Tommy's Honour

Last updated

Tommy's Honour
Tommy's Honour Poster.jpg
Film poster
Directed by Jason Connery
Screenplay byPamela Marin
Kevin Cook
Based onTommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
by Kevin Cook
Starring
Production
companies
Gutta Percha Productions (U.S.)
Tommy's Honour Productions/
SellOutPictures (UK)
Distributed by Roadside Attractions (U.S.) Timeless Films (International)
Release date
Running time
117 minutes
CountriesUnited States
United Kingdom [1]

Tommy's Honour is a 2016 historical drama film depicting the lives and careers of, and the complex relationship between, the pioneering Scottish golfing champions Old Tom Morris and his son Young Tom Morris. The film is directed by Jason Connery, and the father and son are portrayed by Peter Mullan and Jack Lowden. The film won Best Feature Film at the 2016 British Academy Scotland Awards.

Contents

The screenplay, written by Pamela Marin and Kevin Cook, is based on Cook's 2007 book, Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son. [2] The book won the Herbert Warren Wind Book Award as the best golf book of 2007, [2] was one of the five books that Sports Illustrated selected as the "Books of the Year" in 2007, [3] and was #32 of "the 50 best sports books ever written" selected by The Telegraph . [4]

The film opened the 2016 Edinburgh International Film Festival on 15 June 2016. It went into theatrical release in the U.S. and internationally beginning in the spring of 2017.

Plot

In St Andrews, Scotland in 1866, 15-year-old Tommy Morris (Jack Lowden) is an avid golfer like his legendary and pioneering father, Tom Morris (Peter Mullan). "Old Tom" is greens-keeper for The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, as well as the town's club- and ball-maker. He is the two-time winner of the first major golf tournament, The Open Championship, which was founded in 1860 by James Ogilvie Fairlie, Tom's mentor. [5] He also established golf's standard of 18 holes per round. But young Tommy is beginning to chafe at his father's dictates, especially in the rapidly changing world they live in.

Tommy soon outshines his father, winning The Open three times in a row while still in his teens. The "dashing young man of golf", he draws flocks of spectators to the sport and becomes its first touring professional.

Father and son repeatedly clash over the unwritten rules of social class, and this culminates when Tommy marries his sweetheart Meg (Ophelia Lovibond), a woman of lower standing with a shameful secret in her past. As the story concludes, Old Tom makes a fatal misjudgement that strips Tommy of everything he holds dear. Following the results of that fateful choice, Old Tom takes on a personal mission that carries him through the final decades of his life: that of honouring his son Tommy.

Main cast

Production

In 2010 producer Jim Kreutzer happened to read Kevin Cook's Herbert Warren Wind Book Award–winning 2007 book Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son, and immediately obtained the film rights for it. [6] [7] The project remained in development for several years, while Kreutzer did further research and interviewed people in Scotland who knew the story well. [8] [6] [9] The author Cook's wife Pamela Marin, an accomplished journalist and memoirist, adapted the book into a screenplay along with Cook. [10] [11] [12] [13]

In January 2014 Jason Connery, son of Sean Connery, was announced as the film's director. [14] He stated:

I am so incredibly passionate and excited to tell this story. It is a story that is truly close to my heart as I grew up with my father on a golf course, and I have a home an hour from St. Andrews. This is an extraordinary and intimate tale of love and family at the beginning of the great game of golf. This story has to be told! [14]

Connery also noted that his father, a serious golfer in addition to being a renowned actor, gave him ideas and insight about making the film. [6] [15]

Kreutzer, along with venture capitalist Keith Bank, established Gutta Percha Productions for the sole purpose of financing and producing Tommy's Honour. [16] The film's additional producers are Bob Last, Tim Moore, and Kenneth C. Whitney. [16] In June 2015 the production received a £400,000 grant from National Lottery Funding through Creative Scotland's Screen Production Fund. [9] [17] [18]

The two lead actors, Peter Mullan and Jack Lowden, were cast in July 2015. [19] Neither had prior experience with golf, [2] although Lowden had done several leading roles as an athlete or soldier, in Black Watch , Chariots of Fire , and The Passing Bells .

Filming began in mid August 2015, [2] and was completed in late September 2015. [20] All filming took place on location in Scotland, in over 50 locations including in St Andrews and surrounding areas, Edinburgh and Musselburgh, and towns such as Peebles and Falkland. [21] [22] [23] [24] The shoot lasted six weeks, but there was rain on only one day, which is unusual for Scotland. [25]

Release

Tommy's Honour was selected to open the 2016 Edinburgh International Film Festival on 15 June 2016, which was the film's premiere. [26] [27] [28] At the festival it was also nominated for the Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film. [29] It continued screening at the festival through 26 June. [30] The film also screened at London Screenings at BFI Southbank, an international film-marketing conference for British films which lasted from 20 to 23 June 2016. [31] Sean Connery, who was unable to attend the EIFF debut of his son's film, screened Tommy's Honour in a cinema near his home in the Bahamas in July 2016. [21]

The film showed at the Dinard British Film Festival in Dinard, France from 28 September to 2 October 2016. [32] It screened at the Haifa International Film Festival in mid-October 2016, [33] [34] and at the BBC First British Film Festival 2016 in Australia, which began in late October 2016. [35]

Roadside Attractions acquired the U.S. rights to Tommy's Honour in September 2016. [36] [7] It opened nationwide in the U.S. on 14 April 2017. [37] [38] [39] [7] It was released internationally in the spring of 2017, [7] and international sales of the film are handled by Timeless Films. [36] [40] The film was released via streaming video and DVD in June and July 2017 in the U.S.

Reception

Initial reviews immediately following the film's debut at the Edinburgh International Film Festival were generally positive. [41] [42] [43] [44] The performances of the two leads, Mullan and Lowden, were widely praised. [43] [45] [46] [47] A few reviewers felt that the film may have tried to do too much due to having several themes, [46] [48] and a few felt that some of the golfing sequences were repetitive. [49]

Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a 67% approval rating based on 83 reviews, with an average rating of 5.7/10. [50] According to Metacritic, which sampled 22 critics and calculated a weighted average score of 56 out of 100, the film received "mixed or average reviews". [51]

Screen Daily , while acknowledging the film's central father-son drama, also noted the portrayal of the class conflicts of 19th-century golf – played by the lower classes, attended by unruly crowds, and owned and bet on by aristocrats who controlled and profited from the sport. The review also opined that "As the principals play across the film's varied locations, in all weather, viewers get a true sense of golf's real grit, a more essential and raw essence of the sport than is achieved in most coverage today." [52]

Kate Muir in The Times concluded that the film is "fairly conventional, and your pleasure in it will probably be predicated on your love for the game." [53] Conversely, Ross Miller in The National called the film "emotional, inspiring and deeply heartfelt" and wrote "You don’t have to be a golf fan to be taken in by this engrossing, quietly passionate film that not only brings something new to the sports biopic table but also serves as a poignant, often heartbreaking portrait of paternal love and pursuing your passion with everything you have." [43] In January 2017, Justin Lowe in The Hollywood Reporter said the film "offers an engrossing and accessible celebration of the game’s modern origins, enhanced by striking locations and a standout cast." [54]

In November 2016 Tommy's Honour won Best Feature Film at the 2016 British Academy Scotland Awards (BAFTA Scotland Awards). [55] [56] Jack Lowden was nominated for Best Film Actor for his performance as Tommy Morris. [57]

Awards

YearAwardCategoryRecipientResult
2016 Edinburgh International Film Festival Michael Powell Award for
Best British Feature Film
Tommy's HonourNominated
2016 British Academy Scotland Awards Best Feature FilmTommy's HonourWon
Best Film Actor Jack Lowden Nominated

Related Research Articles

Sean Connery Scottish actor

Sir Sean Connery was a Scottish actor. He was the first actor to portray fictional British secret agent James Bond on film, starring in seven Bond films between 1962 and 1983. Originating the role in Dr. No, Connery played Bond in six of Eon Productions' entries and made his final appearance in the Jack Schwartzman-produced Never Say Never Again.

Jason Connery British actor

Jason Joseph Connery is a British actor and director. He is the son of the late Sir Sean Connery (1930–2020) and Diane Cilento (1932–2011). On screen, he is best known for appearing in the third series of the ITV drama series Robin of Sherwood in 1986. He took over the main role after Michael Praed's character was killed off at the end of the second series.

Old Tom Morris Scottish golfer

Thomas Mitchell Morris, otherwise known as Old Tom Morris, was a Scottish golfer. He was born in St Andrews, Fife, the "home of golf" and location of the St Andrews Links, and died there as well. Young Tom Morris, also a golfer, was his son.

Young Tom Morris Scottish golfer

Thomas Morris, known as Young Tom Morris and also Tommy Morris, was a Scottish professional golfer. He is considered one of the pioneers of professional golf, and was the first young prodigy in golf history. He won four consecutive titles in the Open Championship, an unmatched feat, and did this by the age of 21.

Edinburgh International Film Festival Film festival in Edinburgh

The Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) is an annual fortnight of cinema screenings and related events taking place each June. Established in 1947, it is the world's oldest continually running film festival. EIFF presents both UK and international films, in all genres and lengths. It also presents themed retrospectives and other specialised programming strands. The 2016 edition was the Festival's 70th. Spain was the country focus in 2019. The 73rd edition of EIFF ran from 19 – 30 June 2019. The full programme was announced on 29 May 2019.

Willie Park Sr. Scottish professional golfer

William Park Sr. was a Scottish professional golfer. He was a 4-time winner of the Open Championship.

Andrew Strath Scottish professional golfer

Andrew Anderson Strath was a Scottish professional golfer who played in the mid-19th century. He won the 1865 Open Championship. In total, he accumulated six top-10 finishes in The Open Championship.

David Mackenzie (director) British film director

David Mackenzie is a Scottish film director and co-founder of the Glasgow-based production company Sigma Films. He has made ten feature films including Young Adam (2003), Hallam Foe (2007), Perfect Sense (2011) and Starred Up (2013). In 2016, Mackenzie's film Hell or High Water premiered at Cannes and was theatrically released in the United States in August. In October 2016, Mackenzie boarded Damnation - a TV pilot for Universal & USA Network. Mackenzie also directed Outlaw King (2018), a historical film for Netflix.

Bruce Durie OMLJ FCollT FIGRS FHEA QG is a Scottish genealogist, broadcaster and author. Born in 1954, he started and ran the Professional Postgraduate Programme in Genealogical Studies at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland.

Shauna Macdonald is a Scottish actress. She began her career starring in The Debt Collector (1999). She then had her breakthrough starring as Sam Buxton in the television series Spooks (2003–2004). After departing the series, she starred as Sarah Carter in the horror film The Descent (2005), the role for which she is best known. She gained widespread recognition and praise for her performance, and was nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Actress. The film established Macdonald as a scream queen. She reprised her role in its sequel The Descent Part 2 (2009).

Gary Lewis (actor) Scottish actor

Gary Stevenson, better known as Gary Lewis, is a Scottish actor. He has had roles in films such as Billy Elliot, Joyeux Noël, Gangs of New York, Eragon, and Three and Out, as well as major roles in the television docudrama Supervolcano and the Starz series Outlander.

Penny Thomson was a producer for Britain's Channel Four and former EIFF director.

Michelle Duncan British actress

Michelle Duncan is a Scottish actress, known for Driving Lessons (2006), Atonement (2007) and The Broken (2008). She portrayed Shelley Stern in the biographical drama film Bohemian Rhapsody (2018).

Lynda Myles is a British writer and producer. She is most well known for her work as the director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival and for producing film adaptions of Irish writer Roddy Doyle's The Barrytown Trilogy: 1991's The Commitments, 1993's The Snapper, and 1996's The Van.

Shehzad Afzal is a writer, director, producer, editor, cinematographer and game designer born in Dundee, Scotland.

Jack Lowden Scottish actor

Jack Andrew Lowden is a Scottish actor. Following a four-year stage career, his first major international onscreen success was in the 2016 BBC miniseries War & Peace, which led to starring roles in feature films.

The Last Photograph is a 2017 British drama film directed by and starring Danny Huston. Its screenplay was written by Simon Astaire based on his own novel.

<i>The Sea</i> (2013 film)

The Sea is a 2013 British-Irish drama film directed by Stephen Brown. It is based on the novel of the same name by John Banville, who also wrote the screenplay for the film. The film premiered in competition at the Edinburgh International Film Festival on 23 June 2013. The film had its North American premiere at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.

Robert Chambers Jr. Scottish publisher and encyclopaedist

Robert Chambers was a Scottish publisher, editor of Chambers' Journal, amateur golfer and encyclopaedist, the son of Robert Chambers, the co-founder of the W & R Chambers publishing house in Edinburgh.

<i>Calibre</i> (film) 2018 film by Matt Palmer

Calibre is a 2018 British thriller film written and directed by Matt Palmer. After a debut at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, it was released on 29 June 2018 on Netflix. It also had a limited release in select Curzon Cinemas in the UK from 21 October to 16 November 2018. The film is set in Scotland and concerns incidents on a hunting trip to the remote Scottish Highlands, and stars Jack Lowden and Martin McCann.

References

  1. Tommy's Honour at the British Council. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Strege, John. "Tommy’s Honour begins filming in Scotland, but with actors unfamiliar with golf". Golf Digest . 20 August 2015.
  3. Silverman, Jeff. "Books of the Year". Sports Illustrated . 10 December 2007.
  4. Corrigan, James. "The 50 best sports books ever written: Tommy's Honour". The Telegraph . 15 November 2015.
  5. James Ogilvie Fairlie
  6. 1 2 3 McEwan, Michael. "‘My dad is excited about my new movie’". Bunkered . 12 February 2014.
  7. 1 2 3 4 "Tommy’s Honor Nominated For ...". Daily North Shore. 19 October 2016.
  8. Jarvi, Jake (5 April 2017). "Kreutzer's Honor". Forest Bluff Magazine. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  9. 1 2 Southwell, Tim. "Tommy's Honour – The Movie". Golf Punk . 5 August 2015.
  10. Salmon, Lori. "Kitty Genovese: The Girl Next Door That Everyone Knew". New York Public Library. 27 August 2014.
  11. "Tommy’s Honor". ShowFilmFirst.com. 21 January 2014.
  12. Criss, Jean. My Pain Woke Me Up – Legal Injustice: A Survivor's Tale of Legal Injustice in Today's Social Society. AuthorHouse, 2012. p. ix.
  13. Cook, Kevin. Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son. Penguin, 2007. p. 321.
  14. 1 2 Williams, Martin. "Film to tell story of golf legend Morris". The Herald . 13 January 2014.
  15. Brown, Craig. "Sir Sean Connery’s tips for son Jason’s golf film". The Scotsman . 18 January 2014.
  16. 1 2 "About Us". TommysHonour.com. Retrieved 14 June 2016.
  17. Lottery Grants with no geographic location. GotLottery.uk. Retrieved 14 June 2016.
  18. Miller, Phil. "Golfing drama directed by Jason Connery to open Edinburgh International Film Festival in 2016". The Herald . 27 April 2016.
  19. Wiseman, Andreas. "Peter Mullan, Jack Lowden to star in golf drama Tommy’s Honour". Screen Daily . 17 July 2015.
  20. 26 September 2015. Tommy's Honour on Facebook. Retrieved 14 June 2016.
  21. 1 2 Ferguson, Brian. "Sir Sean Connery to get Bahamas screening of son’s film". The Scotsman . 15 June 2016.
  22. Ferguson, Brian. "Trainspotting 2 awarded £500k windfall from Creative Scotland". The Scotsman . 26 April 2016.
  23. Filmed Here: Tommy's Honour. Film Edinburgh. Retrieved 14 June 2016.
  24. "What an Honour". St Andrews Golf Magazine. May/June 1016. p. 68.
  25. "Tommy's Honour at the 70th Edinburgh International Film Festival" (video). Into Film . 20 June 2016.
  26. "Book Now: Edinburgh International Film Festival Announces the World Premiere of Tommy's Honour as the 2016 Opening Night Gala". Edinburgh International Film Festival. 27 April 2016.
  27. White, James. "Tommy's Honour will open the 70th Edinburgh International Film Festival". Empire . 27 April 2016.
  28. Films 2016 – Events at EIFF 2016 on Wed 15 June. Edinburgh International Film Festival. Retrieved 14 June 2016.
  29. 2016 Award Nominees. Edinburgh International Film Festival. Retrieved 14 June 2016.
  30. Pringle, Fiona. "Stars flock to premiere for St Andrews golf movie". Fife Today . 15 June 2016.
  31. "Titles unveiled for UK’s only export market for British film". FilmLondon.org.uk. 2 June 2016.
  32. Devy, Camille. "Tommy’s Honour". Dinard British Film Festival. 7 September 2016.
  33. Tommy's Honour. Haifa International Film Festival. October 2016.
  34. Brown, Hannah. "The Best of the Haifa International Film Fest". The Jerusalem Post . 13 October 2016.
  35. "2016 BBC First British Film Festival Announces First Selections!". The Lowdown Under. 12 September 2016.
  36. 1 2 McNary, Dave. "Golfing Origins Movie Tommy’s Honour Lands at Roadside Attractions". Variety . 22 September 2016.
  37. "(Trailer) Sam Neill in Historical Drama Tommy’s Honour The Story of Golf’s Founding Father and Son". Page58.com. 5 January 2017.
  38. Tommy's Honour – Official website. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  39. N'Duka, Amanda. "Roadside Attractions Picks Up Tommy’s Honour; Golf Pic Set For March Release". Deadline . 22 September 2016.
  40. "Tommy's Honour, dramatic film about the founding father and son of modern-day golf to begin shooting in Scotland in August". WorldGolf.com. 20 July 2015.
  41. Pulver, Andrew. "Tommy's Honour review – well-pitched performances bring golf biopic up to par". The Guardian . 24 June 2016.
  42. "The EIFF 2016 has begun and Edi Stark discusses the opening film, Tommy's Honour" (6:00–12:00). The Janice Forsyth Show. BBC Radio Scotland. 16 June 2016.
  43. 1 2 3 Miller, Ross. "Film Review: A plot full of holes". The National . 17 June 2016.
  44. Tommy's Honour at Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  45. Anderson, Matthew. "Edinburgh 2016: Tommy's Honour Review". Cine Vue. June 2016.
  46. 1 2 Macnab, Geoffrey. "Tommy’s Honour, Edinburgh International Film Festival, review: A period drama, sporting biopic and tragic love story in one". The Independent . 15 June 2016.
  47. Gosney, Kieran. "The 70th Edinburgh International Film Festival: Day One". The 405. 15 June 2016.
  48. Rowat, Alison. "Alison Rowat film review: Tommy's Honour". The Herald . 16 June 2016.
  49. "Tommy's Honour (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes . Fandango Media . Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  50. "Tommy's Honour Reviews". Metacritic . Red Ventures . Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  51. Halligan, Fionnuala. "Tommy's Honour: Edinburgh Review". Screen Daily . 15 June 2016.
  52. Muir, Kate. "Film: Tommy’s Honour at Edinburgh Film Festival". The Times . 16 June 2016.
  53. Lowe, Justin. "Tommy’s Honour: Film Review | Palm Springs 2017". The Hollywood Reporter . 11 January 2017.
  54. "Crime drama Shetland triumphs at Bafta Scotland". BBC News . 7 November 2016.
  55. Kyle, Gregor. "Jason Connery breaks down in tears as he takes Scottish Bafta for best feature film". Glasgow Live. 7 November 2016.
  56. British Academy Scotland Awards: Nominees in 2016. 2016 BAFTA Scotland. Retrieved 10 October 2016.