4 December 2021 The Irish Film & Television Network

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Circle of Friends
Feature 102 Completed
YEAR: 1993
DIRECTOR: Pat O'Connor    
WRITER: Andrew Davies (from a novel by Maeve Binchy)      
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Price Entertainment Lantana Productions    Savoy Pictures
PRODUCER: Arlene Sellers    Alex Winitsky    Frank Price   
CAST: Chris O'Donnell    Minnie Driver    Geraldine O'Rawe    Saffron Burrowes    Alan Cumming    Colin Firth   Aidan Gillen
LOCATION: Inistioge, Co. Kilkenny,Co. Dublin
EDITOR: Jim Jympson      
DOP: Ken Macmillan      
COSTUME DESIGN: Anushia Nieradzik
HAIR/MAKEUP: Elaine Davis Carmel Jackson Dorka Nieradzik
SOUND: Peter Pennell   David Barrett    Alan Paley
MUSIC: Michael Kamen

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A small village in 1950s Ireland. Three friends, Benny, Nan and Eve are confirmed together and pledge everlasting friendship, but shortly afterwards, Nan and her family move away. Half a decade later the three are re-united at university in Dublin. Nan's years living in Dublin give her a veneer of experience over her friends: Eve, an orphan, has been raised by nuns whilst Benny must return home to her village every night.

At college, Benny meets Jack, a handsome medical student and college rugby star. When Eve holds a party at her cottage (formerly that of her parents), Benny and Jack begin a chaste (albeit frustratingly so) relationship. Her parents are determined that she will marry the repulsive Sean, who works in her fathers business. When her father suddenly dies, Benny is forced to leave college and work in the shop with Sean whose advances she attempts to ward off.

At the same time, Nan is using the cottage to which she also has a key for illicit assignations with Simon Westward the local Protestant landlord. When she becomes pregnant, however, Simon refuses to marry her on the grounds that she hasn't enough money. Horrified, Nan seduces a drunken Jack, (who is in any case disgruntled by his separation from Benny) then informs him that he is the father of her baby. Unhappily he agrees to do the right thing and marry her, breaking Benny's heart.

At another party, however, Eve confronts Nan with her suspicion that Jack is not the father of her child. Nan confesses, releasing Jack from the engagement. At the same time, Benny discovers that Sean has been embezzling money from her father's business and has him fired. Both free again, Jack and Benny begin their relationship again.

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