Girl with Green Eyes

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Girl with Green Eyes
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDesmond Davis
Produced byOscar Lewenstein
Written byEdna O'Brien
StarringPeter Finch
Rita Tushingham
Lynn Redgrave
Marie Kean
Arthur O'Sullivan
Julian Glover
Music byJohn Addison
CinematographyManny Wynn
Edited byBrian Smedley-Aston
Distributed byUnited Artists Corporation (UK)
Lopert Pictures Corporation (US)
Release date
  • 14 May 1964 (1964-05-14) (London, UK)

  • 10 August 1964 (1964-08-10) (New York, US)
Running time
91 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

Girl with Green Eyes is a 1964 British drama film, which Edna O'Brien adapted from her own novel, The Lonely Girl. It tells the story of a young, naive country girl's romance with a sophisticated older man. Directed by Desmond Davis, the film stars Peter Finch, Rita Tushingham, Lynn Redgrave and Julian Glover.


Kate Brady (Rita Tushingham), a young girl just out of convent school, moves from her family home in the rural Irish countryside to Dublin, where she works in a grocery shop and rooms with her friend and schoolmate Baba Brennan (Lynn Redgrave). The girls go dancing at clubs and date young men they meet, but the down-to-earth Baba is more socially adept than shy, romantic Kate. On a ride to the countryside with one of Baba's boyfriends, the girls meet Eugene Gaillard (Peter Finch), a sophisticated middle-aged author. Kate is attracted to him, and when she happens to see him again in a Dublin bookshop, uncharacteristically approaches him and strikes up a conversation. A friendship, and later a romantic relationship, develops between Kate and Eugene despite their age difference, her reluctance and inability to have sex with Eugene, and her discovery that he is married with a child, although separated from his wife who has gone to the United States to obtain a divorce.

When Kate's father learns that his daughter is seeing a married man and thus committing the mortal sin of adultery, he and his friends go to Dublin and force Kate to return to his rural home, but she runs away and returns to Eugene. Kate's father and his friends threaten Eugene at his home, but are driven off by his no-nonsense housekeeper, Josie, who shoots at them and scares them away. Kate and Eugene then finally succeed in consummating their relationship and live together for a time.

Eventually, Kate becomes unhappy as Eugene does not share her Catholic religious beliefs, his friends do not regard Kate seriously, and he continues to correspond with his estranged wife, for whom he still has some feelings. Kate finally leaves Eugene and returns to Baba, who is packing to move to London and invites Kate to come along. Kate hopes that Eugene will come after her and ask her to return to him, but instead he sends word through Baba that their breakup is probably for the best. Sadly, Kate departs for London with Baba, where she gets over her heartbreak and meets "different people, different men".


Critical reception[edit]

In The New York Times, Bosley Crowther wrote, "Girl With Green Eyes is another of those remarkably fresh and natural films that have come from the Woodfall organisation, which is sparked by protean Tony Richardson and which has given us such a dazzling range of pictures as A Taste of Honey, Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner and Tom Jones. While it is not as ambitious or extensive as any of those, it is a wonderfully tender, touching and humorous little drama of a lonely Irish girl."[2] and similarly, Variety wrote that the film "has the smell of success," and that director "Davis is imaginative, prepared to take chances and has the sympathy to draw perceptive performances from his cast."[3]


  1. ^ Alexander Walker, Hollywood, England, Stein and Day, 1974 p261
  2. ^ "Screen: 'Girl With Green Eyes' Arrives". 11 August 1964 – via
  3. ^ Staff, Variety (1 January 1964). "Girl with Green Eyes".

External links[edit]