Cinema: Pugnacious Playwright

Young Cassidy, most of it derived from the late Sean O'Casey's multi-volume autobiography Mirror in My House, is a shrewd compromise between truth and the blander stuff that makes agreeable popular entertainment. The man himself was a crusty, anticlerical Communist, scarcely the image of a conventional movie hero, though he also happened to be one of the grandest playwrights of the 20th century. Cassidy, filmed in and around Dublin with a wholehearted feel for the gritty poetry of the slums where the author lived and worked at the time of the Troubles, cuts O'Casey down to swallowable size.

As played by Rod...

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