John Ford’s deep and varied representation of Irish-Americans and THE LAST HURRAH

By October 7, 2019Uncategorized

Portland son (technically, Cape Elizabeth son) John Feeney, who we know as John Ford, is known for his Western films, but the films exploring his Irish and Irish-American heritage — THE QUIET MAN (1952), THE INFORMER (1935), THE SHAMROCK HANDICAP (1926) and others — are deep and varied in subject, source and mood. It was not so long ago the Irish in America were looked down upon, marginalized immigrants with questionable loyalties, not assimilated US citizens. The Maine KKK of the 1920s grew in response to the “invasion” (to use a contemporary word describing refugees) of Irish Catholic immigrants. Massachusetts’ Yankee Protestants resisted sharing power and status with Irish-Americans. Spencer Tracy’s Frank Skeffington, based on Boston mayor and Massachusetts governor James Michael Curly, is the son of immigrants who uses politics and associated power to rise from poverty. Of course, even as Tracy’s Skeffington is a sympathetic character, power corrupts. Kinonik co-sponsors this screening with the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization. Unlike our other screenings this film will be shown as a digital projection. 10/7 at 7 PM at St. Lawrence Arts.

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