Young Cassidy: Cardiff’s Biopic, Starring Rod Taylor as Young Irish Playwright

Jack Cardiff, better known as a distinguished cinematographer, directed this rather conventional biopic, starring Rod Taylor as the young Irish writer Sean O’Casey, soon to be acknowledged as the country’s outstanding playwright.

Set in 1911 and the growing protest against British rule in Ireland, John Cassidy works as a laborer by day and a pamphleteer by night. Burning with ideas and passion, Cassidy soon realizes that he can do more for his people with the pen than with his gun.

He submits his new play, The Plough and the Stars, to the Abbey Theatre, hoping for better results after hthe company had rejected his play, The Shadow of a Gunman.

W.B. Yeats, the powerful founder of the Abbey, decides to produce his new play. The showing, however, incites riots, but he is undeterred and ever more committed to his metier.