Combustible Celluloid
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With: Barbara Stanwyck, Preston Foster, Barry Fitzgerald, Denis O'Dea, Eileen Crowe, F.J. McCormick, Una O'Connor, Arthur Shields, Moroni Olsen, J.M. Kerrigan, Bonita Granville, Erin O'Brien-Moore, Neil Fitzgerald, Robert Homans, Brandon Hurst
Written by: Dudley Nichols, based on a play by Sean O'Casey
Directed by: John Ford
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 72
Date: 12/26/1936

The Plough and the Stars (1936)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

A Cause with Pause

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

One of John Ford's rare misfires, The Plough and the Stars comes from a play by Sean O'Casey, about a worrying wife (Barbara Stanwyck) who frets when her husband (Preston S. Foster) joins the Irish citizen's army against the British in 1916. The movie runs only 72 minutes, and it's a tonal mess (apparently there was much fighting between Ford and the studio executives). In some cases, it's emotionally over-the-top and in other cases it goes with drunken humor. Barry Fitzgerald and Una O'Connor are among the cast.

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