The Plough and the Stars (film)

The Plough and the Stars is a 1937 American drama film directed by John Ford based on the play of the same name by Seán O'Casey.

The Plough and the Stars
Film poster
Directed byJohn Ford
Produced byCliff Reid
Written byDudley Nichols
Seán O'Casey
StarringBarbara Stanwyck
Preston Foster
Music byRoy Webb
CinematographyJoseph H. August
Edited byGeorge Hively
Distributed byRKO Radio Pictures
Release date
  • January 15, 1937 (1937-01-15)
Running time
72 minutes
CountryUnited States


Nora Clitheroe runs a rooming house in Dublin while trying to stay away from the political turmoil raging around her in Revoluntary Ireland. However, try as might, she discovers that her husband Jack has joined a militia of Irish rebels seeking to oust the British from Ireland. Nora fears for Jack's safety and begs him to keep his distance from the revolutionary forces. Jack assures her that he'll step back from their activities, but it's not until it's too late that Nora learns that Jack has done just the opposite -- and has become a commander with the Irish Citizen Army as they plan to occupy the Dublin Post Office as part of the Easter Rising.[2]




Director John Ford wished to reuse the entire cast of the original play for the film; however, RKO insisted upon two stars for the leading roles to make the production more appealing at the box office, hence the inclusion of Barbara Stanwyck and Preston Foster in the almost all-Irish cast. [3]


John Ford had several bitter disputes with RKO Pictures while making The Plough and the Stars, leading RKO to re-shoot many scenes with a different director in an effort to tone down the film's politics. Ford disowned the finished product, complaining RKO "completely ruined the damned thing."[4]

See also


  1. "The Plough and the Stars: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved April 10, 2014.
  2. "The Plough and the Stars (1936)". Retrieved January 25, 2019 via
  3. "The Plough and the Stars - The Cinematheque". Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  4. "The Plough and the Stars". Retrieved January 25, 2019.
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