5.7/10
181
5 user 3 critic

Fools of Fortune (1990)

A Protestant Irish family is caught up in a conflict between Irish Republicans and the British army.

Director:

Pat O'Connor

Writers:

Michael Hirst, William Trevor (novel)
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2 wins. See more awards »

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Stars: Colin Firth, Kenneth Branagh, John Atkinsons
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Iain Glen ... Willie Quinton
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio ... Marianne
Sean T. McClory Sean T. McClory ... Young Willie Quinton
Frankie McCafferty ... Tim Paddy
Niamh Cusack ... Josephine
Ronnie Masterson Ronnie Masterson ... Mrs. Flynn
Tom Hickey Tom Hickey ... Father Kilgarrif
Julie Christie ... Mrs. Quinton
Amy-Joyce Hastings ... Geraldine Quinton (as Amy Hastings)
Hazel Flanagan Hazel Flanagan ... Deirdre Quinton
Michael Kitchen ... Mr. Quinton
Mick Lally Mick Lally ... Mr. Derenzy
John Kavanagh ... Johnny Lacy
P.G. Brady P.G. Brady ... Thin Man
Jimmy Keogh Jimmy Keogh ... O'Neill
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Storyline

This an intensely moving story of young love set in 1918 rural Ireland. We see how three generations of the same family are shattered by the Anglo-Irish conflict. 'Fools of Fortune' takes place on the huge estate of the Quintons. Sheltered from the economic and political travails all around them, they are shocked into the real world when one of their workers is ritualistically murdered. Previously noncommittal, the family is thrust into the middle of the struggle. After a deadly confrontation in which most of his loved ones are killed, young Willie vows revenge and embarks on a journey of political intrigue, love and self exile. Written by iainglen.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 June 1990 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A sors fogságában See more »

Filming Locations:

Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£2,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$80,490
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie inspired German electronic musician Klaus Schulze to compose his electronic symphony "Narren des Schicksals", featured in the box-set SILVER EDITION (1993). See more »

Quotes

Willie Quinton: It hasn't always been easy to be an Irishman in Ireland.
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Soundtracks

Church Music, No. 1-2
(uncredited)
Music by Walter Warren
De Wolfe Music Ltd
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User Reviews

 
Very serious, political drama, slick but realistic:great Christie!
17 October 2013 | by Alexander-RossSee all my reviews

Another underrated, little masterpiece, or, at least, gem, if you would, from a great, and, then, even young, and, hip, greatly promising new International auteur, Pat O'Connor, this "Fools for Fortune" (misleading title, perhaps!) is one one of those great movies, made with rather substantial budgets, and, on gorgeous sets and locations, with attention to details, and, featuring an exceptional, and, greatly affecting (real) story, narrated with a crisp, and very personal, emotional, rather visionary stylistic eye, from its great director, failed at the time to receive adequate attention or any particular success, especially in the US! And, this again, also despite featuring great performances, from the 3 main leads, in order of their importance to this story, a great Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (gorgeous, and, actually very believable, in a role, not exactly so suitable to her original background, and, who was also at the peak of her film's career, back then!), and, the always commanding , and, then also very hot Iain Glen, in one of his few main leading man's roles, and, also, last, but, certainly not least, even showcasing a real treat, offering, that is, an always formidable appearance, from an International, magnetic star, and, a true timeless icon, such as, the great Julie Christie! Yes, the movie may be harsh, melancholic, unforgiving, at times, even difficult to digest, since there's throughout a very heavy sense of grief, and decadence: the often affecting path of a solid family told in retrospective, like almost slowly, and painfully meditating over its ruins, its failed potentials, all doomed by causes that are external, and, not controllable by any of the members, even though, perhaps, at the very end, a new beginning, brought by a necessary new vision, and, wisdom, could finally bring some light, after all the darkness of those many years spent almost like struggling with a never ending, impossible "wall", and with its unfair politics, that are always way too big, than anything or anyone else involved with it! Nonetheless, this family, also because of their culture, and, sensibility, would always manage to keep its chin up, in fact, their integrity is, at the very end, what, of course, matters the most to the accomplishment of this great, and, at the same time, subtle, realistic period drama! So, that is also why, even though this was shot with a great style, and, certainly a solid budget, and, with always exceptional, technical contributes, including an impressive wide screen Panavision lensing, it still may not be one of those films, suitable for all audiences. Nor it wanted to be, i don't believe! It is rather one of those director's movies, made at a time, when a celebrated auteur had still rights to express his vision, and, even when depicting a quite larger scale type of family's saga! I won't even bother to describe the rather insightful, always heartfelt narration, and, its piercing story, because i feel it should be just watched, instead, and, understood, and, powerfully felt under your skin, since this is not Cinema of appearances, of surfaces, but, rather, a potent meditation over how political events, and, grief can affect the faith of a very wealthy, and, once happier, but blind folded family, and, on how the roots of madness (in the Julie Christie's character, here again, extremely potent) can predict disaster. Despite its perfect period reconstruction, its glossy cinematography, and, even a little too Hollywood alike music score, this movie still keeps its momentum intact, and, doesn't age, or loose any power, when seen almost 24 years later, after its original opening! It is for me completely passing the rather strict test of time! It was a powerful, and unique, large scale personal movie then, as much as it is now, still, but, it sadly reminds us all, beside its affecting, deeply tragic story, also, another upsetting dynamic: how, sometime, even in major International celebrated Cinema, great directors, like the Irish Pat O'Connor ( "Cal", made in 1981, with Helen Mirren, was also rather exceptional, revealing, and, for all the right reasons, its author, as one of the most interesting, and, upcoming, notable directors of his generation, while causing almost a stir, at the Cannes Film Festival of the same year, however, O'Connor hasn't been working in the right direction, or as steady, in way too many years, now!), or even how, exceptionally gifted actors like the gorgeous Mastrantonio, and the penetrating Iain Glein, with his strong, ambiguous glare, sadly have been almost forgotten in more recent years, or not used in films, as much as they could have, and should have been, instead! Thankfully, at least, the exceptional presence of Julie Christie still contributes today with her highly respected, well known name, and, always more rare, everlasting beauty, fame, and, intense acting, of course, one of the most recognizable, and solid assets, of this rather important, and prominent production, hopefully granting to the film, more visibility, at least, on cable and TV re-runs!


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