Playboy of the the Western World

Playboy of the Western World is based on John Millington Synge's play of the same name. Synge also wrote Riders to the Sea which Brian had directed 27 years earlier. Brian filmed the film on location at Inch Strand in County Kerry, Ireland.

A roguish stranger, Christy Mahon, comes into a County Mayo coastal village and declares that he has murdered his oppressive father, Old Mahon, by hitting him with a single blow of a spade. Impressed with his action, the locals, especially the young women, including Pegeen Mike, the publican's daughter, are attracted to him. Pegeen and the sensuous Widow Quin fall under Christy's spell andcompete for Christy's affection. Just as Christy reaches the pinnacle of his popularity, his father appears with a bandaged head. Discovering that Christy is not a murderer, the locals, especially Pegeen Mike, ridicule him. To restore his lost status, Christy strikes his father again, this time apparently killing him. Realising that Christy is now a real murderer, the locals become angry and plan to hang him. However, Old Mahon revives again, and saves his son. After a trial of strength with Christy, Old Mahon accepts Christy's superiority, and the two men depart for home, with Pegeen left behind to grieve her loss.

Starring: Siobhan McKenna, Gary Raymond, Elspeth March, Niall MacGinnis, Michael O'Brian, Liam Redmond, Brendan Cauldwell, John Welsh

Gary Redmond and Niall MacGinnis in Playboy of the Western World (1962)

BDH sits among large cast and crew for a beach scene in Playboy of the Western World (1962)

The Playboy, Christy Mahon (Gary Redmond), tries for a second time to kill his father - Photo courtesy of the BFI

Siobhan McKenna (front, second left) and Brian (seated with beret) watch a scene being filmed - Photo courtesy of the BFI


Brian strolls on the beach on set of Playboy of the Western World (1962)


Brian walks along Inch Strand, County Kerry in Ireland thinking about the next beach scene shot which featured a horse race - Photo courtesy of the BFI