Run of the Country, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -1 1/2

Despite ribald humor, gorgeous cinematography, and tempered pathos, THE RUN OF THE COUNTRY doesn't quite achieve its desired impact. Set in rural Ireland, the movie opens with a funeral. Eighteen-year-old Danny's (Matt Keeslar) much loved mom has died, and he hasn't any idea what to do with his life. Adding to his pressure, his father (Albert Finney), a blustery, local constable, loves him but sees him as a fragile, aimless mama's boy. Father and son fight, and Danny leaves home and finds refuge with his older friend, Prunty (Anthony Brophy). Prunty and his wise-cracking mother live on a run-down farm. Prunty is a brawling, devil-may-care mischief maker who introduces Danny to a new way of life. Soon Danny meets Annagh Lee (Victoria Smurfit), and the two become sexually involved. The relationship ends disastrously, but proves to be the making of Danny. The conciliatory ending between father and son almost, but not quite, redeems this film.

THE RUN OF THE COUNTRY does achieve a well-earned R rating. It's a coming-of-age film, and as such, a sexual theme runs through it from start to finish. Through flashbacks, we learn that Danny's parents didn't sleep together, and his father would bang on the bedroom door, begging his wife to let him in. Prunty accuses Danny of being over-sexed with a high sperm count. The one graphic sex scene of Danny and Annagh exposes only her bare breasts, although both are nude. A suggestive scene takes place in the back seat of car, with a girl handing Danny a contraceptive. Sex is implied but not shown. Some moderate violence includes the fight between Danny and his father, another fight in a dance hall, a cockfight, a tar and feathering incident and a head detached from a body. Many obscenities and some profanities further tarnish the script. And the implication that a male teen must be introduced to sex to achieve manhood is a major flaw in THE RUN OF THE COUNTRY.

Preview Reviewer: Bonnie C. Harvey, Ph.D.
Columbia Pictures, 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few (3) times - Mild 2, Moderate 1

Obscene Language: Many (14) times - F-word 2, crude references to male and female genitals 12)

Profanity: Few (3) times - Regular (J, G)

Violence: Several times - Moderate (father-son fight; knife and fist-fight in dance hall; man drowns in accidental fall off cliff; cockfight; tar and feathering incident; head shown detached)

Sex: Once (graphic with nudity), implied once (couple in bed)

Nudity: Once (breast nudity in sex scene)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Many times (crude references to sex; importance of sex in achieving manhood central theme)

Drugs: Drinking in dance hall; smoking

Other: Teenage rebellion

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Older teens and adults

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