The Quare Fellow (1963) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Quare Fellow (1963)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Quare Fellow Photos

Movie Info

Gallows humor and stark realities of condemned prisoners is the premise for The Quare Fellow. Crimmin (Patrick McGoohan) takes a job as a prison guard. He believes in capital punishment and that everyone in prison certainly deserves to be there. Two men on death row await execution. Crimmin is upset when one of the men hangs himself despite the fact his death sentence was commuted. The other prisoner and Crimmin begin to talk. The guard discovers the man was sentenced to death after finding his wife in bed with his own brother and killing him in a jealous rage. Crimmin discovers the woman he is sleeping with is the prisoner's drunken, sluttish wife. The issues of capital punishment are raised in this story taken from the play by Brendan Behan.

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Patrick McGoohan
as Thomas Crimmin
Sylvia Syms
as Kathleen
Dermot Kelly
as Donnelly
Jack Cunningham
as Chief Warder
Hilton Edwards
as Holy Healy
Philip O'Flynn
as Prison Governor
Leo McCabe
as Dr. Flyn
Marie Kean
as Mrs. O'Hara
Pauline Delaney
as Mickser's wife
Pauline Delany
as Mickser's Wife
Geoffrey Golden
as Customs Officer
Tom Irwin
as Customs Officer
Dominic Roche
as Prison Chaplain
Aubrey Morris
as Silvertop
John Welsh
as Carroll
Harry Brogan
as Dunlavin
James Brennan
as Old Patriot
Brendan Cauldwell
as Shamrock Attendant
Marie Conmee
as Publican Woman
Eddie Golden
as Reception Warder
Eric Gorman
as Neighbour
Aiden Grennell
as Food Orderly
Michael Hennessy
as 2nd Publican
David Kelly
as Reception Clerk
Derry Power
as Stretcher-Bearer
Charlie Roberts
as Dock Worker
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Critic Reviews for The Quare Fellow

All Critics (2)

And not the least of the merits of the movie is the documentary honesty and brilliance of Peter Hennessey''s photography.

January 16, 2020 | Full Review…

The only thing carried over from Behan's play is the bleakness.

July 19, 2009 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Quare Fellow


Finally a movie starring Patrick McGoohan, I don't know why he didn't do more movies, he's a great actor. This movie is a really good drama, dealing with the inner turmoil of a new prison guard, and the wife of the prisoner who is about to be executed. It's really suspenseful, and I recommend it.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer


In "The Quare Fellow," Thomas Crimmin(Patrick McGoohan) is a newly hired prison guard under the supervision of veteran guard Regan(Walter Macken) who is looking forward to a promotion but is instead being forced out at the end of one last task. That turns out to be a double hanging which turns into a single when the guards learn through the prison grapevine that one of the condemned has been given a reprieve. Now, they are left with the difficult task of telling Kathleen(Sylvia Syms) that it was not her husband. While it certainly has its share of flaws(I don't know how small this town is but what are the odds of Kathleen and Thomas ending up at the same boardinghouse?) and whose punch has probably been diminished with time, "The Quare Fellow" is still a gritty look at prison life in Ireland which serves as a microcosm of the country in general. The former rebels from the time of the Troubles are now in charge while islanders are treated by most as outcasts. Of central concern is the hypocrisy surrounding the death penalty which is connected to the outside population as well.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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