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||142 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)|
Hot-headed young Joseph Donnelly (Cruise), whose family home in Ireland was burned down by the landlord's men because of unpaid rent after his father's violent death, attempts revenge on the landlord, Daniel Christie (Robert Prosky), but is discovered and injured by Daniel's daughter Shannon (Kidman). In a second attempt to kill the landlord, his rifle backfires, injuring him. Held captive while the Christies treat his wounds, Joseph tries to escape but is caught by Stephen Chase (Thomas Gibson), Daniel's arrogant manager, who had earlier burned the Donnelly house. Shannon, object of Stephen's affections, has rebelled against family tradition and made plans to claim free land in America. She offers to take Joseph with her as her "servant" so she, a single woman, can travel with the safety of a male companion without scandal. Joseph agrees, convinced he can also stake a land claim, and the pair head for the port and a ship.
On the ship, Shannon meets a seemingly kindly man named McGuire, who warns her that the free land is very far away in Oklahoma. She explains that her collection of valuable silver spoons will cover all expenses, and he offers to help her find a shop where she can sell them. Arriving in Boston, McGuire is shot in the street, and Shannon sees her spoons fall out of his clothing and get snatched up by passersby. Joseph rescues her but not the spoons. A worker of Ward Boss Mike Kelly, a leader in the Irish immigrant community, takes them to him. Kelly finds them lodging and jobs, but only one room, which they must share. To avoid scandal, Joseph says she's his sister.
Joseph and Shannon become attracted to each other, but both keep up a front of indifference. One night, after peeking at Shannon undressing, Joseph finds himself sexually frustrated and rushes out to Boss Kelly's club, where a barehanded boxing match is underway. Joseph challenges the winner, knocks him out, and soon becomes a regular boxing attraction at the club, greatly increasing his income. Meanwhile, back in Ireland, the Christie house is burned down by angry tenants in the Irish Land War, so the Christies, with Stephen, decide to emigrate to America, hoping also to find their daughter.
Seeing Joseph greatly expanding his wardrobe with his winnings, Shannon questions his sincerity about their Oklahoma land quest and confronts him. He replies angrily that he easily earns more money boxing than she could ever dream to. She retorts she could earn just as much and leaves. Later, unable to find her, Joseph is told she is at Kelly's club, where he has an important fight scheduled against an Italian immigrant. Rushing to the club, he discovers Shannon on stage as a burlesque dancer. He tries to cover her with his jacket, demanding that she stop dancing. The Irish men surrounding the couple beg him to fight and offer him a small fortune ($200). Shannon, who previously scorned boxing, urges him to fight, since the money would get them to Oklahoma. Joseph agrees and is winning until he notices one of his backers (a member of the city council) groping Shannon on his lap. Joseph pushes through the crowd to free her, but is pushed back into the ring, where his foot accidentally "toes" the line, falsely signaling he is ready to begin fighting. But he isn't ready, and the Italian lands a "sucker" punch, disorienting him, after which he's soon beaten.
In retaliation for the hundreds of dollars Joseph's boxing loss has cost Boss Kelly and his friends, Joseph and Shannon are thrown out of their room and jobs at the chicken plucking factory. Kelly issues orders to the neighborhood that nobody is to help them in any way. Their valuables having been stolen from their room by Kelly's thugs, they're left to wander the snowy streets.
Cold and famished, the pair enter a seemingly abandoned luxurious house. Joseph encourages Shannon to pretend the house is hers and he is her servant, but she begs him to pretend they are married and the house is theirs. During that tender moment, the owners of the house return and chase them away, shooting Shannon in the back. Joseph brings Shannon to the Christies, newly arrived from Ireland. He decides Shannon will be better cared for by them, and leaves despite his obvious feelings for her.
Joseph finds work laying track on a railroad, seemingly abandoning his dream of owning land, but is reminded by his father in a dream of the land. Told a wagon train he sees out the door of his boxcar is heading for the Oklahoma land rush, Joseph suddenly abandons the railroad and joins the wagons, arriving in Oklahoma Territory just in time for the Land Run of 1893.
Joseph finds Shannon, Stephen, and the Christies already in Oklahoma. Stephen, having seen Joseph talking to Shannon, warns him that he will kill him if he goes near Shannon again. Joseph buys a horse for the land rush that dies in a few hours from extreme old age and is forced to ride an unruly second one he manages to tame. On this horse he quickly outpaces everybody and catches up with Shannon and Stephen, having discovered that Stephen cheated by illegally inspecting the territory before the race and is headed for extremely desirable land he found. When Shannon falls off her horse and Joseph goes to help her, Stephen attempts to shoot him, but the prizefighter prevails.
Having found the desirable land, Joseph is ready to plant his claim flag in the ground, when Stephen rushes over and starts 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 (recalling a similar revival at the death of Joseph's 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
- Marlon Castellon as Jim Claymore
- 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 the TCM 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