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The Country Girls (1983)

Friendship of two girls, childhood friends, is put on the test when they grow up and leave for the big city, each with different life goals in mind.


Desmond Davis


Edna O'Brien (novel), Edna O'Brien (screenplay)
1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sam Neill ... Mr. Gentleman
Maeve Germaine ... Kate
Jill Doyle Jill Doyle ... Baba
John Olohan John Olohan ... Hickey
Britta Smith Britta Smith ... Lil
Patricia Martin Patricia Martin ... Martha
Des Nealon Des Nealon ... Mr. Brennan
John Kavanagh ... James
Sheila Flitton Sheila Flitton ... Sister Margaret
Anna Manahan Anna Manahan ... Mrs. Burns
Niall Toibin ... Jack Holland
Agnes Bernelle Agnes Bernelle ... Joanna
Patricia Jeffares Patricia Jeffares ... Miss Moriaty
Vincent Smith Vincent Smith ... Harry
Tom Laidlaw Tom Laidlaw ... Reg


Friendship of two girls, childhood friends, is put on the test when they grow up and leave for the big city, each with different life goals in mind.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »


Guilty pleasures become innocent delights [Video Australia] See more »


Drama | Romance


See all certifications »






Release Date:

24 November 1983 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Devojke sa sela See more »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Actors Niall Toibin and John Kavanagh received 'guest star' credits. See more »


Moonlight Magic
Music by Alan Moorhouse
KPM Music Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

Coming of age in 1950's Ireland
30 December 2018 | by Red-125See all my reviews

The Country Girls (1983 TV Movie) was directed by Desmond Davis. The screenplay was by Edna O'Brien, who wrote the novel on which the film is based.

This coming-of-age movie stars Maeve Germaine as Kate, and Jill Doyle is her best friend Baba. They both live in rural western Ireland. Kate's mother is loving, but depressed and abused by her drunkard husband. Baba's father is a physician, and is kind to both girls.

What makes the story interesting is that the young women are very different in temperament and abilities. Kate is intelligent and sensitive; Baba is less intelligent and less sensitive. She's more rebellious and defiant.

It would have been easy to film this as a good girl/bad girl drama, but that's not how O'Brien wrote it. The good girl, Kate, is in love with a married man. (He's called Mr. Gentleman, and is portrayed by Sam Neill.) That's the situation in which we'd assume Baba would be. However, it's Kate. It's a very creative touch.

The remainder of the plot follows the young women from home, to convent school, to Dublin. We learn about Irish society--as seen by O'Brien--at each step along the way.

For example, the convent school is run like a strict convent, designed to produce unhappiness. (The students aren't training to be nuns. They're just in high school, but they're treated like novice nuns.) No one questions this--that's just the way it was. Baba compares it to a prison camp, and I could see her point. Examples like that allow you to receive the bonus of an insight into a culture in a specific place at a specific time.

We saw this movie on the small screen. It was made for TV, so the small screen isn't a disadvantage. It's not a great movie, but it's a very good movie, and definitely worth seeing.

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