Strick's Portrait

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1979)

1979, Color, 93 minutes

Directed by Joseph Strick
Screenplay by Judith Rascoe
Produced by Betty Botley & Richard Hallinan
Cinemotography by Stuart Hetherington
Music by Stanley Myers

Cast (in alphabetical order)

Niall Buggy . . . Davin
Danny Figgis . . . Wells
Susan Fitzgerald . . . Emma
Bill Foley . . . Confessor
Sir John Gielgud . . . The Preacher
Edward Golden . . . Father Conmee
Aden Grenell . . . Father Arnall
Bosco Hogan . . . Stephen Dedalus
Luke Johnston . . . Stephen (age ten)
David Kelly . . . Dean of Studies
Leslie Lalor . . . Milly
Rosaleen Linehan . . . May Dedalus
T.P. McKenna . . . Simon Dedalus
Brian Murray . . . Lynch
Maureen Potter . . . Dante
Cecil Sheehan . . . Uncle Charles
Terrence Strick . . . Stephen (age three)

 Video Box

I have not seen this film yet, so I will include two excerpts from reviews I found at Mystic Fire Video:

"Packed with great passages of the Joycean language, and the cast is superb."
--The New York Times

"Spoken language as music attains a soaring elegance...The words sing and dance and turn somersaults against a backdrop of green meadows or the majesty of a cathedral or above the foaming flagons of Guinness in a chatty pub"
--The Toronto Star

Information on Joseph Strick
The following biographical information is from the ALSC List, and was posted to the FWake-List by Jack Kolb:

Strick (b. 1923) was one of the first modern American directors to attempt serious adaptation of modern literature for the screen. His initial such effort was the 1963 film of Jean Genet's The Balcony, sharing script credits with veteran screenwriter Ben Maddow, with a cast that included Shelley Winters, Peter Falk, Lee Grant, Ruby Dee, and Leonard Nimoy. This was followed by Ulysses, co-written with Fred Haines (who would later write and direct the 1974 adaptation of Herman Hesse's Steppenwolf with Max von Sydow) and featuring the Irish and British actors Milo O'Shea, Maurice Roëves, and Barbara Jefford.
In 1970, Strick adapted Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer (co-writer Betty Botley), with the unlikely casting of Rip Torn as Miller, Miller himself in a cameo, and Ellen Burstyn among others in a large cast. The last of these efforts was Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, 1979, with a script by short-story writer Judith Rascoe, Bosco Hogan as Stephen, and a large cast that included Sir John Gielgud as the preacher of the sermon at the church retreat. In 1995, Strick released a documentary feature, Criminals, with texts by the prize-winning poet C.K. Williams.
Strick and his first wife were blacklisted and had their passports taken away at various times; most of his films were made overseas. They have been seen, for the most part, as noble efforts that fell victim to literalism in their adaptation.
It was the "f"-word that caused the film Ulysses so much trouble, as it had Joyce's novel. In New Zealand, for example, the film was allowed to be shown, but only to sex-segregated audiences.
Joseph Strick's son, Jeremy, is an important curator of modern and contemporary art, having served as curator of twentieth century art at The Art Institute of Chicago. He is now the president of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art.

Ordering Information

A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man
Image Entertainment, 2000, DVD, $29.99

A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man
Image Entertainment, 2000, VHS, $19.98

Additional Information

IMDB's "Portrait" Page -- The Internet Movie Database's page on A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

Strick Interview -- Irish Times, 11 Nov 00. Michael Dwyer talks to Joseph Strick. (Requires registration.)

--Allen B. Ruch
12 June 2003

BLOOM: (His eyes closing, quails expectantly.) Here? (He squirms.) Again! (He pants cringing.) I love the danger. -- Send email to the Great Quail -- comments, suggestions, corrections, criticisms, submissions . . . all are welcome!

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