World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Far and Away

Far and Away
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Ron Howard
Produced by Ron Howard
Brian Grazer
Bob Dolman
Screenplay by Bob Dolman
Story by Ron Howard
Bob Dolman
Starring Tom Cruise
Nicole Kidman
Music by John Williams
Cinematography Mikael Salomon
Edited by Daniel P. Hanley
Mike Hill
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates
  • May 22, 1992 (1992-05-22)
Running time
140 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $60 million[1]
Box office $137.8 million

Far and Away is a 1992 romantic adventure drama film directed by Ron Howard from a script by Howard and Bob Dolman, and stars Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. Cinematography by Mikael Salomon, with a music score by John Williams. It was screened out of competition at the 1992 Cannes Film Festival.[2]

Cruise and Kidman play Irish immigrants seeking their fortune in 1890s America, eventually taking part in the Land Run of 1893.[3][4]


  • Plot 1
  • Cast 2
  • Soundtrack 3
  • Reception 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


In 1893 Ireland, Joseph Donnelly's family home is burned down by his landlord's men because of unpaid rent. Vowing revenge, Joseph attempts to kill the landlord Christie whose daughter Shannon has rebelled against family tradition and made plans to claim free land in America. She offers to take Joseph with her as her "servant" so she, a single woman, can travel without scandal. Joseph agrees, convinced he can also stake a land claim.

On a ship bound for America, Shannon meets McGuire, who warns her that the free land is very far away in Oklahoma. She explains that her collection of valuable silver spoons will cover all expenses, and he offers to help her find a shop to sell them to. On arriving in Boston, McGuire is shot, and Shannon's spoons fall out of his clothing and get snatched up by passersby. Joseph rescues her but not the spoons. A worker for Ward Boss Mike Kelly, a leader of the Irish immigrant community, introduces them to him. Kelly finds them lodging and jobs, but only one room, which they must share. To avoid scandal, Joseph says she's his sister.

Joseph and Shannon become attracted to each other, but both keep up a front of indifference. One night Joseph rushes out to Boss Kelly's club, where a bare-knuckle boxing match is underway. Joseph challenges the winner, knocks him out, and soon becomes a regular at the club. Back in Ireland, the Christies's house is burned down by angry tenants in the Irish Land War, so the Christies decide to emigrate to America, hoping also to find their daughter.

Joseph is told Shannon is at Kelly's club. Rushing to the club, he discovers Shannon on stage as a burlesque dancer. He tries to cover her with his jacket, demanding that she stop dancing. The Irish men surrounding the couple beg him to fight and offer him a small fortune ($200). Shannon, who previously scorned boxing, urges him to fight, since the money would get them to Oklahoma. Joseph agrees and is winning until he notices one of his backers (a member of the city council) groping Shannon on his lap. Joseph pushes through the crowd to free her, but is pushed back into the ring, where his foot accidentally "toes" the line, falsely signaling he is ready to begin fighting. But he isn't ready, and the Italian lands a sucker punch, after which he's beaten.

In retaliation for the hundreds of dollars Joseph's boxing loss has cost Boss Kelly and his friends, Joseph is thrown out into the street outside the club and he meets a policeman who shows him a picture of Shannon asking if he's seen her. He then comes back to the room to find Kelly and his thugs searching their room for the money he and Shannon saved. With their valuables having been stolen by Kelly's thugs, they're both then thrown out into the streets. Joseph and Shannon are left homeless.

Cold and famished, the pair enter a seemingly abandoned luxurious house. Joseph encourages Shannon to pretend the house is hers and he is her servant, but she begs him to pretend they are married and the house is theirs. During that tender moment, the owners of the house return and chase them away, shooting Shannon in the back. Joseph brings Shannon to the Christies, newly arrived from Ireland. He decides Shannon will be better cared for by them, and leaves despite his obvious feelings for her.

Joseph finds work laying track on a railroad, seemingly abandoning his dream of owning land. Told a wagon train he sees out the door of his boxcar is heading for the Oklahoma land rush, Joseph abandons the railroad and joins the wagon train, arriving in Oklahoma Territory just in time for the Land Run of 1893.

Joseph finds Shannon, Stephen, and the Christies already in Oklahoma. Stephen, having seen Joseph talking to Shannon, threatens him that he will kill him if he goes near Shannon again. Joseph buys a horse for the land rush but the horse dies in a few hours and he is forced to ride an unruly horse he manages to tame. On this horse, he quickly outpaces everybody and catches up with Shannon and Stephen, having discovered that Stephen cheated by illegally inspecting the territory before the race and is headed for extremely desirable land he found.

Joseph is ready to plant his claim flag. Shannon rushes to his side and rejects Stephen when he questions her actions. Joseph professes his love for Shannon. They drive their flag into the ground and claim the land together.



Far and Away
Film score by John Williams
Released 26 May 1992
Recorded 1992
Genre Soundtrack
Length 67:12
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Filmtracks [5]

The music to Far and Away was composed and conducted by composer John Williams. The score, a mixture of traditional Irish instrumentation and conventional orchestra, prominently featured performances by the Irish musical group The Chieftains and a revision of the song "Book of Days" composed and performed by Enya. The soundtrack was released 26 May 1992 through MCA Records and features 19 tracks of music at a running time just over sixty-seven minutes.[6]

  1. "County Galway, June 1892" (1:55)
  2. "The Fighting Donellys" (2:18) – featured performance by The Chieftains
  3. "Joe Sr.'s Passing/The Duel Scene" (4:41)
  4. "Leaving Home" (1:55)
  5. "Burning the Manor House" (2:43)
  6. "Blowing Off Steam" (1:31)
  7. "Fighting for Dough" (2:02) – featured performance by The Chieftains
  8. "Am I Beautiful?" (3:38)
  9. "The Big Match" (5:56)
  10. "Inside the Mansion" (4:24)
  11. "Shannon is Shot" (4:06)
  12. "Joseph's Dream" (3:08)
  13. "The Reunion" (3:50)
  14. "Oklahoma Territory" (2:12)
  15. "The Land Race" (4:56)
  16. "Settling with Steven/The Race to the River" (4:08)
  17. "Joseph and Shannon" (3:14)
  18. "Book of Days" (2:53) – composed and performed by Enya
  19. "End Credits" (6:35) – featured performance by The Chieftains


The film received mixed reviews from critics.[7][8][9] Roger Ebert praised the film's cinematography while criticising its script: "Far and Away" is a movie that joins astonishing visual splendor with a story so simple-minded it seems intended for adolescents...It's depressing that such a lavish and expensive production, starring an important actor like Tom Cruise, could be devoted to such a shallow story."[10] The movie, which cost $60 million to make, earned roughly $13 million on its first weekend and made a total of $58 million domestically (it also fared solidly abroad, with almost $79 million) and $137 million worldwide.[11][12][13] The film altogether made $166,694,840 from worldwide and home video rentals. Far and Away currently holds a 50% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 24 reviews. The film was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Original Song for the song Book of Days.[14] Writer Tony Parsons later called it "a stinker of a picture called Far And Away, which was far and away the worst film I have ever seen."[15]

The film is rated M in Australia, however the rating was later changed to PG in New Zealand.


  1. ^ Christon, Lawrence (1992-05-17). "Epic Picture, Epic Dreams : Ron Howard & Co. go all-out in making 'Far and Away,' a $60-million historical romance, and then marketing it against action sequels".  
  2. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Far and Away". Retrieved 2009-08-17. 
  3. ^ Galbraith, Jane (1992-06-14). "A look inside Hollywood and the movies. : LEGAL DEPT. : Lawsuit, Lawsuit on the Range".  
  4. ^ Gerosa, Melina (1992-05-22). "Irish Risky".  
  5. ^ Filmtracks review
  6. ^ Far and Away soundtrack review at Retrieved 2011-03-20.
  7. ^ McCarthy, Todd (1992-05-10). "Far and Away".  
  8. ^ "Far and Away".  
  9. ^ "Far and Away".  
  10. ^ "Far and Away".  
  11. ^ Fox, David J. (1992-06-01). Lethal Weapon,' 'Sister Act' Pack a Sales Punch : Box office: The two films dominate weekend ticket action. But 'Far and Away,' starring Tom Cruise, lags behind."'".  
  12. ^ Fox, David J. (1992-05-19). Lethal Weapon 3' Destroying Records"'". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-08. 
  13. ^ Far and Away (1992) - Box office / business
  14. ^ """1992 RAZZIE® Nominees & "Winners. The RAZZIES Golden Raspberry Award Foundation. Retrieved 5 June 2014. 
  15. ^ Tony Parsons, "Yanks Lose the Plot". The Daily Mirror December 21, 1998.

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.