Magazine article Variety

Tommy's Honour

Magazine article Variety

Tommy's Honour

Article excerpt


Tommy's Honour

Director: Jason Connery

Starring: Peter Mullan, Jack Lowden

The founding father of golf, Tom Morris, designed some of the world's first courses, but it was his son, Tommy, who mastered them. Though he only lived to the age of 24, Tommy helped to define the game as it is known today, rising above his station as the son of a lower-class Scottish caddy to become one of the sport's first professional stars. The way "Tommy's Honour" tells it, Old Tom (Peter Mullan) didn't much approve of his son's desire to rise above his station, making for a standard-issue father/son clashof-wills drama, brought to the screen by Jason Connery, who has had his own challenges filling his father's shoes.

"Tommy's Honour" premiered at the Palm Springs Film Festival, where an audience of graying golf enthusiasts tore themselves away from the fairway to enjoy this early chapter in the sport's history - and that's effectively the same crowd Roadside Attractions hopes to lure when the film opens domestically on April 14. While not as primitive as "The Flintstones" have imagined Stone Age golf, the version seen here is a rough sport, played with handmade balls and wooden clubs on fields of coarse grass so different from the manicured lawns to which modern players are accustomed that the film's intrepid location scouts must have been hard-pressed to find suitable courses.

But the real discovery here is Jack Lowden, a fresh-faced young stage actor who plays Tommy Morris with the dashing self-confidence of a 1920s Hollywood screen idol.

Tommy grew up on a golf course, and it's assumed by the uptight club members at St. Andrews Links that the young man will become a caddy like his father. But Tommy has no interest in spending his days lugging clubs and teeing up balls, and devises a plan to play for money.

Sporting gentlemen had already been placing bets on Tommy and his father, who competed as a team, settling for tips whenever they won. …

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