Far and Away (1992)

PG-13 | 140 mins | Adventure, Romance | 22 May 1992

Director:

Ron Howard

Producers:

Brian Grazer, Ron Howard

Cinematographer:

Mikael Salomon

Production Designers:

Allan Cameron, Jack T. Collis

Production Company:

Imagine Films
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HISTORY

The film opens with the following title card: “Western Ireland 1892. The tenant farmers, after generations of oppression and poverty, have begun to rebel against the unfair rents and cruel evictions imposed upon them by their wealthy landlords.”
       Developed over the course of eight years, Far and Away went through several title changes. As noted in 24 Jun 1991 and 12 Aug 1991 Var briefs, working titles included: Untitled Ron Howard Project, An Irish Story, Fires Within, and Distant Shores, a title filmmakers were unable to clear with MGM/Pathé, which had a similarly titled project.
       A 9 Mar 1990 DV article announced that Ron Howard would direct the film, based on a story he co-wrote with Bob Dolman. According to a 17 May 1992 LAT article, Howard’s inspiration came from an early childhood trip to Ireland, and his great-grandfather Ralph’s involvement in an 1893 Oklahoma land run.
       Nicole Kidman and Emily Lloyd were named as frontrunners for the role of “Shannon Christie,” in the Jul 1991 issue of Los Angeles magazine. Tom Cruise, who was already cast as “Joseph Donnelly,” reportedly lobbied for Nicole Kidman, with whom he had worked on Days of Thunder (1990, see entry). However, according to Ron Howard, Cruise did not reveal he was also dating Nicole Kidman at the time. After Kidman was cast, and while the film was in pre-production, she and Cruise were married on 24 Dec 1990, as reported in the 28 Dec 1990 NYT.
       Various sources, including items in the 1 Jun 1992 ... More Less

The film opens with the following title card: “Western Ireland 1892. The tenant farmers, after generations of oppression and poverty, have begun to rebel against the unfair rents and cruel evictions imposed upon them by their wealthy landlords.”
       Developed over the course of eight years, Far and Away went through several title changes. As noted in 24 Jun 1991 and 12 Aug 1991 Var briefs, working titles included: Untitled Ron Howard Project, An Irish Story, Fires Within, and Distant Shores, a title filmmakers were unable to clear with MGM/Pathé, which had a similarly titled project.
       A 9 Mar 1990 DV article announced that Ron Howard would direct the film, based on a story he co-wrote with Bob Dolman. According to a 17 May 1992 LAT article, Howard’s inspiration came from an early childhood trip to Ireland, and his great-grandfather Ralph’s involvement in an 1893 Oklahoma land run.
       Nicole Kidman and Emily Lloyd were named as frontrunners for the role of “Shannon Christie,” in the Jul 1991 issue of Los Angeles magazine. Tom Cruise, who was already cast as “Joseph Donnelly,” reportedly lobbied for Nicole Kidman, with whom he had worked on Days of Thunder (1990, see entry). However, according to Ron Howard, Cruise did not reveal he was also dating Nicole Kidman at the time. After Kidman was cast, and while the film was in pre-production, she and Cruise were married on 24 Dec 1990, as reported in the 28 Dec 1990 NYT.
       Various sources, including items in the 1 Jun 1992 and 4 Jan 1993 LAT, cited production costs of $57-$62 million. Tom Cruise reportedly received a salary of $12 million, and, according to a 1 Apr 1991 HR item, the actor’s contract stipulated the film be shot in 65mm film.
       Production notes in AMPAS library files and the 4 Jun 1991 HR production chart listed the start of principal photography as 28 May 1991. Billings, MT, stood in for Oklahoma, where land rush sequences were shot in early Jul 1991 on a 12,000-acre ranch, and entailed the use of 400 horses, 800 extras, 200 wagons, nine cameras, and a helicopter. On 6 Aug 1991, production moved from Montana to Ardmore Studios outside Dublin, Ireland. Location filming in Ireland took place at the Kilruddy Estate, built by the 2nd Earl of Meath in 1651, which stood in for the home of “Daniel Christie,” and in a section of Dublin’s Temple Bar district, which was dressed to look like 1890s Boston, MA.
       Far and Away was the first feature film to be shot in Super Panavision 70 since 1982’s Tron (see entry). A 1 Apr 1991 HR brief stated that Crest Film & TV Lab had “recently installed the first commercial 65mm-70mm ‘Telecine’ system,” and, with Far and Away, would be the first laboratory ever to transfer 65mm film negative to video.
       Early in production, as reported in an issue of Spy magazine, Tom Cruise was allegedly dissatisfied with the sound of his voice and requested that filmmakers purchase a $100,000 “electronic voice-enhancer” recommended by his friends in the Church of Scientology. However, Ron Howard was quoted in the 17 May 1992 LAT as saying that Cruise had never been unhappy with the sound of his voice, but wanted to use the “double-miking system” because he was an audiophile. Howard confirmed that Cruise paid for the equipment.
       The film opened to tepid reviews. A 1 Jun 1992 LAT article reported disappointing box-office returns of $23 million after ten days in release, and noted the picture was Universal’s “costliest” since 1990’s Havana (see entry). Although the 4 Jan 1993 LAT cited a cumulative domestic gross of $58 million, the film was said to be doing “respectable business” overseas. According to a 13 Oct 1992 DV advertisement, Far and Away had earned $112,907,856 worldwide, and was still in release.
       Two lawsuits arose from accidents on set. As noted in a 14 Jun 1992 LAT article, after being thrown over his horse-drawn wagon, Dick Cox sued filmmakers for purposely provoking a stampede during the land rush sequence filmed in Montana. Cox claimed that participants on horseback were not warned that a cannon would be fired (to replicate the start of the real-life Cherokee Strip Land Run), which spooked the horses, as did a helicopter flying overhead. An unnamed crewmember defended Howard, stating that the director was “overly concerned that anybody get hurt,” but acknowledged that four people were injured and one horse died during filming. The second lawsuit was brought by Spacecam, an aerial photography company, which sought punitive damages after a helicopter accident resulted in the loss of $1 million in equipment. Camera operator Ronald Goodman also endured injuries and hypothermia. Spacecam accused Imagine Entertainment of sending the helicopter out in bad weather, and causing Spacecam financial burden by not paying a $3,100 per day rental fee in the interim before the lost equipment was replaced. The outcome of both lawsuits could not be determined as of the writing of this Note.
       End credits include the following acknowledgements: “Grateful appreciation to: State of Montana; People of Billings, Montana; Montana Film Commissioner, Lonnie Stimac; Burlington Northern Railroad; State of Oklahoma; Montana Rail Link; Dermot King; Joe Brown; St. Vincents Hospital, Billings, Montana; Montana State University Interns; Montana Highway Patrol; The People of Ireland; Waterford Crystal; Guinness Ireland Limited; Temple Bar Properties Limited; Dublin Corporation; Kerry County Council; Allied Irish Bank; Bank of Ireland Private Banking; Prestbury Security; Fungi the Dingle Dolphin.” More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
9 Mar 1990
p. 1, 9.
Daily Variety
29 Jun 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
1 Apr 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
11 May 1992
p. 9, 14.
Los Angeles
Jul 1991.
---
Los Angeles Times
17 May 1992
Calendar, p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
20 May 1992
Section F, p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
22 May 1992
Calendar, p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
29 May 1992
Section E, p. 7.
Los Angeles Times
1 Jun 1992
Calendar, p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
14 Jun 1992
Calendar, p. 24.
Los Angeles Times
4 Jan 1993
p. 1.
New York Times
28 Dec 1990
Section B, p. 2.
New York Times
22 May 1992
p. 10.
New York Times
7 Jun 1992.
---
Screen International
10 Nov 1990.
---
Variety
24 Jun 1991.
---
Variety
12 Aug 1991.
---
Variety
11 May 1992
p. 119.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Thomas Gibson
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Imagine Films Entertainment Presents
A Brian Grazer Production
A Ron Howard Film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d unit dir, United States crew
2d unit 1st asst dir, United States crew
2d unit 2d asst dir, United States crew
2d 2d asst dir, United States crew
Addl 2d 2d asst dir, United States crew
Prod mgr, Ireland crew
2d asst dir, Ireland crew
2d 2d asst dir, Ireland crew
Addl 2d 2d asst dir, Ireland crew
PRODUCERS
Prod
Co-prod
Co-prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
Story
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op/Steadicam, International crew
1st asst cam, International crew
1st asst cam, International crew
2d asst cam, International crew
Video playback eng, International crew
Chief lighting tech, International crew
Elec best boy, International crew
Still photog, International crew
Key grip, International crew
Dolly grip, International crew
Spacecam op, International crew
Spacecam cam tech, International crew
1st asst cam, United States crew
2d asst cam, United States crew
Film loader, United States crew
Addl cam crew op, United States crew
Addl cam crew op, United States crew
Addl cam crew op, United States crew
Addl cam crew op, United States crew
Steadicam, United States crew
Steadicam, United States crew
1st asst, United States crew
1st asst, United States crew
1st asst, United States crew
1st asst, United States crew
1st asst, United States crew
1st asst, United States crew
2d asst, United States crew
2d asst, United States crew
2d asst, United States crew
Elec, United States crew
Elec, United States crew
Elec, United States crew
Elec, United States crew
Elec, United States crew
Elec, United States crew
Best boy grip, United States crew
Dolly grip, United States crew
Grip, United States crew
Grip, United States crew
Grip, United States crew
Grip, United States crew
2d asst cam, Ireland crew
Cam trainee, Ireland crew
Cam trainee, Ireland crew
Elec best boy, Ireland crew
Charge head elec, Ireland crew
Elec, Ireland crew
Elec, Ireland crew
Elec, Ireland crew
Elec, Ireland crew
Generator op, Ireland crew
Generator op, Ireland crew
Generator op, Ireland crew
Facilities generator, Ireland crew
Key grip, Ireland crew
Grip best boy, Ireland crew
Grip, Ireland crew
Grip, Ireland crew
Grip, Ireland crew
Grip, Ireland crew
Dir of matte photog, Ireland crew
Matte plate photog, Ireland crew
Lighting and grip equip supplied by
Lighting and grip equip supplied by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Prod des
Art dir, United States crew
Illustrator, United States crew
Art dept asst, United States crew
Art dir, Ireland crew
Art dir, Ireland crew
Asst art dir, Ireland crew
Asst art dir, Ireland crew
Art dept trainee, Ireland crew
Art dept trainee, Ireland crew
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
1st asst ed, International crew
Asst ed, International crew
Asst ed, International crew
Asst ed, International crew
Post prod supv
Asst ed, Ireland crew
Negative cutter, Ireland crew
Negative developer, Ireland crew
Post prod facilities, Ireland crew
SET DECORATORS
Set des, United States crew
Set des, United States crew
Set dec, United States crew
Prop master, United States crew
Const coord, United States crew
Set dressing leadman, United States crew
Set dresser, United States crew
Set dresser, United States crew
Set dresser, United States crew
Set dressing asst, United States crew
Set dressing asst, United States crew
Asst props, United States crew
Asst props, United States crew
Asst props, United States crew
Const foreman, United States crew
Const foreman, United States crew
Const foreman, United States crew
Prop general foreman, United States crew
Paint foreman, United States crew
Labor foreman, United States crew
Sign wrt/foreman, United States crew
Scenic artist, Ireland crew
Set dec, Ireland crew
Prop buyer, Ireland crew
Prop master, Ireland crew
Standby prop, Ireland crew
Standby prop, Ireland crew
Prop, Ireland crew
Prop, Ireland crew
Prop, Ireland crew
Prop, Ireland crew
Prop, Ireland crew
Prop, Ireland crew
Prop, Ireland crew
Prop, Ireland crew
Const coord, Ireland crew
Const mgr, Ireland crew
Head of dept. painter, Ireland crew
Supv painter, Ireland crew
Charge hand painter, Ireland crew
Standby painter, Ireland crew
Head of dept carpenter, Ireland crew
Carpentry supv, Ireland crew
Carpentry supv, Ireland crew
Supv plasterer, Ireland crew
Supv plasterer, Ireland crew
Rigger supv, Ireland crew
Rigger supv, Ireland crew
Charge hand stagehand, Ireland crew
Stagehand, Ireland crew
Stagehand, Ireland crew
Stagehand, Ireland crew
Stagehand, Ireland crew
Stagehand, Ireland crew
Rigger, Ireland crew
Rigger, Ireland crew
Rigger, Ireland crew
COSTUMES
Cost des
Key cost supv, International crew
Asst cost des, International crew
Mr. Cruise's costumer, International crew
Ms. Kidman's costumer, International crew
Principal ladies cutter/maker, International crew
Asst cost des, United States crew
Cost supv, United States crew
Costumer, United States crew
Costumer, United States crew
Costumer, United States crew
Set costumer, United States crew
Set costumer, United States crew
Men's tailor, United States crew
Asst cost des, Ireland crew
Cost supv, Ireland crew
Set costumer, Ireland crew
Set costumer, Ireland crew
Set costumer, Ireland crew
Cost, Ireland crew
Cost, Ireland crew
Cost, Ireland crew
Cost, Ireland crew
Ward asst, Ireland crew
Ward asst, Ireland crew
Principal cost manufactured and supplied by
MUSIC
Orchestrator, Ireland crew
Mus ed, Ireland crew
Mus recordist, Ireland crew
Scoring eng, Ireland crew
Mus contractor, Ireland crew
Mus preparation, Ireland crew
Mus preparation, Ireland crew
Pan flute
Pan flute
Uilleann pipes
SOUND
Prod sd mixer, International crew
Boom op, International crew
Sd cable, United States crew
Sd des, United States crew
Sd des, United States crew
Supv sd ed, United States crew
Dial ed, United States crew
Dial ed, United States crew
Dial ed, United States crew
Supv ADR ed, United States crew
ADR ed, United States crew
ADR ed, United States crew
Sd eff ed, United States crew
Supv foley ed, United States crew
Foley ed, United States crew
Foley ed, United States crew
Foley ed, United States crew
Foley ed, United States crew
Asst sd ed, United States crew
Asst sd ed, United States crew
Asst ADR ed, United States crew
Apprentice sd ed, United States crew
Apprentice sd ed, United States crew
Apprentice sd ed, United States crew
Re-rec mixer, United States crew
Re-rec mixer, United States crew
Foley artist, United States crew
Foley artist, United States crew
Loop group coord, United States crew
Addl sd eff rec, United States crew
2d boom op, Ireland crew
Sd trainee, Ireland crew
Prod sd provided by, Ireland crew
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord, United States crew
Spec eff foreman, United States crew
Spec eff tech, United States crew
Spec eff tech, United States crew
Spec eff tech, United States crew
Spec eff tech, United States crew
Spec eff tech, United States crew
Spec eff tech, United States crew
Spec eff tech, United States crew
Spec eff tech, United States crew
Spec eff supv, Ireland crew
Spec eff senior tech, Ireland crew
Spec eff senior tech, Ireland crew
Spec eff senior tech, Ireland crew
Spec eff tech, Ireland crew
Spec eff asst, Ireland crew
Armorer, Ireland crew
Op eff and titles, Ireland crew
Opt supv, Ireland crew
Opt line up, Ireland crew
Opt line up, Ireland crew
Opt line up, Ireland crew
Opt cam, Ireland crew
Opt cam, Ireland crew
Opt coord, Ireland crew
Ed/Opticals, Ireland crew
Main title des, Ireland crew
End titles des, Ireland crew
Matte painting eff prod by
Matte artist supv, Ireland crew
Matte artist, Ireland crew
DANCE
Choreog, United States crew
MAKEUP
Key makeup artist, International crew
Makeup artist, International crew
Key hairstylist, International crew
Mr. Cruise's makeup, International crew
Makeup, United States crew
Hairstylist, United States crew
Hairstylist, United States crew
Makeup artist, Ireland crew
Hairdresser, Ireland crew
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
Casting
Casting
Dialect coach, International crew
Scr supv, International crew
Supv prod coord, International crew
Asst to Messer Dolman, International crew
Asst to Messer Hallowell, International crew
Asst to Mr. Cruise, International crew
Prod controller, International crew
Accounting asst, International crew
Unit pub, International crew
Mr. Cruise's set asst, International crew
Helicopter pilot, International crew
Historical research, United States crew
Historical research, United States crew
Historical research, United States crew
Projectionist, United States crew
Asst prod coord, United States crew
Loc mgr, United States crew
Prod secy, United States crew
Asst accountant, United States crew
Asst accountant, United States crew
Asst accountant, United States crew
Casting assoc, United States crew
Extras casting, United States crew
Extras casting asst, United States crew
Re-enactors supv, United States crew
Contact lens consultant, United States crew
Transportation coord, United States crew
Transportation capt, United States crew
Transportation dispatcher, United States crew
Transportation, United States crew
2d unit capt, United States crew
Shotmaker op, United States crew
Shotmaker op, United States crew
Mr. Cruise's driver, United States crew
Catering, United States crew
Extra catering, United States crew
Craft service, United States crew
First aid supv, United States crew
Prod office asst, United States crew
Prod office asst, United States crew
Key set asst, United States crew
Intern, United States crew
Prod asst, United States crew
Prod asst, United States crew
Prod asst, United States crew
Prod asst, United States crew
Prod asst, United States crew
Prod asst, United States crew
Prod asst, United States crew
Prod asst, United States crew
Boss wrangler, United States crew
Wrangler, United States crew
Wrangler, United States crew
Wrangler, United States crew
Wrangler, United States crew
Wrangler, United States crew
Wrangler, United States crew
Wrangler, United States crew
Wrangler, United States crew
Wrangler, United States crew
Wrangler, United States crew
Wrangler, United States crew
Wrangler, United States crew
Wrangler, United States crew
Wrangler, United States crew
Wrangler, United States crew
Wrangler, United States crew
Wrangler, United States crew
Wrangler, United States crew
Wrangler, United States crew
Wrangler, United States crew
Wrangler, United States crew
Wrangler, United States crew
Wrangler, United States crew
Wrangler, United States crew
Wrangler, United States crew
Wrangler, United States crew
Wrangler, United States crew
Wrangler, United States crew
Wrangler, United States crew
Wrangler, United States crew
Loc mgr, Ireland crew
Asst loc mgr, Ireland crew
Prod coord, Ireland crew
Asst prod coord, Ireland crew
Trainee prod secy, Ireland crew
Housing coord, Ireland crew
Housing asst, Ireland crew
Prod accountant, Ireland crew
Asst accountant, Ireland crew
Asst accountant, Ireland crew
Accountants asst, Ireland crew
Prod office asst, Ireland crew
Key set asst, Ireland crew
Set asst, Ireland crew
Set asst, Ireland crew
Set asst, Ireland crew
Set asst, Ireland crew
Projectionist, Ireland crew
Transport mgr, Ireland crew
Driver, Ireland crew
Driver, Ireland crew
Driver, Ireland crew
Driver, Ireland crew
Driver, Ireland crew
Driver, Ireland crew
Caterer, Ireland crew
Loc caterer, Ireland crew
Irish facilities provided by
STAND INS
Stunt coord, United States
Stunt player, United States
Stunt player, United States
Stunt player, United States
Stunt player, United States
Stunt player, United States
Stunt player, United States
Stunt player, United States
Stunt player, United States
Stunt player, United States
Stunt player, United States
Stunt player, United States
Stunt player, United States
Stunt player, United States
Stunt player, United States
Stunt player, United States
Stunt player, United States
Stunt player, United States
Stunt player, United States
Stunt player, United States
Stunt player, United States
Stunt player, United States
Stunt player, United States
Stunt player, United States
Stunt player, United States
Stunt player, United States
Stunt player, United States
Stunt player, United States
Stunt player, United States
Stunt player, United States
Stunt player, United States
Stunt player, United States
Stunt coord/Horsemaster, Ireland
Stunt player, Ireland
Stunt player, Ireland
Stunt player, Ireland
Stunt player, Ireland
Stunt player, Ireland
Stunt player, Ireland
Stunt player, Ireland
Stunt player, Ireland
Stunt player, Ireland
Stunt player, Ireland
Stunt player, Ireland
Stunt player, Ireland
Stunt player, Ireland
Stunt player, Ireland
ANIMATION
Anim supv, Ireland crew
Anim cam, Ireland crew
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col specialist, United States crew
Col timer, Ireland crew
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
“Book Of Days,” music composed and performed by Enya, lyrics by Roma Ryan, produced by Nicky Ryan, courtesy of Warner Music, UK Ltd. “The Chieftains appear courtesy of BMG Classics.”
PERFORMERS
COMPOSERS
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Untitled Ron Howard Project
An Irish Story
Fires Within
Distant Shores
Release Date:
22 May 1992
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 22 May 1992
Production Date:
began 28 May 1991
Copyright Claimant:
Universal City Studios, Inc., & Imagine Films Entertainment, Inc.
Copyright Date:
1 February 1993
Copyright Number:
PA599489
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Eastman
Lenses
Filmed in Panavision® Super 70
Duration(in mins):
140
Length(in feet):
12,599
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
31671
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1892 Western Ireland, Joseph Donnelly and his brothers work as tenant farmers on land owned by the wealthy Daniel Christie. When Joseph’s father, Joe Donnelly, is hurt during a peasant uprising, he appears to die, but, in a miraculous turn, comes back to life as Joseph hovers over him. Joe urges his son to follow his ambitions, says that land is a man’s soul, then dies again. On the way to his father’s burial, Joseph is harassed over unpaid rent by Daniel Christie’s enforcer, Stephen Chase, who burns the Donnellys’ house down. Vowing revenge, Joseph takes a gun and rides his donkey to a pub frequented by Daniel Christie. When a well-dressed man arrives, Joseph finds him affable at first, until he realizes the man is Daniel Christie. He follows Christie home, but cannot bring himself to shoot. After spending the night in Christie’s stable, Joseph is discovered by Shannon, Christie’s beautiful daughter, who spears the intruder’s leg with a pitchfork. and screams for her father. Daniel arrives, and Joseph draws his gun, announcing his intentions to kill the man. However, he aims poorly, and the recoil causes him to fall over. An unconscious Joseph is taken to an upstairs bedroom, where Daniel’s wife, Nora, tends to his wounds. Although Joseph is due to be hanged, he provokes Stephen Chase, who challenges him to a duel the next morning. That night, Shannon sneaks into Joseph’s room and announces that she is running away. She calls herself a modern woman, and states her plans to sail to America, where the government is giving away land to its citizens. Joseph does not believe her. Shannon offers to take him ... +


In 1892 Western Ireland, Joseph Donnelly and his brothers work as tenant farmers on land owned by the wealthy Daniel Christie. When Joseph’s father, Joe Donnelly, is hurt during a peasant uprising, he appears to die, but, in a miraculous turn, comes back to life as Joseph hovers over him. Joe urges his son to follow his ambitions, says that land is a man’s soul, then dies again. On the way to his father’s burial, Joseph is harassed over unpaid rent by Daniel Christie’s enforcer, Stephen Chase, who burns the Donnellys’ house down. Vowing revenge, Joseph takes a gun and rides his donkey to a pub frequented by Daniel Christie. When a well-dressed man arrives, Joseph finds him affable at first, until he realizes the man is Daniel Christie. He follows Christie home, but cannot bring himself to shoot. After spending the night in Christie’s stable, Joseph is discovered by Shannon, Christie’s beautiful daughter, who spears the intruder’s leg with a pitchfork. and screams for her father. Daniel arrives, and Joseph draws his gun, announcing his intentions to kill the man. However, he aims poorly, and the recoil causes him to fall over. An unconscious Joseph is taken to an upstairs bedroom, where Daniel’s wife, Nora, tends to his wounds. Although Joseph is due to be hanged, he provokes Stephen Chase, who challenges him to a duel the next morning. That night, Shannon sneaks into Joseph’s room and announces that she is running away. She calls herself a modern woman, and states her plans to sail to America, where the government is giving away land to its citizens. Joseph does not believe her. Shannon offers to take him with her, if he will act as her “servant boy,” but he is offended and refuses. The next morning, when the duel between Stephen and Joseph begins, a heavy fog prevents them from seeing each other clearly. Shannon interrupts on a horse-drawn carriage, and entices Joseph to escape with her. She pays for his passage to America, and he reluctantly acts as her servant on the ship. Shannon meets Mr. McGuire, an Irish-American man who advises her to procure a wagon and horses the minute she arrives in America, as the land race will be in Oklahoma, 1,000 miles from where they land in Boston, Massachusetts. Shannon reveals that instead of money, she has brought with her a number of valuable, ancient spoons. McGuire promises to help her sell them when they arrive in Boston. Shannon ignores Joseph when he suggests McGuire is untrustworthy. Soon, the ship docks at Boston Harbor, and Joseph bids Shannon goodbye. She joins Mr. McGuire, who is suddenly shot dead by two thugs. Shannon’s spoons spill out of McGuire’s coat, and she realizes he stole from her. Passersby scramble for the spoons, and as she cries out for help, Joseph comes to her aid. They follow a young Irish boy named Dermody to a social club owned by Mike Kelly, a powerful ward boss who runs a gambling racket. Joseph urges Shannon to blend in with the lower classes and tells Kelly she is his sister. Kelly arranges for them to share a room at a local boardinghouse, and the two begin working at a chicken factory. Shannon detests the work and insults her boss, resulting in lost wages. As they are forced to live in close quarters, sexual tension between Shannon and Joseph mounts. One night, she asks him if she is beautiful, and he responds earnestly that he has never seen anything like her. Satisfied, she goes to sleep. Joseph is tortured by the sound of lovemaking coming through the walls. He goes to Mike Kelly’s social club and challenges a boxer to a match. Despite his smallish stature, Joseph beats the man and his subsequent challengers. He wins prizefighting money and quickly gains a reputation as an undefeated boxer. Meanwhile, back in Ireland, Daniel Christie reveals to his wife, Nora, that Shannon has been sending letters from America. Just then, angry peasants storm the house and burn it down. In the aftermath of the attack, Stephen Chase offers to accompany the Christies to America to help them find Shannon. In Boston, as Joseph gains confidence and spends money on suits and hats, Shannon becomes annoyed by his cocksure attitude. She is also jealous when a burlesque dancer named Grace pursues him. Shannon warns Joseph that Mike Kelly is only using him and asserts that she can make just as much money as he can. On the night of a big fight against an Italian boxer, Joseph sees Shannon dancing in burlesque. He tries to drag her off the stage, and promises not to box anymore. However, when Kelly lures him with more money, Shannon encourages Joseph to go through with the match. The Italian beats him easily, however, and Kelly immediately turns on Joseph, throwing him into the street. When he regains consciousness, Joseph stumbles home. On the way, he sees Stephen Chase passing out photographs of Shannon, and alerting people to bring her to the Christie’s Boston residence if they find her. Joseph returns home to find Kelly and his heavies waiting. Taking all of Joseph’s savings, they throw him and Shannon out of the boardinghouse. For the next few days, Joseph and Shannon wander the streets in freezing weather, searching for work and food. One night, they break into an empty mansion. The well-appointed home reminds Shannon of her old life. Joseph offers to serve her at the dining table, but instead, she invites him to sit with her and pretend they are a married couple. Just as they profess their “pretend” love for each other, the owners return home and chase them out at gunpoint. Shannon is shot in the back as they flee, and Joseph has no other choice but deliver her to her parents. Eight months later, while working on a railroad crew in the Ozark Mountains, Joseph is inspired to join a wagon train of pioneers on their way to the Oklahoma land rush. He arrives at the starting line the day before the race, and buys an old but reliable horse. He runs into Shannon, who is accompanied by her parents and Stephen Chase. They wish each other luck and bid an awkward goodbye. That night, Joseph’s newly purchased horse dies. His only choice the next morning is to ride an untamed horse. As the race begins, Joseph has a hard time controlling the animal, but Shannon, who is an expert equestrian, rides past and advises him to take the horse by the bit. Joseph follows Stephen, who claims he has found the perfect plot of land. Arriving at the edge of the plot, Joseph sees Stephen and Shannon crossing a river. Stephen attempts to shoot him, but Joseph overpowers him and charges ahead. He is the first to reach the flag that marks the plot, but just before he drives his own flag into the ground, Chase charges him. They tussle, and Joseph is pinned underneath Chase’s horse. Shannon rushes to Joseph’s aid. When Chase realizes that Shannon has chosen Joseph over him, he leaves in defeat. Shannon begs Joseph not to die, but he passes away. As she weeps over his lifeless body, she admits she loved him the first time she saw him. Like his father, Joe, on his deathbed, Joseph miraculously revives. Shannon kisses him, and they drive their flag into the ground together. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.