Far and Away
|Far and Away|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Ron Howard|
|Produced by||Ron Howard
|Screenplay by||Bob Dolman|
|Story by||Ron Howard
|Music by||John Williams|
|Editing by||Daniel P. Hanley
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Release dates||May 22, 1992|
|Running time||176 minutes|
Far and Away is a 1992 adventure-drama-romance film directed by Ron Howard from a script by Howard and Bob Dolman, and stars Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. Cinematography by Mikael Salomon, with a music score by John Williams. It was screened out of competition at the 1992 Cannes Film Festival.
The film was advertised as being the first movie to be filmed in 70mm since David Lean's 1970 film Ryan's Daughter, although the film was not shot entirely in 70mm; that distinction would go to Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet.
This was Cyril Cusack's final acting role before his death the following year.
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (November 2013)|
Joseph Donnelly (Cruise), a hot-headed young man whose family home in County Galway was burned after his father's violent death, decides to take revenge on the "high-handed" Protestant landlord, Daniel Christie (Robert Prosky). In his attempt to kill him however, he is discovered by Daniel's daughter, Shannon Christie (Kidman) and is injured by her when he tries to escape. While injured he continues his plans to kill his landlord, but his rifle backfires due to rust. Held captive while they treat his wounds, Joseph tries to escape the house and is caught by Stephen Chase (Thomas Gibson), Daniel's arrogant manager, who had earlier burned the Donnelly house. Joseph spits on Stephen in anger and, disgraced, Stephen challenges Joseph to a duel of pistols at dawn. Meanwhile, Shannon, also Stephen's love interest, is growing dissatisfied with the traditional views of her parents' generation and longs to be modern, even going as far as to intentionally disgust her mother and their friends by playing American music on the piano. She makes plans to leave for America to claim land that's being given away for free. Joseph, though initially refusing to flee with her, is able to escape with her help. Shannon pays for Joseph's passage and he pretends to be her servant. This way, a single young woman is able to travel without question, and Joseph, now aware of the reality of the free land, can reach America to claim land. Shannon meets and talks to a seemingly kindly man on the ship named Mr. McGuire about the promise of land and her money issues. He informs her that to claim the free land, she must travel to Oklahoma and race for it along with others. Concerned with the expense of travel, she explains to him that she has no money, only expensive silver spoons. He tells her he will help her find a shop where she can sell her silver.
Upon arriving in Boston, McGuire steals her spoons and is shot by men who seem to have had previous trouble with him. The spoons are scattered in the street and stolen by passersby. Calling for help, Shannon is rescued by Joseph, who manages to save her bag and get her out of the streets. Taking charge of their situation, Joseph is led to the community of Irish living in the area and speaks to the man in charge, Ward Boss Mike Kelly. Through him, they find a room to live in and jobs in a chicken processing plant. Due to Shannon's wealthy background, which is hated by the lower class Irish they find themselves surrounded by, Joseph lies and tells everyone that she is in fact his sister, to save her from being exiled or hurt. Time passes and it becomes obvious that Joseph and Shannon have become attracted to each other, but both keep up a front of hostility. One night, after peeking at Shannon undress, Joseph finds himself sexually frustrated and rushes out and joins in a barehanded boxing match. Winning the match provides Joseph with newfound wealth and he becomes somewhat of a local celebrity. Meanwhile back in Ireland, the Christie house is burned down by angry tenants, so the Christies, with Stephen, decide to go to America to find their daughter.
Temporarily, Joseph seems to forget his goals of obtaining land and spends his money on suits and hats, in a thinly veiled attempt to impress Shannon. Shannon however, continues her work at the plant and mocks Joseph's prized hats. At one point, the pair have a spat and it becomes obvious that Joseph is upset that he's not managed to gain Shannon's approval or admiration. Shannon begins to question Joseph about his plans to acquire land and his lack of money the night before the largest fight of his career. He replies angrily that he easily earns money and will continue to do so. He spitefully tells her that he earns more money than she could ever dream to. She retorts she could earn just as much and disappears into their room. Later, right before the big fight, Joseph searches for Shannon, but is unable to find her. He's directed to his fight, told by others that she is there. Rushing to the site, he discovers she has become a burlesque dancer at the social club to earn more money. He attempts to ignore the men pushing him towards the ring and covers Shannon with his jacket, demanding that she stop dancing. Before he can finish with her, the men around plead with him to fight. The Irish men backing Joseph offer him a small fortune ($200) for this one last, great fight. Shannon, who previously scorned boxing, urges him to do it, since it would be enough money for them to leave and fulfill their wish of traveling to get land. Joseph agrees and begins to fight a large Italian fighter. All goes well until Joseph witnesses one of his backers (a member of the city council) forcing Shannon into his lap and groping her. Completely forgetting the fight, Joseph pushes his way through the crowd to free her. As he is pushed back into the ring his foot crosses the line, signaling he is ready to begin fighting, the Italian then beats Joseph. Because Joseph lost the fight he is then thrown out of the club. Joseph wakes up in an alley and sees Stephen Chase asking drunkards if they've seen Shannon. Joseph runs to his room to find the backers searching the room for any money he and Shannon had saved. They take the money and throw Joseph and Shannon out into the snow covered street, then tell the owner of the "whorehouse" that if she let them stay even one night, it will be shut down.
Cold and famished, they become desperate enough to enter a seemingly abandoned house of luxury. Joseph shows signs of sadness at the sight of their rich surroundings, knowing Shannon has suffered and deserves a better life. He encourages her to pretend the house is hers and offers to serve her. She's moved, but begs him to join her instead, and pretend with her, that they are married and the house is theirs. During the tender moment, they declare that they 'pretend' to love each other and kiss. At that moment the owners of the house return and chase them away from the property, shooting Shannon in the back in the process. Joseph brings Shannon to the Christies for help. Stephen scolds him for the state Shannon is in and ridicules him for thinking he could climb to her station and be with her. Deciding Shannon will be better cared for with her family and wealth, Joseph leaves Shannon despite his obvious feelings for her.
He heads west to work on the Transcontinental Railroad, seemingly abandoning his dream of owning land. After many months, Joseph is confronted one day by his father in a dream, and is reminded of his desire to own land. Joseph decides to join the wagon trains and arrives in Oklahoma Territory just in time for the Land Run of 1893, which will enable him to finally reach his goal. Shannon, now healthy and obviously well taken care of, is also there. Upon talking to her, he discovers she arrived on train, riding the very rails he built. She offers him luck and they part. Stephen, who witnesses the exchange, warns Joseph he will kill him if he goes near Shannon. Arriving late to the event, Joseph is forced to choose between two horses: the unruly stallion and the broken but slow horse. He chooses the broken horse, but it falls over and dies of old age later that night; he then is forced to ride the unruly horse. The day of the Run, as Joseph struggles to stay on his horse and is ridiculed by Stephen, Shannon gives him some advice, quickly ushered away by an unhappy Stephen. Joseph, frustrated that the horse won't listen, punches it and is able to ride it. During the race, Joseph chases after Shannon and Stephen, knowing that Stephen has broken the law and has already found a very rich spot of land to claim. While trying to get down a hill Shannon falls off her horse and Joseph rushes to her aid. Angered by this, Stephen races back towards them, instead of his goal, the land, and attempts to shoot him. They have a brief fight but Joseph manages to knock the gun from him and throw him from his horse. Shannon encourages Joseph to continue the race. As Joseph is ready to plant his flag into the ground, he hesitates despite Shannon's encouragements. Stephen rushes over and they have another fight in which Joseph falls to the ground and is crushed by a horse. Shannon rushes to his side and finally rejects Stephen when he questions her actions. Stephen leaves and Shannon is left to try to keep Joseph alive. Joseph finally confesses that he loves her, and without her, the land that was so important to him means nothing. He seems to die, and Shannon mourns, crying over his body. She tells him that she had always loved him, from the first moment she saw him. This suddenly revives him, similar to an earlier scene involving his father. They happily drive their flag into the ground and claim their prized land together.
- Tom Cruise as Joseph Donnelly
- Nicole Kidman as Shannon Christie
- Thomas Gibson as Stephen Chase
- Robert Prosky as Daniel Christie
- Barbara Babcock as Nora Christie
- Cyril Cusack as Danty Duff
- Eileen Pollock as Molly Kay
- Colm Meaney as Kelly
- Douglas Gillison as Dermody
- Michelle Johnson as Grace
- Clint Howard as Flynn
- Rance Howard as Tomlin
- Niall Tóibín as Joseph Donnelly's father
- Allan Stapleton as Child running in background
|Far and Away|
|Film score by John Williams|
|Released||26 May 1992|
The music to Far and Away was composed and conducted by legendary composer John Williams. The score, a mixture of traditional Irish instrumentation and conventional orchestra, prominently featured performances by the Irish musical group The Chieftains and a revision of the song "Book of Days" composed and performed by Enya. The soundtrack was released 26 May 1992 through MCA Records and features 19 tracks of music at a running time just over sixty-seven minutes.
- "County Galway, June 1892" (1:55)
- "The Fighting Donellys" (2:18) – featured performance by The Chieftains
- "Joe Sr.'s Passing/The Duel Scene" (4:41)
- "Leaving Home" (1:55)
- "Burning the Manor House" (2:43)
- "Blowing Off Steam" (1:31)
- "Fighting for Dough" (2:02) – featured performance by The Chieftains
- "Am I Beautiful?" (3:38)
- "The Big Match" (5:56)
- "Inside the Mansion" (4:24)
- "Shannon is Shot" (4:06)
- "Joseph's Dream" (3:08)
- "The Reunion" (3:50)
- "Oklahoma Territory" (2:12)
- "The Land Race" (4:56)
- "Settling with Steven/The Race to the River" (4:08)
- "Joseph and Shannon" (3:14)
- "Book of Days" (2:53) – composed and performed by Enya
- "End Credits" (6:35) – featured performance by The Chieftains
The film received mixed reviews from critics. The movie, which cost $60 million to make, earned roughly $13 million on its first weekend and made a total of $58 million domestically (it also fared solidly abroad, with almost $79 million) and $137 million worldwide. The film altogether made $166,694,840 from worldwide and home video rentals. Far and Away currently holds a 50% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 24 reviews. The film was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Original Song for the song Book of Days.
The film is rated M in Australia, however the rating was later changed to PG in New Zealand.
- Christon, Lawrence (1992-05-17). "Epic Picture, Epic Dreams : Ron Howard & Co. go all-out in making 'Far and Away,' a $60-million historical romance, and then marketing it against action sequels". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-08.
- "Festival de Cannes: Far and Away". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-08-17.
- Galbraith, Jane (1992-06-14). "A look inside Hollywood and the movies. : LEGAL DEPT. : Lawsuit, Lawsuit on the Range". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-08.
- Gerosa, Melina (1992-05-22). "Irish Risky". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2010-12-08.
- Filmtracks review
- Far and Away soundtrack review at Filmtracks.com. Retrieved 2011-03-20.
- McCarthy, Todd (1992-05-10). "Far and Away". Variety. Retrieved 2010-12-08.
- "Far and Away". Washington Post. 1992-05-22. Retrieved 2010-12-08.
- "Far and Away". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved 2010-12-08.
- "Far and Away". Entertainment Weekly. 2007-07-26. Retrieved 2010-12-08.
- Fox, David J. (1992-06-01). "'Lethal Weapon,' 'Sister Act' Pack a Sales Punch : Box office: The two films dominate weekend ticket action. But 'Far and Away,' starring Tom Cruise, lags behind.". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-01-12.
- Fox, David J. (1992-05-19). "'Lethal Weapon 3' Destroying Records". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-08.
- Far and Away (1992) - Box office / business
- Far and Away at the Internet Movie Database
- Far and Away at TomCruise.com
- Far and Away at allmovie
- Far and Away at Box Office Mojo
- Far and Away at Rotten Tomatoes