Jimmy's Hall

June 30th, 2015


Jimmy's Hall

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Political activist Jimmy Gralton is deported from Ireland during the country's 'Red Scare' of the 1930s.

Release Year: 2014

Rating: 6.7/10 (2,647 voted)

Critic's Score: 60/100

Director: Ken Loach

Stars: Barry Ward, Francis Magee, Aileen Henry

1932. Jimmy Gralton is back home in the Irish countryside after ten years of forced exile in the USA. His widowed mother Alice is happy, Jimmy's friends are happy, all the young people who enjoy dancing and singing are happy. Which is not the case of Father Sheridan, the local priest, nor of the village squire, nor of Dennis O'Keefe, the chief of the fascists. The reason is simple: Jimmy is a socialist activist. So when the "intruder" reopens the village hall, thus enabling the villagers to gather to sing, dance, paint, study or box, they take a dim view of the whole thing. People who think and unite are difficult to manipulate, aren't they? From that moment on they will use every means possible to get rid of Jimmy and his "dangerous" hall.

Writers: Paul Laverty, Donal O'Kelly

Barry Ward - James Gralton
Francis Magee - Mossie
Aileen Henry - Alice
Simone Kirby - Oonagh
Stella McGirl - Stella
Sorcha Fox - Molly
Martin Lucey - Dessie
Mikel Murfi - Tommy
Shane O'Brien - Finn
Denise Gough - Tess
Jim Norton - Father Sheridan
Aisling Franciosi - Marie
Seán T. Ó Meallaigh - Journalist
Karl Geary - Seán
Brían F. O'Byrne - Commander O'Keefe

Taglines: Where Anything Goes and Everyone Belongs


Official Website: Official Facebook | Official site [Spain] |

Country: UK, Ireland, France

Language: English

Release Date: 30 May 2014

Filming Locations: Killanummery, Co. Leitrim, Ireland

Technical Specs



User Review


Rating: 9/10

This movie opposes two different and opposed views of the world: that of Jimmy Gralton, who apart from wanting to open a dance hall, is also a left-wing idealist. Although Ken Loach makes not mystery of his sympathies in this movie, as usual he remains even-handed, lets the opposition have their say, and never makes the conservative side appear as ridiculous or stupid. In fact the heart of the movie is the confrontation between Jimmy Gralton and Father Sheridan, which despite the depth of conflict, is fundamentally based on a grudging mutual respect.

What, indeed, could be wrong with opening a dance hall and cultural center? Well in the thirties Ireland was recovering from years of bloody conflict, first the war for independence, followed by more years of civil war. Father Sheridan argues that now is the time for reconciliation, not for political agitation, and what he sees as communist propaganda. It is time for being Irish together, for listening to Irish music rather than "alien Jazz from deepest Africa".

Of course the Loach's sympathy (and ours) goes to the yearning of the young people who have no place to go, no prospects, no jobs, and who desperately want to find some joy, relief and self-expression. The movie may be a bit slow at times, but it is deeply moving.


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