Far and Away
|Far and Away|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Ron Howard|
|Screenplay by||Bob Dolman|
|Music by||John Williams|
Daniel P. Hanley|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Box office||$137.8 million|
Far and Away is a 1992 American epic romantic adventure drama film directed by Ron Howard from a script by Howard and Bob Dolman. It stars Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. This was the last cinematography credit for Mikael Salomon before he moved onto a directing career, and the music score was done by John Williams. It was screened out of competition at the 1992 Cannes Film Festival.
This was Cyril Cusack's final film before his death the following year.
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In Ireland in 1892, Joseph Donnelly's family home is burned down by his landlord's men because of unpaid rent. Joseph's father just died and made a promise to his father that he will run his own land someday. Joseph unsuccessfully attempts to kill the landlord, Mr. Christie. Instead Joseph injures himself, and Mrs. Christie and their daughter Shannon nurse him back to health with the intent of hanging him. Joseph meets Shannon, who rebels against family tradition and plans to run away from home, board a ship, and claim free land in America. She offers to take Joseph with her as her servant so she, a single woman, can travel without scandal. Joseph doesn't believe her and refuses to travel with Shannon.
Joseph plans to duel Christie's foreman, Stephen Chase-- he is the man who set fire to the Donnelly family home. Christie meets Joseph before the duel, and tells him that he had nothing do with Joseph's family's eviction or that of any of the other tenant farmers, since the land is managed by Chase. The duel begins, and Chase is very close to shooting Joseph, but Shannon dashes in with her horse and buggy, rescuing Joseph at the last moment.
Together on a ship bound for America, Shannon meets Mr. McGuire, who tells her and Joseph about America's arable free land in Oklahoma, informing them that once they get to America, they must head out by train to Oklahoma and race everyone else for a claim to stake. Shannon divulges that her collection of valuable silver spoons will cover all expenses to get the pair to Oklahoma, and McGuire offers to help her find a shop to sell them to once they arrive in America.
On arriving in Boston, McGuire is shot, and Shannon's spoons fall out of his clothing and get snatched up by passersby. Joseph rescues her, but not the spoons. Soon the two immigrants are introduced to Mike Kelly, a Boston ward boss, and an Irish-American himself. Kelly finds Joseph and Shannon jobs, and a room to rent in a brothel, which they must share. To avoid scandal, Joseph says Shannon is his sister. Because they are working-class people, it would be dangerous for their fellow Irish immigrants to find out about her privileged background.
As the pair continues to share a room, Joseph and Shannon become attracted to each other, but both keep up a front of indifference. One night, Joseph rushes out to Boss Kelly's club, where a bare-knuckle boxing match is underway. Joseph challenges the winner, knocks him out, and soon becomes a regular at the club to make extra cash while both he and Shannon work in a chicken-plucking plant.
Back in Ireland, the Christies' house is burned down by angry tenants in the Irish Land War, so the Christies decide to emigrate to America, hoping also to find their daughter.
Meanwhile Joseph discovers that Shannon has gone to Kelly's 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, who is sitting 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, but he isn't ready and his opponent lands a sucker punch, after which Joseph is defeated.
In retaliation for the hundreds of dollars Joseph's boxing loss has cost Boss Kelly and his friends, Joseph is thrown out of Kelly's club. Joseph meets a policeman who shows him a photograph of Shannon, asking if he's seen her. Joseph returns to their room in the brothel to find Kelly and his thugs searching their room for the money he and Shannon saved. Kelly takes their money, and Joseph and Shannon are thrown out into the streets, homeless.
Cold and famished, the pair enter a seemingly abandoned and 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, who knows the Christies are looking for her in Boston, brings Shannon to the home where they're staying. He decides Shannon will be better cared for by them, and leaves, despite his obvious feelings for her.
Joseph heads west to the Ozarks. He finds work laying train track, seemingly abandoning his dream of owning land. He sees a wagon train out the door of his boxcar. Knowing it is headed for the Oklahoma land rush, Joseph abandons the railroad and joins the wagon train, arriving in Oklahoma Territory just in time for the Land Run of 1893.
Joseph finds Shannon, Chase, and the Christies already in Oklahoma. Chase, having seen Joseph talking to Shannon, threatens to kill him if he goes near Shannon again. Joseph buys a horse for the land rush, but the horse dies in a few hours, and he is forced to ride an unruly horse he manages to tame. He discovers that Chase has cheated by illegally inspecting the territory before the race, and is headed for the extremely desirable land he found. On this other horse, Joseph quickly outpaces everybody and catches up with Shannon and Chase.
Joseph is ready to plant his claim flag, but Chase rushes on horseback at Joseph. A fight breaks out, with Joseph falling and crushed by the horse. Shannon runs to his side and rejects Chase when he questions her actions. Joseph professes his love for Shannon. Joseph passed out a little and was revived. They both drive the land stake into the ground and claim their prize land before the other settlers get there.
- 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
- Rance Howard as Tomlin
- Niall Tóibín as Joseph Donnelly's father
Pre-production began in late April 1991. The film was shot in Montana for business reasons, but the Oklahoma Historical Society was involved in its production. Imagine Production Co. toured the areas around Montana for a week. They visited different areas before selecting Billings, Montana. Ron Howard, whose film Backdraft was in the stages of being released in theatres at the time, arrived in Billings to begin groundwork for the film. One site outside of town was a 12,000-acre ranch, which was going to be used to film the Oklahoma Land Rush scene. More than a hundred extras were used, as well as a dozen area actors for small speaking parts. Working titles for the film included The Irish Story and An Irish Story.
Principal photography began in Montana on May 28, 1991. After several weeks of preparation, the cast and crew filmed the Oklahoma Land Rush scene on July 7, 1991. Eight hundred riders and extras, nine hundred horses, mule, oxen, and two hundred wagons were used on a quarter mile wide set. Twelve cameras were used to film the action sequences. Cruise's boxing match was filmed at the Billings Depot. Local area residents were used as extras for the sequence. After filming wrapped in Billings, the cast and crew traveled to Dublin, Ireland, to complete filming. Ardmore Studios in Dublin was used to film interior sequences, and the streets of Boston were filmed in Dublin city. They spent two months there, and production was completed on September 26, 1991.
|Far and Away|
|Film score by John Williams|
|Released||26 May 1992|
The music to Far and Away was composed and conducted by 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. Selections from the soundtrack have been featured in the trailers for various films including Rudy (1993), Getting Even with Dad (1994), Circle of Friends (1995), Treasure Planet (2002) and Charlotte's Web (2006).
- "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
'Far and Away' is a movie that joins astonishing visual splendor with a story so simple-minded it seems intended for adolescents... It's depressing that such a lavish and expensive production, starring an important actor like Tom Cruise, could be devoted to such a shallow story.
The film was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Original Song for the song "Book of Days'". Writer Tony Parsons later called it "a stinker of a picture called Far And Away, which was far and away the worst film I have ever seen."
The movie, which cost $60 million to make, earned roughly $13 million in its first weekend at the box office 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.
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