Jimmy's Hall

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Jimmy's Hall
Jimmy's Hall poster.jpg
Film poster
Directed byKen Loach
Screenplay byPaul Laverty
Produced byRebecca O'Brien
StarringBarry Ward
Simone Kirby
Jim Norton
CinematographyRobbie Ryan
Edited byJonathan Morris
Distributed byEntertainment One
Release date
  • 22 May 2014 (2014-05-22) (Cannes)
  • 30 May 2014 (2014-05-30) (United Kingdom)
Running time
106 minutes
CountriesUnited Kingdom

Jimmy's Hall is a 2014 Irish-French-British drama film directed by Ken Loach. The film purports to tell the story of the deportation to the United States in 1933 of Irish Communist and Stalinist Jimmy Gralton, who led the Revolutionary Workers' Group, a precursor of the Irish Communist Party, in Leitrim.[2] It stars Irish actor Barry Ward, along with Simone Kirby, Jim Norton and Denise Gough. The title refers to a rural dance hall built by Gralton in his home town Effrinagh.

It was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or in the main competition section at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.[3]


In 1932, after ten years in the United States, Jimmy Gralton returns to his native Ireland to help his mother run the family farm. A new government is in power in Ireland ten years after the end of the Civil War. Jimmy, a centre for the local young people to dance, study or talk, drawing on his experience with jazz music during his exile in America. The hall becomes popular and Jimmy uses it to disseminate his Communist ideas, which arouses opposition in the local community, particularly the Church, in the form of Father Sheridan, who denounces the music and dancing at the hall as lewd and licentious.[2]

Jimmy and his mother, with whome he is living and who is also sympathetic to Communism, attempt to prevent an eviction of a family who are displaced from their home. Jimmy's activism brings him to the attention of the Gardaí. This starts a chain of events which ends in Jimmy's deported from Ireland for sedition. As he holds a US passport he is exiled to America. At a rally protesting the expulsion Jimmy's mother decries the lack of a fair trial.

Critical response[edit]

Jimmy's Hall garnered generally positive critical reception. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 76% from 103 reviews.[4] Another review aggregator, Metacritic, assigned the film a weighted average score of 63/100, based on 24 reviews from mainstream critics.[5]


In 2017, Dublin′s Abbey Theatre presented a musical adaptation of the film.[6] It returned to the Abbey in 2018 and toured nationwide.[7]


  1. ^ "Jimmy's Hall". Cannes. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  2. ^ a b Kenny, Glenn. "Jimmy's Hall movie review & film summary (2015) | Roger Ebert". www.rogerebert.com/. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  3. ^ "2014 Official Selection". Cannes. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  4. ^ "Jimmy's Hall". Rotten Tomatoes.
  5. ^ "Jimmy's Hall Reviews". metacritic.
  6. ^ ‚Jimmy’s Hall‘ review: Movement presented as political dissent, irishtimes.com, 26 July 2017
  7. ^ Jimmy's Hall Returns to the Abbey, RTE 27 July 2018

External links[edit]