The W. Scott McLucas Studio Theatre
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Adapted by Alma Reville and Alfred Hitchcock from Sean O’Casey’s play Juno and the Paycock
Starring Barry Fitzgerald, Maire O’Neill, Edward Chapman, and Sara Allgood
Thursday, April 11 at 7pm
Friday, April 12 at 8pm
This rarely-screened early Hitchcock film, his second “talkie,” is a mostly faithful adaptation of Sean O’Casey’s popular play Juno and the Paycock, including an additional scene that Alfred Hitchcock convinced O’Casey to allow him to add. The film cast features performances from several of the original Abbey Theatre cast members, including Sara Allgood as Juno Boyle.
Although the film was a hit when it premiered in 1930, this early film is generally considered a failure by film buffs due to its strict adherence to the original play, often attributed to Hitchcock’s youth and inexperience, along with O’Casey’s stubborn refusal to allow significant adaptation. However, the two men left an impression on each other and continued to meet occasionally about future projects that never materialized. Hitchcock scholars often name Sean O’Casey as the inspiration for the prophet of doom in the diner scene in The Birds (1963).
Juno and the Paycock synopsis:
Jack Boyle is out of work and determined to stay that way. He postures and drinks with his sidekick Joxer while his long-suffering wife Juno struggles to support their family and maintain their dilapidated tenement flat. Their son Johnny, crippled fighting in the revolution, cowers indoors to avoid the bitter new civil war, while his sister Mary considers her options for the future. When a handsome visitor arrives with news of an inheritance, the family begins to plan their new life, but their apparent salvation soon reveals itself to be the cause of their ruin. One of the great plays of the twentieth century, Juno and the Paycock is a devastating portrait of wasted potential in a Dublin torn apart by the chaos of the Irish Civil War.
Tickets to this screening are available now for $15 ($10 for Irish Rep Members & O’Casey Cycle Subscribers).