Film / Far and Away

Far and Away is a 1992 drama film, directed by Ron Howard and starring then-married couple Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman and Colm Meaney.

Set in the 1890s, Irish immigrant Joseph Donnelly (Cruise) and his landlord's daughter Shannon Christie (Kidman) leave for America after getting into trouble with her father, where they start to fall for each other and then take part in the Oklahoma Land Rush.

Actually, it's a bit more than that. Shannon wants to rebel against her traditional upbringing and run away to America. Joseph wants revenge on her father for taking his land and getting rich while his family starves. A little Hilarity Ensues and Shannon drags Joseph with her as her servant boy. However, the tables are soon turned as Joseph must teach Shannon what real life and work involve, especially for Irish immigrants in Boston. Eventually the two fall in love and plan to run away together to the West.

Tropes seen in the film:

  • Bumbling Dad: Mr. Christie.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: "I've burnt many houses in my day. How shall I remember yours?"
  • Chekhov's Gag: Soon after arriving in Boston, Joseph teaches Shannon how to do laundry. Just before the film's climax, we see Shannon teaching her mother the same skill.
  • Cool Old Guy: Mr. Christie, again. He's much nicer than Joseph could expect.
  • Crapsack World: What Far and Away turns out to be. And what Ireland seemed to be before they left.
  • Daddy's Girl: Shannon is much closer to her father than her mother.
  • Doomed Hometown: At the beginning of the film, Joseph's home is burned down by Chase due to unpaid rent.
  • Everyone Can See It: The entire whorehouse knows that Joseph and Shannon aren't actually "brother and sister."
  • Fiery Redhead: Shannon fits this easily. Joseph warns their co-workers at the factory that she has a bite that stings, shortly before she demonstrates by lighting up a foreman who docked her a day's pay (exchanging another two days' pay just to do it.)
  • Fighting Irish: Joseph shows up to Mr. Christie's house with a gun after he takes Joseph's land.
    • Joseph also boxes in Boston to earn money.
    • Joseph repeatedly says, "I have no wish ta fight ya" right before fighting someone.
  • Gag Penis: Shannon can't help peeking under the container covering Joseph, when he's lying naked. She looks impressed.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Joseph attempts to assassinate Daniel for burning down his home with a rifle, but it backfires on him and he's knocked down.
  • I Will Find You: The Christies go to America to look for their daughter.
  • An Immigrant's Tale: In addition to Joseph and Shannon, Shannon's family also travels to America after their home in Ireland is burned to the ground.
  • I "Uh" You, Too: Happens in a conversation between Joseph and Shannon about their ideal futures.
    Joseph: I pretend I love you.
    Shannon: I pretend I love you too.
  • Mistress and Servant Boy: Shannon urges Joseph to come with her and be her servant boy while she's running away to America (since she's secretly taken a liking to him, but also because she wants a way to protect herself); he, on the other hand, angrily rejects the idea.
    • Later, when he's faced with no other alternative (other than getting shot and dying), he does end up becoming her servant for the time being. Although he doesn't miss any opportunities to snark at her while doing so.
      Shannon: May I ask what you are doing, sitting at my table?
      Joseph: I'm eating your chocolate cake.
  • Prince Charming Wannabe: Stephen Chase is to Shannon always charming and polite. Too bad he's a dick to everyone else.
  • The Promised Land: Where Shannon and Joseph originally set out for when leaving Ireland.
  • Redundant Romance Attempt: As Joseph comes from a poor background and Shannon from a wealthy one, he tries to turn himself into somebody well-dressed and classy, wanting to impress her. This backfires, since she already liked him and how different he was from people in her social class.
    Joseph: I tried to prove myself to you, but I know nothing of books or alphabets or sun or moon or... All I know is Joseph loves Shannon. That's all that really matters to me.
  • Reliably Unreliable Guns: When trying to shoot Mr. Christie (see Whiteboyism), Joseph's gun blows up in his face, and even breaks in half.
    Joseph: Captain...Moonlight.
  • Snow Means Love: Joseph and Shannon have an odd but touching scene where they confess their love. Meanwhile, it snows outside the home they're taking shelter in.
    Shannon: Pretend... you love me.
    Joseph: I pretend I love you.
    Shannon: I pretend I love you, too.