The Playboys

While this delightful and charming Irish comedy, set in 1957, is quite different in plot from John Ford’s The Quiet Man (1952), it frequently evokes the earlier film in its beautiful village settings, its fiercely independent heroine (Robin Wright), and its climactic slugfest between the outsider hero (Aidan Quinn) and a drunken local bully (Albert Finney); it also may come a lot closer to the reality of an Irish village. The unmarried heroine in this case causes a scandal by becoming pregnant and refusing to name the father; the hero is an actor in a traveling troupe, and the bully is a local cop. Shane Connaughton and Kerry Crabbe wrote the script, Gillies MacKinnon directed, Milo O’Shea and Alan Devlin costar, and it seems like everyone had a ball; I know I did. (JR)

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