Review: ‘Man of Aran’

Colman King, Maggie Dirrane, and Michael Dillane are the central characters. They are not actors, but natives of the barren, sea-beaten islands off the western coast of Ireland, where this picture takes place. They play themselves. The sea is the villain and the quest for food the plot of this peasants-among-peasants picture, which rates high artistically.

Colman King, Maggie Dirrane, and Michael Dillane are the central characters. They are not actors, but natives of the barren, sea-beaten islands off the western coast of Ireland, where this picture takes place. They play themselves. The sea is the villain and the quest for food the plot of this peasants-among-peasants picture, which rates high artistically.

Naturally the big item in such a picture is the camerawork. This is splendid. With only drab grays and speckled whites to deal with, the lens has done right by the cause of sheer beauty and rugged grandeur. The Aran natives are pictured as brave and indomitable, unembittered by the rigors of their lot.

Said to have been two years in the making, the film bespeaks a canny technique and an inspirational sympathy on the part of Flaherty and his co-workers. There is practically no dialog except short sentences of warning, advice, comment on the hazards of shark-hunting.

Man of Aran

UK

Production

Gainsborough/Gaumont-British. Director Robert Flaherty; Producer Michael Balcon; Screenplay Robert Flaherty, Frances Flaherty, John Goldman; Camera Robert Flaherty; Editor John Goldman; Music John Greenwood

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1934. Running time: 75 MIN.

With

Colman 'Tiger' King Maggie Dirrane Michael Dillane Pat Mullen
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