Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Juno And The Paycock (1930)


Beefing on Hitchcock
Juno And The Paycock

Okay, I will get straight to the point and just say that there is no way I will be posting a summary of the story here. For an accurate and extensive summary, feel free to use the Wikipedia link below. My reason for this is simple: There was just too much going on in this movie to easily summarize.

Juno And The Paycock was a popular Irish stage play by writer Sean O'Casey. It surrounded an Irish family and their individual struggles. The mother simply trying to make ends meet, while her husband is a useless drunk. The son finds involvement in both sides of the Irish Civil War, and the daughter courts two lovers and becomes pregnant from one.

Well hey, I suppose I was able to quickly summarize. Either way, at times there seemed to be too much going on to properly work as a movie. Perhaps because of its being written for stage, there were so many stories going on (at least one per character) that it felt too crowded for film. From what I've heard in interviews, Hitchcock felt about the same way as time went on, but these were the early years of sound film and there was much to learn.

I suppose if I was more well-versed on Irish culture and dialect, I might have enjoyed the movie and the story a bit more... That's not to say I didn't enjoy it though. I found it quite entertaining once I had read the summary so I could understand just what was happening on screen.

What you basically end up watching is an Irish stage play made into an Irish film, with Irish actors using Irish terms about Irish topics. This is a piece of Ireland captured on film, and for that alone it should be held in high regard... but it wouldn't appeal all too well to a broader audience, and that's one thing I think Hitchcock tried to avoid as his career moved on.

If I ever find a better transfer of Juno And The Paycock, I'll probably be adding it to my collection (replacing my horrible copy), but I still don't see myself watching it often.