Broth of a Boy

Broth of a Boy is a 1959 Irish comedy film directed by George Pollock and starring Barry Fitzgerald, Harry Brogan and June Thorburn.[2] It is an adaptation of the play The Big Birthday by Hugh Leonard.

Broth of a Boy
Original British quad poster
Directed byGeorge Pollock
Produced byEmmet Dalton
Alec C. Snowden
Written byBlanaid Irvine
Patrick Kirwan
Based onplay The Big Birthday by Hugh Leonard[1]
StarringBarry Fitzgerald
June Thorburn
Eddie Golden
Godfrey Quigley
Music byStanley Black
CinematographyWalter J. Harvey
Edited byHenry Richardson
Emmett Dalton Productions
Distributed byBritish Lion Film Corporation (UK)
Release date
  • February 1959 (1959-02) (UK)
Running time
77 minutes


Whilst holidaying in Ireland, British TV producer Randall (Tony Wright) comes across a village celebrating the birthday of the oldest man in the world, Patrick Farrell (Barry Fitzgerald). Thinking Farrell's 110th birthday would make an ideal subject for a BBC documentary, Randall seeks to persuade him to agree to being filmed. However, Farrell proves difficult, is an old codger, cantankerous and disreputable, and will cooperate only if he can exploit the situation for his own ends.


Critical reception

The New York Times wrote, "Although the idea bristles with lively possibilities and Mr. Fitzgerald and the Abbey Theatre players who surround him do as much as they can with it, "Broth of a Boy" only generates mild chuckles and a guffaw or two";[3] and TV Guide bemoaned the "Bad script, acting, and direction";[4] whereas Allmovie applauded "a pleasant, easygoing satire of exploitive journalism--a target that is as viable today as it was in 1959";[5] and Leonard Maltin also found the film "quietly effective."[6]


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