I too was surprised when this one appeared on Blu-ray. But certainly considered it interesting enough to make a blind buy purchase. The vehicle itself was famous and I've always liked Gary Raymond. Enjoyed it for the most part. Raymond himself is fine. But I found Siobhan McKenna problematic as Pegeen. The performance seems overly informed by consciousness of her own eminent reputation as a great actress. I know she'd enjoyed considerable success on stage in a 1960 revival of the play. But onscreen the lady seems determined to deliver the dialogue's inherent poetry on stilts and steroids. What she does seems calibrated for the stage rather than the screen. Plus the actress was around forty when she made the picture - and looks every second of it. I believe her character's supposed to be about twenty. I'd have loved to see Sarah Miles tackle it a few years later.I was surprised to see a UK Blu-ray release last year of a movie i have not seen in 40 years. The last time i saw The Playboy of the Western World (1962) was back in the late 1970's when it was shown on my local PBS station and as a kid i did like the film. Since then it was not shown on tv or released on any video format until last year when Network released a nice looking Blu-ray. Have it on my shelf and happy Network releasing it on disc.
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Rest of the cast find a much more acceptable tone. Standout is an actress called Elspeth March, astonishingly good as a lusty tell it like it is widow with eyes for the Playboy. Every line comes out of her mouth as if she's living it - yet the raw beauty of the words constantly sings. I'd say she deserved a supporting actress nomination for this one. Had to look the lady up afterwards and learned she was the first Mrs. Stewart Granger (1938-48). What a couple of tigers these two must have been in their youth! The second Mrs. Granger was, as many here will know, the entrancing Jean Simmons. March seems to have sustained an illustrious stage career but made few films. Too bad. If this movie's any indication, she was quite a powerhouse onscreen.
Must add that Irish location filming adds a great deal of flavor to the movie. I'm glad I purchased it.