Sunday 23 November 2014

Film classics flicker back to life for studio's birthday

Published 24/10/2008 | 00:00

The 1959 film 'This Other Eden' - starring (from left) Leslie Philips, Derry Power, Audrey Dalton and Norman Rodway – will be screened as part of Ardmore's 50th anniversary celebrations Photo: IRISH FILM INSTITUTE RESTORATION

AFTER decades gathering dust in vaults, three of the earliest films to emerge from Ardmore Studios have been restored to grace the silver screen once again.

The three feature films from the 1950s -- 'Sally's Irish Rogue', 'This Other Eden' and 'Home is the Hero' -- have until recently been locked up in British and American archive vaults.

A modern-style digital makeover was ordered to ensure the films were fit to air for the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Co Wicklow studios, which helped kick-start Ireland's burgeoning industry.

Ardmore Studios, which has been used in over 100 feature films and recently played host to 'The Tudors', staring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, has supported the sourcing and restoration of the films for preservation in the Irish Film Archive.

Kasandra O'Connell, head of the archive at the Irish Film Institute (IFI), said both 'Sally's Irish Rogue' and 'This Other Eden' were digitally remastered from elements preserved at the British Film Institute (BFI). The restoration work cost €15,000.

The three films will be screened at the IFI in Temple Bar, Dublin, over the next few months.

Ms O'Connell described the early years of Ardmore Studios as an "exciting time for the Irish film industry" and the renowned Abbey Theatre actors were always "critically well-received".

'Home is The Hero' was the first film to go into production in the new studios. It was adapted by Henry Keating from the 1952 stage play of the same name by Walter Macken.

The first Ardmore film production to be released in cinemas was 'Sally's Irish Rogue', based on a George Shiels stage play. 'This Other Eden', the first Irish feature directed by a woman, Muriel Box, explored the legacy of the Civil War and the impact of the loss of Michael Collins. Its producer, Emmet Dalton, one of the founders of Ardmore Studios, was with Collins the day he was shot.

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