Never Grow Old is a 2019 western film directed by Ivan Kavanagh and starring Emile Hirsch, Déborah François and John Cusack. The film tells the story of Patrick Tate, an Irish undertaker who profits from the violence and chaos unleashed by a gang of outlaws in a frontier town on the California Trail in 1849. However, he soon faces a moral dilemma when his family becomes endangered by the ruthless criminals.

The film is notable for being shot entirely in Ireland, specifically in the Connemara region of Galway known for its scenic landscapes and rugged terrain. The film crew built a replica of an American frontier town at the Glengowla Mines near Oughterard in Galway using authentic materials and techniques. The town set included a saloon, a church, a general store, a blacksmith shop and several houses.

The choice of Connemara as the film location was not only motivated by practical and financial reasons, but also by artistic and thematic ones. According to the director, Ivan Kavanagh, he wanted to create a contrast between the beauty of the Irish countryside and the brutality of the western genre. He also wanted to explore the connection between Ireland and America, especially during the period of the Great Famine and the gold rush, when many Irish people emigrated to seek a better life.

The film’s cinematography captures the stunning vistas of Connemara, as well as the harsh weather conditions that the cast and crew had to endure during the shooting. The film’s production design creates a realistic and immersive atmosphere of a lawless and violent frontier society. The film’s soundtrack features traditional Irish music mixed with western elements, creating a unique and original score.

Never Grow Old is a compelling and original western film that showcases the talent and creativity of the Irish film industry. It is also a tribute to the history and culture of Connemara, a region that has inspired many artists and filmmakers over the years.


Glengowla Mines (Set of the Frontier Town)



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