Flight of the Doves

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Flight of the Doves
Flight of the Doves Movie Poster 1971 LowRes.jpg
Directed byRalph Nelson
Produced by
Written by
Music byRoy Budd
CinematographyHarry Waxman
Edited byJohn Jympson
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
Running time
101 minutes

Flight of the Doves is a 1971 British film based on the novel by Irish writer Walter Macken, the film was written by Frank Gabrielson and Ralph Nelson. Nelson also directed the film.


Two Liverpool children (Londoners in the original book) set out in search of love after many years of receiving abuse from their Uncle Tobias Cromwell (Uncle Toby - His surname in the book is Morgan). Cromwell is not a blood relation to the Dove children; their mother had married Cromwell after their birth, and he was granted custody after her death. Finn Dove and his sister Derval are tired of their stepfather's constant abuse and neglect and they decide to run away to County Galway, Ireland, where Finn and Derval's Grandmother lives. They hope when they reach their Granny O'Flaherty. But the story has a twist- the children are heirs to their grandfather's estate and stand to inherit a large fortune, around $10,000 each, upon his death but if the children are either dead or missing the money would go to their uncle- "Hawk" Dove (the original character in the movie), an unsuccessful actor known for his temper and for the fact that he will do just about anything to get what he wants. When Hawk discovers their fortune he sets out on a journey to make sure the Dove children are never seen again. The Dove children's journey across Ireland isn't easy, as soon after, they are discovered missing, and their stepfather had been informed of the inheritance (by Hawk Dove disguised as a lawyer - the alias for the disguise, Maxwell Purdon, is also the name of Uncle Toby's boss from the original novel). Toby decides to bring in the police, soon they have the police, their Uncle Hawk and Uncle Toby close on their trail. The chase takes them to a holiday parade, a synagogue, Dublin's Ha'penny Bridge, a tinkers' encampment, and other places.



The film was scored by Roy Budd who had made his film soundtrack debut in Ralph Nelson's previous film Soldier Blue. His score contains two songs- You Don't Have to be Irish to be Irish, which is sung as the St Patrick's Day Parade song, and The Far Off Place which is sung by Dana who plays the role of Sheila, a tinker, the song is half in (Irish) and half in English, the songs talks about dreams and reaching your goals and finally seeing "the far off place"

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