It's the story of what happens in Southern Ireland when a Protestant marries a Catholic and they have children. Despite all pledges between the couple that the union is something personal and sacred only unto them and that they'll keep God out of it, that, of course, can't happen, because religion is what has made them who they are--a Protestant and a Catholic. When the Catholic woman wants to renege on another pledge--the one she made to have her children raised Catholic--by refusing to send them to St. Bridget's school to be taught by nuns, fanaticism erupts from beneath the surface of village life.
Although the story is weighted against the Catholic hierarchy that ferments a boycott which leads to everlasting bitterness and violence, it's difficult to sympathize with the mother, who flees from home and husband with her little girls. Bossy priests and a cowardly spouse are not well developed enough onscreen to expose the real grip of the culture and faith she's determined won't bind her kids as it has bound generations before her.
Orla Brady and Liam Cunningham make a good-looking couple, but they seem like actors doing an okay job rather than real people deeply in love and emotionally rent asunder. The actors playing churchmen and the villagers are quickly reduced by the script to token figures unable to stay complex as they are forced to take sides. A brokenhearted musical lament heard a couple of times merely shows up what's missing. And then there's some heavy-handed symbolic stuff with a recalcitrant horse that doesn't like being stuck between plow shafts! Starring Orla Brady, Liam Cunningham, Peter Caffrey and Tony Doyle. Directed by Syd Macartney. Written by Stuart Hepburn. Produced by Alan Moloney, Tim Palmer and Gerry Gregg. A Cinema Guild release. Drama. Unrated. Running time: 100 min