In honor of Saint Patrick’s Day, here’s an Irish writer in this occasional series. This time it’s Young Cassidy, the 1965 biopic of Irish playwright Sean O’Casey starring Rod Taylor, Maggie Smith, and Julie Christie.
As you can see from the poster, the movie doesn’t emphasize his writing. OK, it doesn’t mention it at all. But boy, do we get an idea of what his soaring male senses are up to.The writing does show up in the actual movie, of course. But they aren’t able to do much with it. We just get a peek at him now and then staring with grim determination at a blank sheet of paper or a typewriter, in between his brawls and his romances. (The young, gorgeous Julie Christie only has a few couple of scenes, but she makes, um, quite an impression.)
The movie really isn’t very good — and it was a flop at the box office. Mostly it’s just a bunch of more or less disconnected episodes from O’Casey’s autobiography, never building to much of anything. But we do see Rod Taylor betraying his best friend by making him a character in The Plough and the Stars — that’s a nice writerly touch. And (spoiler alert) the ever-faithful Maggie Smith finally dumps him, realizing she isn’t cut out to be the wife of a famous writer. Another nice touch.
Anyway, if you want to experience more of Rod Taylor’s soaring male senses, here is the the trailer (assuming I can get the embedding to work):