December Bride (film)
December Bride is a film produced in Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 in 1990 and released on 29 November 1991. It stars Saskia Reeves
Saskia Reeves
Saskia Reeves is a British actress perhaps best known for her roles in the films Close My Eyes and ID , and the 2000 miniseries Frank Herbert's Dune....

 as the title character, with Donal McCann
Donal McCann
Donal McCann was an Irish stage, film, and television actor best known for his roles in the works of Brian Friel and for his lead role in John Huston's last film, The Dead.-Early life:...

 and Ciarán Hinds
Ciarán Hinds
Ciarán Hinds is an Irish film, television and stage actor. He has built up a reputation as a versatile character actor appearing in such high profile films as Road to Perdition, The Phantom of the Opera, Munich, There Will Be Blood and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. His television roles include...

 as the brothers who become her lovers in a conservative rural part of Ulster
Ulster is one of the four provinces of Ireland, located in the north of the island. In ancient Ireland, it was one of the fifths ruled by a "king of over-kings" . Following the Norman invasion of Ireland, the ancient kingdoms were shired into a number of counties for administrative and judicial...

. It is based on the novel by Sam Hanna Bell.

The film won a special jury award at the 1990 European Film Awards.


Sarah Gomartin comes with her mother Martha to keep house for a widower and his two grown sons, on their farm in Northern Ireland in 1909. After Hamilton Echlin Sr. dies in a boating accident, Sarah's mother, dismayed by his sons' and her own daughter's refusal to attend church and behave in a manner she approves of, leaves the household, but Sarah stays on as housekeeper, and eventually takes first taciturn younger brother Frank (Hinds) and then amiable elder brother Hamilton (McCann), as lovers. When she becomes pregnant and refuses to marry either man or even specify which is the father of the boy she delivers, the local minister (Patrick Malahide
Patrick Malahide
Patrick Malahide is a British actor, who has played many major film and television roles.-Personal life:Malahide, real name Patrick Gerald Duggan, was born in Reading, Berkshire, the son of Irish immigrants, a cook mother and a school secretary father...

) is deeply unsettled by her indifference to convention. She rebuffs his attempts to make her conform and give the child "a name" by declaring that all clergy want is for people's lives, however "botched inside," to appear "smooth to the eye--like lazy work." The community seems only mildly censorious of the relationship between the three, but when Frank yearns for a woman all his own and makes overtures to a local girl, her male relatives beat him savagely in retaliation, crippling him. The film then moves forward in time: Sarah's children (she has since had a daughter) plead with her to marry, as her stubborn unconventionality makes it impossible for them to be completely accepted by the local community. Realizing that her daughter's happiness is at stake, Sarah relents and marries Hamilton.
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