Captain Boycott – 1947 | 92 mins | Drama | B&W
Absorbing historical drama directed by Frank Launder and shot on location in southern Ireland. Stewart Granger heads the cast as a defiant Irish farmer, ably supported by Cecil Parker, Mervyn Johns, Alistair Sim and Robert Donat in a memorable cameo appearance as the famed Irish politician Parnell.
Set in 1880s County Mayo, Ireland, Captain Boycott (Cecil Parker) is the tyrannical landowner who incurs the wrath of the local farmers when he begins to evict tenants unable to pay their inflated rent. Rather than retaliate with violence, Charles Parnell (Robert Donat), president of the Land League, suggests that everyone in the area ostracise Boycott and those willing to take over the property of recently evicted farmers. Boycott and his bailiff (Mervyn Johns) defy the proclamation by installing Mark Killian (Niall MacGinnis) and his daughter Anne (Kathleen Ryan) in a recently evicted farm. Farmer Hugh Davin (Stewart Granger) is in love with Anne and the locals question his desire for their cause given such a conflict of interest.
When time comes for Boycott to harvest his crop he has to seek military help to complete the task – ruined by the expense his only hope for salvation is to win a local horse race. When Boycott’s own entry collects an injury he resorts to buying a replacement racehorse, Davin’s horse, by taking advantage of his position. He enters it in the big race, but just before the horse passes the winning post, the incendiary mood amongst the villagers explodes and they invade the track causing the race to be abandoned. It’s left to Father McKeogh (Alastair Sim) to deliver a closing sermon, suggesting that in future the farmers reject violence in favour of a more peaceful method of protest – ‘boycott’. It is from this incident that the word “boycott” entered the English language.
Frank Launder: Director
Wilkie Cooper: Cinematography
Sophie Harris: Costume Design
John Gudenian: Costume Design
Thelma Myers: Editing
Betty Baugh: Makeup Department
Stuart Freeborn: Makeup Department
William Alwyn: Original Music
Frank Launder: Producer
Sidney Gilliat: Producer
Edward Carrick: Production Design
Wolfgang Wilhelm: Script
Frank Launder: Script
Paul Vincent Carroll: Script
Patrick Campbell: Script
Charles Crafford: Sound Department
Charles Knott: Sound Department
Gordon K McCallum: Sound Department
Arthur Southgate: Sound Department