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Blarney (1938)

October 1, 2021 @ 12:00 am - October 7, 2021 @ 11:59 pm


Presented by The IFI.

The IFI presents BLARNEY (1938) an archival gem, recently restored by the IFI Irish Film Archive.

This early Irish satire, (released in the US as Ireland’s Border Line) finds comedy in the peculiar effects of the partitioning of Ireland on those who live close to the Irish Border.

Shot on location in the fishing villages of Carlingford and Greenore, Blarney features well-loved comedian Jimmy O’Dea in the role of Billy Brannigan, an out-of-work mechanic turned cough-medicine salesman who plies his trade along the borders of Armagh and Louth. He runs into trouble when he crosses paths with a pair of jewel thieves and switches his suitcase for theirs.

High jinks ensue as Billy tries to evade the thieves and cross-border rivalry brews between a southern Garda (Noel Purcell) and a Northern RUC man for the affections of a local girl. On the centenary of the enactment of partition in May 1921, contemporary audiences may be surprised by the film’s naïvete as it optimistically declares that “Love defies not only bars and bolts but borders as well”

We invite viewers to consider the value of such artefacts and ask whether they reflect prevailing political beliefs or whether they are simply the whimsical production of a creative mind. Blarney has been restored by the IFI Irish Film Archive with support from The Media sub-programme of Creative Europe.

This can be viewed on IFI Player from 1st – 7th October.


October 1, 2021 @ 12:00 am
October 7, 2021 @ 11:59 pm
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