Review: ‘I Was Happy Here’

Sarah Miles plays a girl who escapes from an Irish village to London, believing that her fisherboy sweetheart will follow her. He doesn't and Miles, lonely and unhappy in the big city, falls into a disastrous marriage with a pompous, boorish young doctor. After a Christmas Eve row, she rushes back to the Irish village, but is disillusioned when she finds that though the village has not changed, she has.

Sarah Miles plays a girl who escapes from an Irish village to London, believing that her fisherboy sweetheart will follow her. He doesn’t and Miles, lonely and unhappy in the big city, falls into a disastrous marriage with a pompous, boorish young doctor. After a Christmas Eve row, she rushes back to the Irish village, but is disillusioned when she finds that though the village has not changed, she has.

The story is told largely in flashback but Davis has skillfully woven the girl’s thoughts and the present happenings by swift switching which, occasionally, is confusing but mostly is sharp and pertinent.

Miles gives a most convincing performance, a slick combo of wistful charm but with the femme guile never far below the surface. But Julian Glover makes heavy weather of his role as the girl’s insufferable husband.

Filmed entirely on location in County Clare, Ireland, and London, the contrast between the peaceful, lonely sea-coast village and the less peaceful but equally lonely bustling London is artfully wed.

I Was Happy Here

UK

Production

Partisan. Director Desmond Davis; Producer Roy Millichip; Screenplay Edna O'Brien, Desmond Davis; Camera Manny Wynn; Editor Brian Smedley-Aston; Music John Addison; Art Director Tony Woollard

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1966. Running time: 91 MIN.

With

Sarah Miles Cyril Cusack Julian Glover Sean Caffrey Marie Kean Cardew Robinson
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