filmed in Connemara, Co. Galway and this proved one of the most enlightened decisions the filmmakers made, as the rugged landscape serves as a continuous reminder of why the story is what it is. There is no better example in all cinema than the final scene here where man, indomitable, confronts nature, inevitable. Worth watching for Richard Harris's tour-de-force performance as 'The Bull' McCabe alone.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "I got a terrible rapping in me skull." 6 Jan 2005
Though this film, directed by Jim Sheridan, is based on the stage play of the same name by John B. Keane, it bears little resemblance to the play. The play emphasizes the passion of a Kerry farmer for his land, the measures he takes to protect it, and the willingness of the community to support him, evading both the law and the church to achieve "true" justice. Big Bull McCabe, fighting to buy land he has leased and improved for ten years, is portrayed as embodying the attitudes of the whole Kerry farming culture and not as a completely unique individual with unique problems.
The film, however, changes the emphasis and introduces many new visual elements. Bull McCabe (passionately played by Richard Harris) must outbid a crass American (not an Englishman) for the field. The American (Tom Berenger) wants to use the limestone in the hills to create a cement factory (not to build a home for his Irish wife) and to develop the power of the nearby waterfall for a hydroelectric plant. Widow Maggie Butler (Frances Tomelty) is selling the land because she is tired of being harrassed by Bull's son Tadgh (Sean Bean) and his friends (a new subplot). Bird O'Donnell, a nearly toothless and somewhat daft stereotype (John Hurt) is a gawping comic foil for the passion of McCabe here.
Traditional, folksy dances and community activities, the developing love story of Tadgh and a gypsy girl, the close friendship between the American buyer and the pompous local priest (Sean McGinley), the death of McCabe's other son many years before, and the involvement of McCabe's wife in the film's resolution are new, visual plot elements, and the ending is totally different, both in the way the action is "resolved" and in its thematic message.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, one of Harris's best performance 22 Oct 2005
By A Customer
Originally cast as a minor role (the priest), Richard Harris met director Jim Sheridan for dinner. At dinner Harris gradually resorted to the character of the Bull McCabe. By the end of the meal Harris had the lead part. During a lull in Harris's career, this film revived it. Harris received an Oscar and Golden Globe nomination, and secured his place as one of the great actors of all time. An extremely rich, powerful and ponient film with many layers, it is one of my favourite films. A film rich in scenery and devoid of any Hollywood glam dust. I suggest everyone to watch this movie.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Harris on form. 20 Feb 2001
This is the perfect film for any fans of Richard "The Holy Terror" Harris outside of his "Man called horse" films, or even (gasp) "Orca, killer whale." The plot centres around an Irish community around the turn of the century-ish (20th) in which Bull, played by Harris with an almost tangible impression onto the audience, wants to buy the field that he has been renting for the past years. However, a wealthy American also has plans for the field, which Bull must keep at all costs. A portrait of the place as much as the man this is a film that benefits greatly from good photography and style as well as demanding the best from actors such as Harris, Sean Bean, Tom Berenger and also John Hurt. Harris' character is portrayed as a domineering bully but one who also has his own demons to confront and the film as a whole provides a refreshing change from modern film, not only in it's absense of big bangs and token "motor mouth" so called comedians but also because as a film that relies on character and plot development, it does not fall into the trap of being a "British" film, the picture of course being made during one of the great slumps in the industry. As a result, the picture simply depicts and portrays without revelling in the fact that it is a serious film for serious people, as so many recent British efforts have (e.g. secrets and lies). A real gem, particularly for Harris fans but also for those who can appreciate decent, no nonsense film making.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Let's Dance - The Bull McCabe
Excellent film, brilliantly portrayed
Published 4 days ago by steve
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great, thank you so much
Published 4 days ago by Sharon Griffiths
5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed the film immensely
The DVD arrived promptly after I made the order. I enjoyed the film immensely, portraiting old Irish history in an amusing and interesting light. Excellent film.
Published 13 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good film
Published 16 days ago by bubbs
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Classic Irish Show
Published 25 days ago by Pat Mcnamee
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible
Very bad sound quality, was very disappointed with this DVD. Had to switch it off the sound was so bad. Will be sending it back for a refund.
Published 1 month ago by Geraldine Barden
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good film
Published 1 month ago by paul
4.0 out of 5 stars The Bull
Wonderful story with quite a few famous faces, including Harris, Hurt and Bean. Apparently, Harris was given a role in this production, but was unhappy because he wanted the main... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mr. P. P. Empey
3.0 out of 5 stars the field
It arrived well packed and on time. I did enjoy the film - the sense of the time and the scenery but I had trouble with hearing what was being said in parts and also some of the... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mary
4.0 out of 5 stars A compelling story
Fascinating tale about a man who was outstanding in his field !
Seriously though it's awesome...... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Richard o'Regan
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