After scoring an art-house hit and Oscar nominations for his previous film, My Left Foot, Irish director Jim Sheridan made this ambitious and hard-hitting drama, set in Ireland during the 1930s, about one man's obsession with a plot of land that his family has tended for generations. The results are decidedly mixed, and it's obvious that this kind of tragic allegory is better suited for the stage (where it originated as a play by John B. Keane). What makes the film worthwhile is the Oscar-nominated performance by Richard Harris as "Bull" McCabe, the fiercely stubborn man who's nurtured a prime field of rented land for decades, only to lose it when the owner auctions the land to an unwelcome American (Tom Berenger). Rather than sacrifice his life's work to this brazen invader, McCabe wages a personal war with powerfully tragic results. It's unfortunate that this potent drama never really connects on an emotional level, but Harris is never less than fascinating in a role that seems to virtually consume him as an actor. His performance approaches greatness, even when the film falls somewhat short of its dramatic ambitions.