The Plough and the Stars

The Plough and the Stars

John Ford (1936)

U Certificate


Our Score
A hopelessly inept, though well-intentioned John Ford version of the Sean O'Casey play, with the great director returning to a studio Dublin, a setting that served him so well in the masterly The Informer. Barbara Stanwyck is magnificently miscast as the loyal wife fearing for the life of her IRA husband, played by the incredibly dreary Preston Foster, and the supporting cast is so authentically Irish that the two leads seem even more at sea. That said, the appearances of performers such as Barry Fitzgerald, his real-life brother Arthur Shields and FJ McCormick go a long way. It's truly dispiriting to watch a major Irish play sink into the Hollywood mire, particularly since Ford should have known better, and the cheap production values and ill-chosen intercut newsreel clips don't help.


A man's loyalty to the Irish Citizen Army during the 1916 insurrection threaten to tear his marriage apart. John Ford's historical drama, with Barbara Stanwyck and Preston Foster.

Cast & Crew

Nora Clitheroe Barbara Stanwyck
Jack Clitheroe Preston Foster
Fluther Good Barry Fitzgerald
The Young Covey Denis O'Dea
Bessie Burgess Eileen Crowe
Capt Brennon FJ McCormick
Padraic Pearse Arthur Shields
Director John Ford
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Other Information

Language: EnglishBlack and whiteTheatrical distributor: Radio Pictures Ltd