"Thoroughly enjoyed this film at the Waterfront Film Festival in Saugatuck, Michigan. Great story, script, and acting. Highly recommended."
"An Amazing and powerful story that brought me to tears by moments of truth and understanding. Nick Thurston and Geoffrey Wigdor are amazing. The truth they brought to their relationship as siblings was captivating."
Los Angeles, CA
"I also saw this screening last night in Cambridge, MA. at the Kendall Theatre. I too was blown away! I could have had the chance to say something about it to the Writer/Director (John Gray) but I was completely flabbergasted/astounded & remained silent (like we were taught to do as young Irish children). I grew up in the 70's with my five Irish-Roman Catholic brothers & this movie resonated right through my heart & psych. Half of my brother's are deceased now, due to the alcoholism abuse that we grew up around. I normally never cry at movies or funerals & hold all the emotions & "Irish" feelings inside. However, this movie had me actually wiping the dripping tears off my hidden cheek. I would highly recommend this film to every Irish Catholic in existence or to anybody who needs to understand what things were like in the 70's. in this Irish-American culture. It was great! "
"Congratulations to White Irish Drinkers for going over the 100,000 ratings mark on Netflix! Bravo!!! And a 3.7 rating ain't half bad, either ... nice job to all involved -- John & Melissa, the entire cast & crew, and Screen Media Films."
"I saw the film yesterday at the Sunshine Cinema in NYC and enjoyed it very much. It really evoked the 70's in Bay Ridge Brooklyn where I came from. The acting was great. I see great futures for all of the newcomers, and it was nice to see Karen Allen, Peter Rieggert and Stephen Lang again on screen.
I will certainly recommend the film to my friends tom see in theatres or on a DVD."
Brooklyn, New York
"Attended the screening last night at the Kendall in Cambridge, had no idea what the film was about...I saw an ad in the Metro saying the Writer/Director was doing a Q&A afterwords and I'm always interested in hearing about the journey a film takes and hearing it firsthand. Now to the film...it was just beautifully done. A story of two brothers, love & loyalty and the choices we make. It resonated deeply with me. The acting was remarkable; new unknown actors and some stalwarts with vision to see the value of a good story over a high paycheck. Well-crafted and poignant. You must go see this film. It will make you laugh and cry but more importantly it will stay with you."
"This is a wonderful film. I t made me laugh and it made me cry! The acting is amazing and the story just grabs you and makes you part of the story! Anyone who lived during these years will love this story, and if you didn't live then, it will make you wish you had!
Don't miss this!"
"This is the story of love, family, community, fear and courage and what those things mean to us. This movie shows us what family, love and fear can prevent us from doing if we let them. But it also shows us what love, family, friends can potentially enable us to do if we have the courage and strength to face those fears. A timeless story, told simply and beautifully in Brooklyn."
Ardnaglass, Northern Ireland
"A fantastic film that inspires you by managing to be simple and entertaining as well as substantive and powerful. A wonderful collaboration of new and established talents, White Irish Drinkers is a breath of fresh air. The film is so well written, you could care about every character; it is so well acted that you do, in fact, care about every character. Nick Thurston is a revelation. I urge everyone to go and see this film, bring your friends along, and then spread the word. We should all support films like this; they are too rare."
New York, NY
"If this is Nick Thurston's first film, I eagerly anticipate following his career! Wrapped in the hard-drinking, bare-knuckles, conflicted life he loves and hates, his vulnerability was palpable. His eyes said it all. The film's casting was spot-on; every actor delivered a character I cared about. Thanks to John Gray for an evening very well spent."
"This film is so much more than a family drama. The pain, frustration and hopes of the characters are communicated by amazingly strong performances. Even the minor characters capture your heart. This is by no means a "small movie." Hopefully, it will reach a wide audience; it definitely deserves to be seen."
"This is a "witness for the prosecution" movie...do not reveal what you saw to anyone. Let them discover the revelations for themselves. Paddy and Maggie portray the ultimate enabler/drunk duet. So sad and so perfectly enacted. Brian and Shauna make you want to fall in passionate, unrelenting love all over again."
New York, NY
"A brilliant film with fabulous actors. Captured the flavor of the era as well. A must see!"
New Rochelle, N.Y.
"This is an incredibly vivid, evocative and impassioned movie about finding the courage to be true to yourself in a harsh and cynical world of nonbelievers. Nick Thurston's character burrows into your heart and stays there long after the movie ends."
"As Chairman of the Board of the Berkshire Film Festival, I get to see many creative films but none have surpassed White Irish Drinkers. It is a strong film, well told and acted, with no weaknesses. Several of its actors deliver performances that are Academy Award- worthy, It screened last night to a packed house (despite an ice storm) and everyone was glad to be there. It's a must-see for any film lover who appreciates excellence."
Great Barrington, MA
"This film stayed with me for a long time. Everyone I saw this film with agreed that what was so wonderful, is that every character did a fantastic job - and there were a couple of real break out performances. It was strong and somewhat brutal, and also sweet and funny at times. Laughs to tears to sitting on the edge of your seat, but in a very interesting and completely unique way. I wish more films were this well done."
"This film was incredible!!! Everything about it captures you and takes you on a emotional roller coaster ride. The acting, the filming, and the story are all fantastic!!!"
"I loved this movie! The story was gripping and the acting was fantastic. It really grabbed you from the beginning and didn't let go of you until the end. A definite must see for sure!"
"Loved every minute of this movie experience. Great characters, tremendous acting and cinematic quality even on a tiny budget! So glad to have an opportunity to see this through Berkshire International Film Festival programs."
"I was really surprised by newcomer Nick Thurston. His performance was amazing! I'm also a huge Karen Allen fan so when I also saw she was int he film I was really excited too. She does an amazing job and delivers a great performance. A definite must see for sure!"
Los Angeles, CA
"Saw the film in Toronto. Wow!!! Acting superb from top to bottom with special kudos to Geoff Wigdor and Nick Thurston...2 stars of the future! Can't wait to see it again in general release. Small movie with big ambitions that hits all the marks!"
"Acting was great, storyline fantastic and was an emotional roller coaster. Can't wait to see it in the theatres."
"We saw the movie last Saturday night at the Mahaiwe Theatre in Great Barrington, Ma. What exceptional, rich writing, what outstanding acting, what thoughtful cinematography, what a memorable experience. We loved this movie and are spreading the word to our friends and family that they must see it."
Westfield, New Jersey
"Nick Thurston blew me away!!! Karen Allen was brave and tragic!!! Everyone should see this film!"
"What a film! Strong,insightful, sensitive, and an ensemble of actors that are a tour de force!"
"Risked life and limb in an ice storm to see this at the Mahaiwe Theater last night, and it was well worth it. Marvelous film, densely plotted, beautifully acted, written, directed, and shot. Just wonderful on all scores. The family dynamic around which the story revolves is not a new story, but it's never been better depicted. The spare but intense performances of Karen Allen, Stephen Lang, Nick Thurston, and Jeff Wigdor, as well as of Leslie Murphy, Peter Riegert, and the entire supporting cast, are deserving of the highest praise, as are the writing and directing of John Gray and the cinematography of Seamus Tierney. The film deserves to be widely seen. Congratulations and thanks to all concerned."
Great Barrington, MA
"Loved this movie. Best dialogue since the Departed! Mr. Gray is a great story teller, and his affection for the characters and neighborhood is obvious. The cast is phenomenal. This intense, emotional film also has lots of laugh out loud moments. Worthy of many more awards."
"We just saw the film at the historic Mahaiwe Theatre in Great Barrington in a packed house. The acting was superb and the story authentic and moving. It's a film worth opening across the country!"
Lis and Virgil S.
"Wow! Just left the screening in Great Barrington, MA. Great story presented by a talented crew of actors. It was like going back in time. Don't miss this movie!"
"Just saw the film in Nyack....one of the best films I have seen in a long time. reminded me of a New Yorkers version of the 'Fighter'."
"I saw the film last night. I laughed, I cried. The way that John Gray captured the character detail, their insides and outsides was miraculous. Great job. A must see film."
"Saw last night's screening. Can't wait until its out to send all my friends. Marvelous movie."
"I only saw about five movies at the FC fest this year, but I can say without a doubt, that this was absolutely the best movie I saw there. It's a fairly quiet drama, with the human spirit running through it. A beautiful odd little film, that if given the chance could make it huge. A masterful piece of art."
"A wonderful story of two brothers who don't ever leave each other, always together, for better or for worse. I liked this movie very much. That I saw today is real life, a true story. A very great movie and work of all of you."
"I saw your movie today at the Torino Film Festival, and I really liked it. A good, strong story, great direction and interpretation. It's simply amazing what is possible to do with a small budget and such a short shooting time. Good luck for the competition!"
"I've seen the film at the Turin Film Festival and I've completely loved it: very moving and compelling, well witten and with great actors."
"Saw it today at the Turin Film Festival. Powerful and moving film."
"One of the best films selected for Film Columbia's Film Festival... powerful, moving, witty, heartwrenching... a must see for today's young adults!"
"The snippits I saw made me want more!! Can't wait to see it on the big screen!! Thx for sharing."
"Saw this film at the 2010 Film Columbia showing in Chatham. A powerful, wonderful film, with so much more truth and passion to offer than those other "coming of age in the 70s" films. Thurston and Wigdor work beautifully together, and Karen Allen is exceptional."
"Just saw screening at Film Columbia Film Festival...powerful, beautiful, well told story and outstanding performances by all involved...I will tell friends/family to watch for it...thank you!!"
"ust a wonderful story with cast that are just great."
"A beautiful, powerful film! I attended a screening in Los Angeles and was truly blown away. I can't wait for this film to be widely distributed, so that I can send ALL of my friends! I grew up outside of Boston and in the late 70s and feel that you perfectly captured the people and the era. Everything from the script, to the performances, to the direction to the production design was right on the money. I didn't want the film to end! Kudos to everyone involved in the project."
"Brilliant! Deeply moving and finely calibrated; combined with a warm and generous sense of humor. Deserving of broad circulation. Saw it at Woodstock Film Festival."
"I just came from a showing of John Gray's brilliant film, "White Irish Drinkers", a major contribution to the Woodstock Film Festival and I feel privileged to have been in that audience.
What a powerful, riviting, emotional and deeply moving work of art. The acting across the board was outstanding. I have never seen Karen Allen any better than this. Veteran actors Steven Lang and Peter Riegert were flawless. New comer Nick Thurston was sensitive and expressive and deftly handled the emotional roller coaster of his character, Brian Leary. Geoffrey Wigdor and Leslie Murphy were dead on in their portrayal of Brian's older brother and girlfriend.
The depth of the characters... is the stuff "great" films are made of. Nothing contrived, affected, just real, honest people whose story to which anyone with blood pulsing through their veins can respond.
I certainly hope that this film makes it to the masses, as it is by far more engaging than the majority of the multi million dollar trivial indulgences Hollywood passes off on the public.
Major kudos to John Gray and company!"
"I haven't seen a movie this satisfying in a long time. It somehow manages to be hilarious, sexy, suspenseful, fun, and deeply moving, all at the same time. There isn't a false note anywhere, from the story and the production, to the spot-on performances. Bravo!"
"Outstanding! As the story unfolds, you can actually feel the emotions of the audience rise and fall. Wonderful performances by the whole cast carries you through an emotional ride that is sometimes difficult to watch, but certainly worth it in the end. Congratulations to all involved; you deserve to reach a huge audience!"
"I saw your film this afternoon at the woodstock film festival. I loved everything you did with the film, the callbacks with the knuckles, the hot food burning his mouth, the garbageman's use of language...
The story brought up tremendous feeling for me on many levels. I sincerely hope that the film receives the opportunity to be widely released. I have already emailed a few people to look for it.
It is truly a gem. Thank you."
"Just saw this film at the woodstock film festival, oh my what a emotional roller coaster ride. This is one best movies I have seen in ages. Thank you so much for the ride!"
New York, NY
"Saw the film at the Woodstock Film Festival and loved it! The script is nearly perfect, and so are the performances. Best of luck with it."
New York, NY
"Incredible film!! Saw it for the first time in Toronto and it blew me away! you've got to see this film. Amazing!!"
"Another 5 stars from this armchair critic! Great "emotional" film. John Gray gets heavy kudos here, especially for casting of his young talent. I'm sure we will see Nick Thurston again soon on the big screen -- that performance will not be missed by those making casting decisions. Wigdor and Murphy VERY strong as well. But the story ... the script ... was beautiful."
"Was in the audience the very last day of the festival and honestly, people were saying it was the best film they saw. The audience was mesmerized and no one even moved through the film and the entire director Q&A after. Can't believe it got so lost amongst the more high profile star driven films. What a crowd pleaser - or crowd "mover." People were laughing, sobbing, saying they'd be thinking about it for days. An emotional experience and a "5" rating."
"Saw the film in Toronto..great flashback to the 70's, music and all. Young performers are unbelievable in their roles. 1st timer Leslie Murphy is a natural in front of the camera,,can't wait to see her in more roles. Both Thurston and Wigdor play their irish brother roles expertly. Karen Allen and Stephen Lang are superb as the parents and Peter Riegert adds great humor and surprises in his role as "Whitey" ..great directing, plot and choices of actors...give it a solid A or in this case a "5""
"I was invited to the Los Angeles Premier. I have to say, I was moved to tears. It is a realistic viewpoint of blue collar mentality, at least when I was growing up, of the "who do you think you are" attitude when you are just expressing your authentic self. This imposed belief is certainly fostered by ignorance and fear. This is a true phoenix rising from the ashes tale. I was thoroughly moved."
"See this movie if you're lucky enough to get the chance. It is a touching, funny, moving, intimate portrait of a specific time and place that is nonetheless universal, with an involving story that will draw you in and make you feel.
The cast and performances are phenomenal all around, thanks to the heart and verisimilitude in the script, and director John Gray handles it all with a deft hand that, rather than drawing attention to itself, draws our attention to the story and action on the screen, which is as it should be.
In this day and age of yet the latest remake, spin-off or graphic novel adaptation, it's encouraging to see a micro-budget original story that's more engaging and memorable than any ten Hollywood blockbusters. Ironically, this is one of the few movies I've seen in recent memory for which I want a sequel to be made -- because, by the end, you will want to see more of these characters and find out "So, what happened then?"
You don't have to be white, Irish or a drinker to relate to this film; you just need to be a human being with a heart -- although if you happen to have Irish family from the east coast, you'll be alternately wincing and laughing in recognition every other minute.
Two thumbs, way way up.."
Sherman Oaks, CA
"I was invited to an advanced screening of White Irish Drinkers with no expectations of the film, and I must say I was truly impressed.
From the acting of Steven Lang, who, as always - was extraordinary, to the under-appreciated Karen Allen in one of her best roles. And finally to Nick Thurston who delivered a strong, measured performance that anchors the story.
In addition, Seamus Tierney provided some exceptional cinematography shot on location in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn - rarely seen on film since Saturday Night Fever in 1977, which coincidentally is the roughly the year when Drinkers is set.
But it is the director/writer/producer John Gray who's long career of solid work has served him well in bringing this powerful story to life."
Los Angeles, CA
"Invited by a friend of a friend, I saw a preview and was prepared to politely praise the film even if I didn't like it. But I was surprised. This film is sincere, unpretentious, extremely well written and well acted. The story captured my interest from beginning to end. High marks go to all of the actors -- Karen Allen, Peter Riegert, Nick Thurston at an existential crossroads, Geoffrey Wigdor as his older brother who is already lost to the streets, and especially Stephen Lang (the baddie from Avatar), a formidable actor who digs his fingers into your heart. I saw grown men in our audience surreptitiously wiping their eyes!
I don't know much about film-making, but I know what holds me. Whatever the makers did, they did right. Good luck! "
Los Angeles, CA
""The new indie film "White Irish Drinkers" takes place in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn in 1975, and the cast includes some veteran actors and some impressive newcomers as well.
Brian is basically a good kid who reluctantly gets involved in petty crimes with his older brother Danny, who he looks up to and loves. But Brian isn't cut out for a life of crime. He's a talented artist who spends his free time painting with watercolors and charcoals in the basement of his parents' apartment, where both he and his brother still live.
Their father is a blue collar guy who is physically abusive to Danny, but never lays a finger on the more sensitive Brian.
Brian has a job working at a run-down movie theater that's on the verge of going under. When the owner, Whitey, who owes the mob a lot of money, calls in a favor, he gets the Rolling Stones to play there, which might just rescue the old place. The problem is Danny wants them to steal all the proceeds from the concert, leading to a crisis of conscious for Brian.
Writer-director John Gray has made a film that is filled with realistic characters that nicely captures both the neighborhood and the era. There's a romantic subplot, a great surprise twist and the mood and tone are right on the money.
Nick Thurston, who plays Brian, gives a heartfelt, believable performance that's filled with subtle nuance and emotion.
The old pros, such as Peter Riegert as Whitey, Karen Allen as the boys' mother and Stephen Lang as the hard-drinking father who takes his anger out on everybody, are all superb.
It's an authentic New York slice of life, and the "coming of age" story has depth. The main character is at a crossroads and you'll be rooting for him all the way."
"…Full blooded contrast to the usual independent film, which tends to be both bloodless and overly controlled."
"White Irish Drinkers is a thoughtful coming-of-age story with bracing performances, solid writing and direction by John Gray, and inescapable take-home values that give you a feel-good lift. Set in 1975 in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, it tells the story of a bright, sensitive 18-year-old named Brian Leary (a superb job by charismatic newcomer Nick Thurston) from a working-class family grappling with hardships to make ends meet and find purpose in a bleak existence. It was a time of Andy Warhol soup cans, Godfather movies, and disco fever on the eve of Saturday Night Fever, but unlike John Travolta, Brian escapes from dead-end reality through art. He's so talented he can make a complete portrait out of a frosted windowpane with his index finger. His friends have no interest or aptitude for anything beyond a high school diploma they can use to learn car repairs or apply for a job as a sanitation worker. College? Learning technology? Fine arts? Nobody understands Brian's dream of going to college to Carnegie-Mellon to study art, least of all his loving but long-suffering mother (welcome back, Karen Allen) or his abusive, alcoholic longshoreman father Paddy (the always amazing Stephen Lang) who saves his brutality for Brian's older brother Danny (Geoff Wigdor). To escape his hardscrabble life, Danny follows a life of crime, and Danny is on the way to becoming his accomplice. But this is a boy with a conscience who turns the basement room under the bagel shop in his parents' building into a secret art studio where he creates impressionistic charcoal drawings and watercolor sketches of the city around him, donning headphones to drown out the noise and shouting between his parents. Brian also works in a broken-down movie house called the Lafayette with no E's on the marquee where his boss Whitey (Peter Riegert) plods along, in debt to the mob. Suddenly, like the switch on a light bulb, an idea hits them between the eyes. Through an old connection, Whitey talks the manager of the Rolling Stones into booking the rock group for a secret one-night-only concert prior to their appearance at Madison Square Garden. Even with nothing but word of mouth publicity, the sold-out event is the biggest thing that ever happened in Bay Ridge. The revenue from the Rolling Stones tickets will not only save Whitey's life and his bankrupt theater, but Brian's share of the profits might get him out of his hopeless blue-collar Brooklyn despair forever. But Brian is the only one who knows his felonious brother Danny is planning a robbery during the show to steal the box-office proceeds. Torn between his loyalty to Whitey, his love for Danny, and his own sense of morality, Brian turns to his new girlfriend Shauna (Leslie Murphy) for help. Before any choice is made, the tables turn violently in a series of shocking finales, changing all of their lives forever.
The claustrophobic Brooklyn ambience is totally authentic, the friendship between Brian and his buddies is so real it results in the best aimless camaraderie since Marty, and the romantic subplot provides a ray of hope that is touching. White Irish Drinkers is a gritty and moving film about finding the courage to get out of a soul-destroying life with no future before they carry you out. I found it consistently interesting and gratifying, and I was immensely impressed with Nick Thurston, an appealing actor with intelligence and self-assurance who is going places, and writer-director John Gray, who has already arrived with a bang."
"The jewel of this year's CRAIC Irish Film Festival, which opened last night at New York's TriBeCa Cinemas, is director John Gray's White Irish Drinkers, a raucous, touching, vital hard-knocks family drama that offers an exquisitely written script, a series of plot twists and a medley of spot-on performances from young talents Nick Thurston (right out of U.S.C.) and Geoffrey Wigdor, along with seasoned screen eminences Karen Allen, Stephen Lang, and Peter Riegert. The film ostensibly revolves around a local Brooklyn theater in the mid-1970s whose owner has inexplicably convinced the Rolling Stones to play for "one night only." But the movie builds from that delightful premise into a love story, a caper-gone-wrong film, and an examination of family dysfunction with hints of The Fighter. It is, more centrally, a coming-of-age, how-do-I-break-out-of-the-boroughs saga that has the unabashed verité, fresh insight, richly developed characters, riveting soundtrack—and high-grade testosterone—that helped to distinguish Saturday Night Fever.
An impromptu finger-painting class in the corner tavern…a drunken soliloquy by the astounding Stephen Lang…a bare-knuckled finale—and a naked romp through a Queens cemetery—are worth the price of admission…and a pint. Or, better: Sneak in a hip flask. And plenty of tissues to daub your hot Irish tears. (The film opens March 25 in New York, Los Angeles, and Cambridge, Mass.)"
"White Irish Drinkers" is a gritty, moving story about finding the courage to make a better choice, rather than accepting the easier options that lie directly in front of you. The quiet, tenuous glue that somehow holds the family together is the boys' mother, Margaret, played with earthy stoicism by Karen Allen. Despite years of a soul-destroying marriage to a profoundly difficult man, Margaret's staunch Catholicism demands that she stand by him, even though she is afraid to face the inevitable realities of her sons' futures. When she discovers Brian's secret studio, she shares a spark of hope, fulfillment and amazement that she has a child with a gift, something that may lift him into a better future than any she could provide."
"White Irish Drinkers, which opens this Friday nationwide, is the name of the best-written, most tightly directed new Irish American coming of age film in over two decades.
From the opening scene, what makes White Irish Drinkers worth your time at the cinema this weekend is that it introduces us to this combustible world without a trace of sentimentality or cliché, and that fact alone makes it a distinctive Irish American film."
"Several worlds away from "Potiche," yet in the same era, is writer-director John Gray's "White Irish Drinkers," an emotional coming-of-age story with one foot in '70s Brooklyn and the other in the '40s of Cain-and-Abel crime dramas and urban sociology à la Warner Brothers. Produced independently by Melissa Jo Peltier and Mr. Gray, who created TV's "The Ghost Whisperer," it is built on archetypes: Brian Leary (Nick Thurston) is a sensitive kid with an artistic gift; his brother, Danny (Geoffrey Wigdor), is a small-time criminal and Brian's tormentor; their mother (Karen Allen) is a martyr; their father (Stephen Lang) is a drunk. The storyline involves a one-night-only show by the Rolling Stones that Brian's boss, Whitey (Peter Riegert), has somehow arranged in order to save his failing movie house. There's also a loan shark (Broadway vet Ken Jennings) with his eye on the gate. All the moving parts—including Brian's gang of boyos, who can't decide whether to join the Civil Service or have another drink—are in place for well-oiled melodrama
What gets in the way of all this formulation is honesty. Mr. Gray's bareknuckle take on tribal Bay Ridge would hardly have flown in the '40s. Maybe not the '70s, either. Alongside Brian's fears of his own talent, and fears about leaving home, is a great deal of casual brutality, disappointment and drink. As the bewhiskered patriarch, Patrick, Mr. Lang is a domestic terrorist, ruling his household through fear, beating his older son and drowning his own unhappiness. Although this is a young man's movie—Mr. Thurston is particularly good, and his exchanges with romantic interest Leslie Murphy sparkle—it's the older actors who deliver the dramatic gravity.
Frequently enough at the movies, an isolated scene can take place in which an actor who may or may not be the lead steals the whole film through naked emotion, or power, or eloquence. Mr. Lang certainly has one here. He's a menacing presence throughout the film; he's the picture of fatherly tyranny and manly despair. But he has one particular moment, with dialogue written wonderfully by Mr. Gray, wherein he makes the fearsome, broken, brutish man he plays in "White Irish Drinkers" the most beautiful thing in Brooklyn."
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
"The "White Irish Drinkers" are a fist-fighting gang of feisty Irish-Americans in Brooklyn in the mid-'70s who aspire to be sanitation workers and bus drivers. Here you "catch a beating" as easily as a passing breeze, usually from your sad and sodden dad.
Saturated with atmosphere and strongly acted, the movie is a far more resonant and convincing portrait of working-class life than the recent awards-bait phoniness that called itself "The Fighter." Young actors Nick Thurston and Geoffrey Wigdor are solid as squabbling brothers, one of them drawn to a possible future as an artist, the other resigned to being a petty thief.
Even better are Karen Allen and Peter Riegert, those "Animal House" lovers, who unfortunately don't share a scene this time. He's a desperate owner of a dying local theater who solves his debt problems by persuading the Rolling Stones to do a concert. She's as tough as brownstone playing the loving but dim mom who overspices all food in the belief that it's healthy and -- when Carnegie Mellon calls about her talented younger son -- reports that it's the Carnegie Deli calling. Stephen Lang (the villain in "Avatar") somewhat overplays his hand as the angry, boozing father.
Writer-director John Gray, who created "Ghost Whisperer" on TV, is a son of Brooklyn whose love for the borough is as thick as a pint of Guinness, and he keeps finding fresh ways to present familiar plot points. I don't think I've seen another movie where young people flirted by running naked through a graveyard."
NEW YORK POST
"A powerful family saga with compelling performances."
LYONS DEN RADIO
"Bottom Line: Entertaining twists and turns in a clever drama that will win big if it gets the chance.
TORONTO -- A movie with the unprepossessing title "White Irish Drinkers" about two brothers living in the Brooklyn docklands in 1975 could easily be filled with cliches but in the hands of filmmaker John Gray, it's a sparkling piece of entertainment that deserves a wide audience.
The set-up is formulaic with Stephen Lang as a tough Irish longshoreman who likes to slap his wife and eldest son around but dotes on his younger son, even as he mocks him for being soft. It sounds like a hoary old '40s B-movie, but Gray's screenplay is atmospheric, inventive and full of surprises, and his direction draws vivid portrayals from his players.
Nurtured properly, the film could find a responsive audience across generations with its savvy mix of youthful restlessness, crime, romance, broken traditions and a little bit of rock 'n 'roll. Gray, who has had an eclectic directing career on television and a couple of features, and created the series "Ghost Whisperer," shows full maturity as a filmmaker.
Lang, with a pleasing lack of false bravado, plays Patrick, who always takes a drink or four on the way home and then takes it out on wife Margaret (Karen Allen, warm and matronly) and son Danny (Geoff Wigdor), who is cut from the same cloth as his father.
Nick Thurston has a star-making turn as younger son Brian, who gets along with everyone but keeps his talent and passion for drawing and painting hidden away. Danny is a petty criminal who tries to involve his brother in his crimes, but Brian is no criminal and is much happier putting in time at the local theater run by Whitey (Peter Riegert, in a shrewdly sympathetic role).
Gray introduces intriguing plotlines seamlessly as Brian falls for pretty travel agent Shauna (Leslie Murphy); Whitey, in hock to a loan shark, schemes to bring the Rolling Stones to his theater; and Danny plans to steal the proceeds. Scenes between the painter and his girl, and with his mates, and between the brothers and their mother have heft and depth. Wigdor gets Danny's rough edges right and Murphy is fresh and open as Laura.
Gray keeps the surprises and twists coming as Brian grows through the story with Thurston combining tenderness with sharp determination and a willingness to seize opportunities when they arise."
"…Persuasive performances, outbursts of robust humor and a vivid yet understated evocation of time and place… focusing on a sensitive young man stirred by vague desires for a life beyond his tribal Irish-American working-class neighborhood in the Bay Ridge area of Brooklyn… (Writer-Director)Gray again evidences a sharp eye for revealing character detail, a good ear for distinctive (and often quite vulgar) figures of speech and an uncondescending appreciation for sometimes affectionate, sometimes belligerent give-and-take among working-class friends and family members. Some of the best scenes involve Brian's interplay with neighborhood buddies who proudly prefer booze to drugs -- pic's title is their self-celebrating motto -- and gruffly insist that landing a civil service job (with, they repeatedly emphasize, medical benefits) is a more practical option than earning any college degree"
"Tough and gritty drama... White Irish Drinkers is a visceral experience."
"Right towards the end of the (Toronto) fest, after most critics had left, I saw this solid drama about a young man coming of age in Brooklyn in the 1970s. It's a good film debut for TV maven John Gray, best known for the hit series Ghost Whisperer and a string of solid TV movies. This is clearly a labor of love and it benefits from a strong cast, including Stephen Lang, Karen Allen, Peter Riegert and talented newcomer Nick Thurston.
Relative unknown Thurston is very appealing as Brian Leary, a sensitive young lad growing up in the rough and tumble of Brooklyn in the Seventies. His older brother is a petty thief. But Brian works at the local cinema, convincing the owner to book rock acts from time to time, obsessively draws in his basement hideaway and fancies the local travel agent with a sharp tongue but a friendly smile. When Brian's boss unexpectedly pulls in a favor and arranges to have the Rolling Stones do a one hour concert in Brooklyn, everyone's dreams collide, with Brian's brother pushing him to rob the place and his boss hoping to avoid a death sentence from the local hood he owes too much money to. Melodrama might intrude towards the end, but the acting is solid throughout and Thurston has a low-key charm -- he could be the kid brother to Kevin Connolly's Eric on Entourage. But unlike a player in Hollywood, Brian has to learn that he has a right to play the game in the first place. Sweet, unforced."
"While all filmmakers are the inheritors of the film masters who came before them, it is important that their films register as original artworks too. In WHITE IRISH DRINKERS, veteran television director John Gray wades into "Scorsese/Saturday Night Fever" territory in a story based in the solidly Irish working class enclaves of Brooklyn of the 1970s. The story centers on two brothers, one a petty thief and the other a budding painter, who must rely on one another in the midst of a household dominated by their violent father and their sympathetic but powerless mother. Of course, we've seen this dynamic before, but Gray, who also produced and wrote the passionate script, goes beyond the cliches of the sub-genre to find a strong truth about family bonds and the need to transcend one's origins… Stephen Lang finds great depth in the role of the abusive father; Karen Allen, who has some beautiful moments as the mother who holds the family together; and Peter Riegert as a hapless businessman whose craftiness is not revealed until the final reel. The film provides a major showcase for the attractive newcomer Nick Thurston, who provides a very winning and introspective approach to his role as the fledgling artist who needs to find a way out in order to most fully express his inner truth. Also strong is newcomer Geoff Wigdor, who connects with the violent outbursts and deep hurt in his character as the older brother… The film handles all the melodrama with a sensibility that never capsizes its emotional truth. One only hopes that a distributor of taste will champion this tender and expressive film."
"It was fantastic. One of the best films I've seen at the (Toronto) festival."
John Gray is a New York based writer-director-producer. He created the long running hit CBS series, GHOST WHISPERER, starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, as well as writing and directing many award-winning and critically acclaimed movies for television, such as MARTIN AND LEWIS, starring Sean Hayes and Jeremy Northam; the Emmy® nominated A PLACE FOR ANNIE with Sissy Spacek; the Emmy® nominated mini-series HAVEN with Natasha Richardson and Anne Bancroft; HELTER SKELTER with Clea DuVall and Bruno Kirby, and many others. Gray has directed dozens of episodes of broadcast and cable series and was also the producing director of the CBS series RECKLESS. He has written and directed several studio and independent feature films, including the award winning WHITE IRISH DRINKERS, starring Stephen Lang and Karen Allen, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Gray's acclaimed short films have played and are currently playing in film festivals all over the world, including FRENCH KISS, which has also notched 6.3 million views to date on YouTube. His first novel, the supernatural thriller THE DESECRATED, was published in July 2022.
Follow him on Twitter @JThomasGray, Instagram @bayrdge, TikTok @johngrayfilmmaker, and visit him at JohnGrayOfficial.com.
MELISSA JO PELTIER
A two-time Emmy Award-winning writer and producer, Melissa Jo Pelter won her first Emmy for educational programming at the age of 23. Since then, she has accumulated over 50 national and international awards and accolades for her work as a producer, writer and editor. She was director and co-writer of the primetime documentary special, "Scared Silent: Exposing and Ending Child Abuse", hosted by Oprah Winfrey. This multi-network simulcast was hailed as television’s most watched documentary ever, and earned Ms. Peltier the coveted Humanitas Prize. Following was the Peabody Award-winning "Break the Silence: Kids Against Child Abuse”. In 1994, she was producer-director-writer of A&E’s four-hour special, "Titanic: Death of a Dream" and "Titanic: The Legend Lives On", then the network’s highest-rated program ever, which won two National Emmy Awards, including one to Ms. Peltier for outstanding documentary writing. Three more Writer’s Guild of America nominations for documentary writing followed, as well as three primetime Emmy Nominations as an Executive Producer of National Geographic Channel’s "Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan”, also 2010 People's Choice Award winner. From 1996-2010, Peltier was a partner and co-founder of MPH Entertainment, which created over 350 hours of original documentary and reality television programming, of which she produced, wrote or directed hundreds of hours.
Peltier’s dramatic TV and feature credits include writing the Lifetime movie "Nightwaves" and the story, "The Collector", for the hit CBS series, "Ghost Whisperer". With her MPH partners, she served as executive producer of the film "Men Seeking Women" (starring Will Ferrell) and co-executive producer of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” Most recently, she produced the multi-festival-winning indie feature, "White Irish Drinkers", for Ovington Avenue Productions, of which she is also a principal with her husband, film/TV writer/director John Gray.
Most recently, she wrote, directed and produced the award winning documentary “The Game Is Up,” and also co-produced the 2014 feature documentary “Look At Us Now, Mother!” and is the author of the darkly comic Hollywood novel, "Reality Boulevard" (a Kirkus Review “Best Indie 2013” pick). She is also the co-author of seven non-fiction works: including five books with 'Dog Whisperer' Cesar Millan, all of which were New York Times Best Sellers; the first, “Cesar’s Way”, staying number one for 11 weeks. Peltier graduated Phi Beta Kappa/ cum laude from Pomona College in Claremont, CA.
Paul Bernard has extensive experience working as a producer, director, and assistant director. Bernard, along with his producing partner, James Scura, specializes in producing studio quality movies on independent budgets. Prior to White Irish Drinkers, Bernard, produced Seasons 2 and 3 of TNT's hit TV series Leverage, Executive Produced by Dean Devlin and staring Timothy Hutton. Bernard also co-produced and was the 1st Assistant Director on the first season of the series
Over the last several years, Bernard has produced numerous films including A Fork in the Road with Jamie King, Follow the Prophet with David Conrad and John Diehl, Blank Slate featuring Eric Stoltz, The Air I Breathe with Forest Whitaker and Kevin Bacon, The Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mines with Noah Wyle, Trust the Man with Julianne Moore and Billy Crudup, Venus and Vegas with Jamie Pressly, The Ghost of F. Scott Fitzgerald,Passionada, and Loose Women, directed by Bernard himself, featuring Charlie Sheen, Keith David, and Giancarlo Esposito.
His numerous credits as assistant director include The Kingdom, Ghost Whisperer, NYPD Blue, Raising Helen, Spanglish, The Day After Tomorrow, Vanilla Sky, The Patriot, Any Given Sunday, Three Kings, The Siege, Godzilla, Mars Attacks!, Mission: Impossible, City Hall, Die Hard with a Vengeance, and Interview with a Vampire. The directors and producers he has been fortunate enough to work with include Oliver Stone, Woody Allen, Michael Ritchie, Brian DePalma, Tim Burton, Roland Emmerich, Dean Devlin, Neil Jordan, Michael Mann, James L. Brooks, John Singleton, and Doug Liman.
In addition to his background in film production, Bernard also has experience producing music events and concert tours, serving as Line Producer and Production Manager for the Grateful Dead 1992 Summer Tour, Billy Joel's PBS concert in 1993, and Pete Townsend's Psychoderelict tour (1993). Bernard received a Bachelor of Arts in Media and Film from the University of South Carolina, where he now teaches on occasion and serves as one of the heads of the university's film board.
James Scura is currently unit production manager on the TNT program Leverage, starring Timothy Hutton, filmed on location in Portland, OR. He also served as producer/UPM on Jim Kouf's A Fork in the Road, currently being distributed by Shoreline Entertainment, and Follow the Prophet with Diane Venora and Tom Noonan. Prior to that, Scura was an executive producer on the film Two Tickets to Paradise directed by and starring D.B. Sweeney, with John C. McGinley, Moira Kelly, and Ed Harirs. Scura was also producer on the Los Angeles unit of the feature The Air I Breath.
Along with partner Paul Bernard, James produced Passionada with Jason Isaacs, and Emmy Rossum, directed by Dan Ireland. He also produced High Times' Potluck with Jason Isaacs, Jason Mewes and Tommy Chong. He was co-producer on Mixing Nia with Isaiah Washington, and began his career as executive producer of Paul Bernard's Loose Women with Charlie Sheen and Giancarlo Esposito.
On his own, Scura wrote and produced The Titanic Chronicles, a historical documentary. He has also been a media consultant for the International Rescue Committee (IRC), a non-profit organization specializing in the relief of children. He is also co-owner of Scura Enterprises, a privately held company consisting of various retail/video rental outlets. Scura is currently serves on the board of AirFlow Catalyst Systems Inc., a developer of leading edge materials for catalytic converter technologies. He graduated from Bucknell University with a degree in Accounting and Finance, and is a member of the Director's Guild of America.
A distinguished graduate of the American Film Institute, Seamus spent several years in Hawaii before moving to Australia where he spent the majority of his childhood. In 1996, returning to the states to pursue his film career, Tierney worked his way up the ladder in the lighting department on hundreds of commercials, music videos and feature films. He was the lighting designer for the famous photographer Steven Klein for three years, creating a look that set a new standard in fashion photography.
Tierney started to gain recognition as a cinematographer in the late 1990s shooting a student Academy Award-winning short Zen: The Art of Landscaping, which was the first in a series of films that won awards from festivals all over the world including Sundance and Cannes. Recently, Seamus shot the comedy Sin Bin directed by Billy Federighi; Josh Radnor's directorial debut HappyThankYouMorePlease starring Radnor, Malin Ackerman, Kate Mara and Richard Jenkins, which won the audience award at this year's Sundance Film Festival.
His other credits include second unit work on NBC's Kings starring Ian McShane; Adam released by Fox Searchlight starring Hugh Dancy and Rose Byrne; The Good Guy starring Bryan Greenberg and Scott Porter; and The Narrows directed by François Velle and starring Vincent D'Onofrio. Other recent accomplishments include Veronika Decides to Die, directed by Emily Young and starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jonathan Tucker and Erika Christensen based on Paulo Coelho's novel and the Korean film Hers. He has shot over 45 short films including Artistic License, which won the audience award at the Austin Film Festival. His accolades also include Movie Theatre Hero, recipient of the 2002 Coca-Cola Refreshing Filmmakers Award that screened in AMC theaters across the country.
Traceigh Scottel spent the early part of the last decade developing her production skills by coordinating such films as Thank You For Smoking and Don't Come Knocking. Since, she has spent the latter half of the decade serving as co-producer, line-producer, unit production manager, or production supervisor on a number of independent feature films and movies for television, including Already Dead, Mostly Ghostly, Soul Men, Backwoods and the upcoming releases Leonie, The Perfect Age of Rock 'N Roll, and Look at Me. Ms. Scottel also produced the short film, Big Guy and currently has two feature films in development.
Brooklyn native Mark Snow has been making music since the 1950s. Following a start in the music industry as a popular recording artist with his band the New York Rock and Roll Ensemble, Mark made the switch to composer for television and film in the 1970s. He is best known for his scores for such television series as The X-Files, Ghost Whisperer, Smallville, One Tree Hill, Kojak, Millenium, Dynasty, Falcon Crest, T. J. Hooker, Cagney and Lacey, Starsky and Hutch, Family, and Hart to Hart. Snow is the only ASCAP composer to receive the "Most Performed Background Music" award every year consecutively since the inception of the award in 1985-6. He has been nominated 17 times for Emmys for his work on television series and television films including Helter Skelter, Children of the Dust, Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All, and Something about Amelia. Recent film projects include the scores for the X-Files movie and the Knights of Appletown. He has also written scores for the legendary French director, Alain Resnais, (Hiroshima Mon Amour, Last Year at Marienbad), which include Coeurs (Snow received a Ceasar nomination) and Les Herbes Folles. He is currently working on The Hunters, a mystery thriller set in Europe.
From a very young age, Nicole Capasso fell in love with how beautiful clothes looked in old black and white movies. It is this early love of costuming in movies, from great old westerns through to the 1980's, that inspired Nicole's career - period pieces are her passion. Nicole studied at Syracuse University, followed by the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, where she earned a degree in Fashion Design and Patternmaking Technology. Nicole then moved to Los Angeles, and started in the business in 1995 designing costumes for a play at a small theater in North Hollywood. This experience jump started her career and led to her first movie work on a low budget feature film. Since then, Nicole has worked on numerous features and TV series in all aspects of the costuming field, including Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Weeds, and Bring It On, to name a few. She has also been the costume designer for many feature films, including Everybody Wants to be Italian and A Fork in the Road.
Tommaso Ortino spent the early part of his career in Europe, after graduating from the Accademia di Belle Arti of Florence, and receiving his Masters in film from the University of Paris. In 2001, he moved to New York City and began working on what is fast becoming an impressive and diverse list of award winning credits including, Sangre de mi Sangre, Grand Jury Prize Winner at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and released theatrically by IFC Films; and two selections at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, Against the Current and the acclaimed Toe to Toe. He also designed the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival hit The Good Guy.
His most recent credits include Holy Rollers (which debuted at Sundance in 2010),Coming and Going for director Edoardo Ponti and producer Scott Rosenfelt, and The Untitled Albanian Project for director Josh Marston, which will be released next year.
NEIL MANDELBERG, ACE
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Neil Mandelberg moved to Los Angeles, California two days after graduating with a degree in Communication Arts. His first job in the industry was at a trailer house where he spent time with the editors whenever possible. He has worked as a sound editor, sound supervisor, assistant picture editor, picture editor, and producer of Post Production. He was invited to join the fraternal group for editors, American Cinema Editors, in 1989.
His work includes numerous Television series, Movies of the Week and feature films including Coach Carter, Alvin and the Chipmunks, a documentary that takes place in Iraq titled The Road To Fallujah, and White Irish Drinkers which has just been accepted in the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. He was awarded 2 Emmy Awards for editing on the ABC series Moonlighting, plus a nomination for an Emmy Award for his work on the miniseries The Temptations for NBC.
Neil is about to embark on a new feature film endeavor titled "Grassroots," to be shot in Seattle, WA, Summer 2010.
At the age of 21, Russell Boast won the prestigious Nelson Mandela Artists Award for his contributions to theatre in South Africa. At the same time, he was completing his BA in English and Communications at the University of South Africa, with a technical degree in Film, Theatre and Television. He graduated with honors in 1993. In the six years that Russell has been in Los Angeles, he has been involved in the staging of numerous theater productions and casting of over twenty films, and he has swiftly found himself in demand by the Hollywood film, television and theatre industries as a casting director, acting teacher, producer, director and ally to artists and entertainers across the world. He currently works as a casting director alongside Rick Pagano (XMen: The Last Stand, Alien: Resurrection, Hotel Rwanda) and Debi Manwiller (24) for Pagano/ Manwiller Casting and is a founding partner of Rocket Propelled Ltd. with Rick Pagano.
NICK THURSTON (Brian Leary)
Nick Thurston is a California native from the San Francisco Bay Area. He has been acting since childhood, and has received training at several theatre schools, including the American Conservatory Theatre and the British American Drama Academy in London. He recently graduated from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting. He spent a semester abroad in England that opened his eyes to the masterful artistry and fresh energy of European theater, and he hopes to bring this dedication and excitement to his own work here in the United States.
While abroad he played Edmund in King Lear, directed by RSC veteran Kelly Hunter. He has worked on an episode of Ghost Whisperer directed by Jennifer Love Hewitt and Guest Starred on Cold Case. He plays the lead in this year's release of The Truth Below on MTV and stars alongside Stephen Lang and Karen Allen in John Gray's White Irish Drinkers, which will premiere at the Toronto Film Festival. He just wrapped the Lifetime movie Reviving Ophelia in Toronto, Ontario. Recently, he spent two weeks volunteering in Haiti where he worked with the Jenkins/Penn Haitian Relief Organization.
GEOFF WIGDOR (Danny Leary)
Geoff Wigdor, a native New Yorker, has been working as an actor since childhood, where guest roles on The Babysitter's Club, Loving, and The Cosby Mysteries led to his big screen debut as a young teenager in the drama Sleepers, playing the younger version of the character played as an adult by Ron Eldard. He also played the younger version of Robert Downey, Jr.'s character in Neil Jordan's thriller In Dreams and Holly Hunter's son in Levity, also starring Billy Bob Thornton. His television credits also include guest roles on One Life to Live, The Guiding Light, Spin City, Law & Order, The Sopranos, Third Watch, Las Vegas, ER, The Black Donnellys, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
He'll next appear in the comedy Buddy Gilbert Comes Alive with Elisabeth Moss.
STEPHEN LANG (Patrick "Paddy" Leary)
STEPHEN LANG is an actor renowned for his performances on stage, screen and television.
On film, Lang is perhaps best known for his role as 'Colonel Miles Quaritch' in James Cameron's seminal 2009 film AVATAR. In 2022, Lang reprised that role in Cameron's sequel, AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER. In 2016, he garnered critical acclaim as 'The Blind Man' in writer-director Fede Alvarez's hit thriller DON'T BREATHE and he reprised his starring role in the film's sequel, DON'T BREATHE 2.
Recent film roles include THE LOST CITY for Paramount with Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum and the much anticipated THE INDEPENDENT with Brian Cox, Jodie Turner-Smith and Ann Dowd. Lang also completed work on PEP, based on the true story of Willie Pep one of the greatest boxers of all time where Lang portrayed his trainer.
Other film credits include THE SEVENTH DAY opposite Guy Pearce, director Joe Begos' action-horror film VFW, BRAVEN, opposite Jason Momoa, and director Scott Cooper's HOSTILES opposite Christian Bale. Lang's extensive film credits include BAND OF ROBBERS, LAST EXIT TO BROOKLYN, TOMBSTONE, GETTYSBURG, GODS AND GENERALS, PUBLIC ENEMIES, WHITE IRISH DRINKERS, CHRISTINA, A GOOD MARRIAGE, MANHUNTER, BAND OF THE HAND, and CONAN THE BARBARIAN.
Stephen Lang is also an award-winning playwright. He received the "Special Jury Prize for Acting" at the 2016 Phoenix Film Festival for his performance documentary BEYOND GLORY, which tracks the ten year odyssey behind his acclaimed solo performance piece about eight Medal of Honor recipients. The documentary was executive produced and presented by Lightstorm Entertainment principals, James Cameron and Jon Landau, and was acquired for distribution by Gravitas Ventures. BEYOND GLORY, the play itself, has received the NEA Chairman's Medal for Distinguished Service, and the Bob Hope Award from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, which honors Lang's accurate portrayal of the American fighting man.
On television Lang starred as Mid-western billionaire 'David Cord,' in a flashy recurring role on the hit Paramount+ series THE GOOD FIGHT. He was also the lead role of 'Hawkeye' in MARVEL'S WASTELANDER podcast series directed by Rachel Chavkin. Lang portrayed fan-favorite 'Waldo' in the first two seasons of AMC's genre-bending martial arts series, INTO THE BADLANDS. His television credits include regular roles on Steven Spielberg's TERRA NOVA, and Michael Mann's classic CRIME STORY, as well as celebrated portrayals of Babe Ruth in NBC's biopic, BABE RUTH, and 'Happy' in DEATH OF A SALESMAN, with Dustin Hoffman.
His work on the New York stage includes A FEW GOOD MEN, THE SPEED OF DARKNESS, DEFIANCE, DEATH OF A SALESMAN, THE GUYS, HAMLET, and 101 performances at The Roundabout Theater of his solo play, BEYOND GLORY, which he has also toured and continues to tour around the country. Theatre awards and nominations include The Tony, Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Joseph Jefferson, Helen Hayes, and Outer Critics Circle Awards.
KAREN ALLEN (Margaret Leary)
After studying design for several years in NYC and traveling for a year in Central and South America, Karen Allen began her career as an actor at age 22 working in the theatre in Washington, DC after being inspired by the work of Polish director Jerzi Grotowski. Returning in 1976 to NYC to study with Stella Adler and Lee Strasberg, Karen was cast in her first film, Animal House. Over the next three decades she has spent her time between film work (The Wanderers, A Small Circle of Friends, Raiders of the Lost Ark (Saturn Award for Best Actress), Shoot the Moon, Until September, Starman, Scrooged, The Glass Menagerie (Independent Spirit nomination), Malcolm X, King of the Hill, Falling Sky, The Perfect Storm, Poster Boy and her return as Marion Ravenwood in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull), and working in the theatre in NY (The Monday After the Miracle (Theatre World Award), Extremities, The Miracle Worker, The Country Girl, The Glass Menagerie, and Speaking in Tongues). Her television projects have included East of Eden, Challenger, All the Winters That Have Been, Secret Weapon, and My Horrible Year.
Karen is on the faculty of the Theatre Department at Bard College at Simon's Rock and has recently directed Joan Ackermann's The Batting Cage and Michael Weller's Moonchildren. In 2003 she returned to her design roots and opened a design studio "Karen Allen Fiber Arts," where she creates a line of extraordinary and unique cashmere knitwear on Japanese knitting machines.
She has just completed filming on the Dreamworks film I Am Number Four, directed by DJ Caruso, playing opposite Tim Oliphant, and on Hallmark's 2010 Christmas film, November Christmas, also starring Sam Elliot, John Corbett and Sarah Pawlson. In the works is a plan to direct the film The Batting Cage and to mount another theatre production of Moonchildren. Karen has one son, Nicholas, who is 20 and a student at NYC.
PETER RIEGERT (Whitey)
Has been acting, writing, directing and producing for the past 40 years. His movies include: Animal House, Local Hero, Crossing Delancey, Chilly Scenes of Winter, Coldblooded, Utz, Oscar, Passed Away, The Mask, Traffic, White Irish Drinkers and the short film The Response, which received the ABA Silver Gavel and was short listed for an Academy nomination for live-action short. Television credits include: The Sopranos, Gypsy, Barbarians at the Gate, Concealed Enemies, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Damages.
On Broadway he was in The Old Neighborhood, An American Daughter, The Nerd and Dance With Me. Off B'Way includes: Sexual Perversity in Chicago, The Birthday Party, Mountain Language, Isn't It Romantic and A Rosen By Any Other Name.
His directorial film debut was the Academy nominated short By Courier, which was followed by his first feature, King of the Corner, with Isabella Rossellini, Eli Wallach, Rita Moreno, Beverly D'Angelo, Eric Bogosian and Dominic Chianese.
He is currently preparing to shoot his next feature based on the novel A Field of Darkness, by Cornelia Read.
LESLIE MURPHY (Shauna Friel))
White Irish Drinkers is the first feature film role for Leslie Murphy, who received her degree in theater from UC Berkeley. Her stage credits include playing the title role in Sarah Ruhl's Eurydice for New York Stage and Film; Fear and Misery in the Third Reich produced at the Oval Theatre in London; and in the Pasadena Playhouse production of Rocket Science.