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Ghost Canyon

'Strumpet City'
(Edward Byrne, Daphne Carroll, Frank Grimes, David Kelly, Bryan Murray, et al / 3-Disc DVD / NR / (1980) 2007 / Acorn Media)

Overview: From the drawing rooms of the bourgeoisie, where the well-to-do clung to Victorian notions of class and privilege, to the miseries of the tenements, where poor families crowded into single rooms, Dublin in the early 1900s was as combustible as bone-dry tinder. Then labor organizer and modern Irish hero Jim Larkin arrived to light the match. This acclaimed Irish drama recreates the era through a cast of unforgettable characters from every part of city life.

DVD Verdict: Brought up on a diet of the "Riordans" and "Hall Pictorial weekly", the thought of Ireland's national broadcaster producing a "Shogun"-type of mini series was something of a surprise and so many people turned in to see just what a mess RTE would make of "Strumpet City". They were in for a surprise. What a superb drama which had everything except a big budget. The best of Irish talent was there could be no complaint about the acting. David Kelly, as "Rashers", was perhaps the best of the lot but even Peter O'Toole in his short time on the screen was brilliant.

It does look somewhat dated now but at the time it was top quality and done on a very limited budget. I believe RTE had tried a similar effort on the 1916 rising earlier but no copies exist. What "Strumpet City" shows is that when RTE put their mind to it they can produce quality mini series but tend to stick with safe soap operas and quizzes.

The era is retold through a cast of unforgettable characters from every part of city life: Country-girl Mary, for whom Dublin is the land of opportunity and love. Hard-working Fitz, model of the loyal and abused trade unionist. Wretched but colorful Rashers Tierney. The cultivated, self-righteous Bradshaws. Well-meaning but misguided Father O’Connor and jaded Father Giffley, movingly portrayed by stage and screen legend Cyril Cusack. Buy this today to add to your classic DVD collections as you will not be left wondering why come the final frames! This is a Widescreen Presentation (16:9) and comes with the Special Features of:
James Plnkett Bio
Historical Background
Cast Filmographies