Eat the Peach

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Eat the Peach
Directed by Peter Ormrod
Written by Peter Ormrod, John Kelleher
Starring Stephen Brennan, Eamon Morissey, Catherine Byrne, Niall Toibin, Bernadette O'Neill
Country Ireland
United Kingdom
Language English

Eat the Peach is a 1986 British-Irish comedy film, directed by Peter Ormrod. The title derives from the T.S.Eliot poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. It was written by Peter Ormrod with John Kelleher. It is a film about eccentricity and companionship and was part financed by Channel Four.


The story takes place in an Irish village a few miles from the border with Northern Ireland. When the local Japanese owned computer factory closes, the principal employer in the area seems to become the mob that runs the smuggling. One day, Vinnie, (Stephen Brennan), one of the men thrown out of work, and his brother-in-law, Arthur, (Eamon Morissey), happen to see a videotape of the 1964 Elvis Presley film Roustabout, in the village bar. They see a cyclist in the film ride in a carnival Wall of Death - a high walled barrel-like tank where centrifugal force keeps the rider up in the air circling. Straight away Vinnie makes diagrams, and measures - and clears a patch of land near his house. His wife, Nora (Catherine Byrne - Alice More in the series The Tudors), protests and goes back to her mother with their little girl, Vicky. It's a new kitchen she wants, not a Wall of Death. The men however, continue with the work and sinking tree posts into the ground and putting up a huge cylindrical construction. They become energetic and resourceful. Vinnie believes his Wall of Death will be a source of income - that people will buy tickets to stand on a gallery around the top of the rink and watch him and Arthur give their daring performances. Nora returns.

The film is based on actual events: a true story of two brothers-in-law Connie Kiernan and Michael Donoghue living in Granard, County Longford (Ireland). They build a wall of death in their back garden for fun. The director, Peter Ormrod, had seen a huge, wooden tank just off the road when he was looking for items for Irish television.

Critical reception[edit]

The film was reviewed favourably by the eminent critic Pauline Kael in her collection Hooked. "This film has wonderful uninsistent images. It's poverty-row film making, and often the shots don't match. But it's the kind of movie in which you rather enjoy the shots' not matching. It draws you into the moviemaking process; the informality is likable. After little Vicky has watched her father flying around the tank (he loves it, he's completely happy), she too, becomes obsessed, and there's a shot of her, her face as determined as his, as she rides her tricycle along the Wall, trying to climb it. She wakes up one night hearing the crackling sound of burning wood; she rushes out the front door and sees her parents and her Uncle Arthur watching a fire, and she stares at the spectacle without a sound, the flames lighting her awed, startled face. For an instant, with her hair streaming back from her head, she's the soul of Ireland, the way Sara Allgood was when she played in Juno and the Paycock."[1]


Eat The Peach was filmed on location in The Bog Of Allen, County Kildare and in Counties Dublin, Meath and Wicklow, Ireland. The site in Dublin was at Newcastle, County Dublin. Motorcycle stunts were performed by riders from Messhams Wall Of Death.[2]


The music was written by Donal Lunny and centres around the song co-written with Paul Brady - "Eat The Peach" from his solo album Primitive Dance. Paul Brady performs the song as the credits roll. The soundtrack also includes uilleann pipes throughout the film. This was almost certainly provided by Davey Spillane, who played on the album track, although the mix is not the same as the album track.


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