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Traveller (1981)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

Limerick, Rep. of Ireland. Devine meets with Connors to arrange a marriage between his daughter Angela and Connors' son Michael. The wedding takes place, but is interrupted by a fire and a fight breaks up the reception. Devine, Angela's father, gives Michael a sum of money and sends the couple north to Strabane to buy televisions to sell. On the road, Michael and Angela are uncommunicative and uneasy with each other. After stopping in a town, they pick up Clicky, a hitchhiker who is headed north. At a roadside stop across the border, Michael observes Clicky and Angela deep in conversation. They are interrupted and searched by an army patrol.

Arriving in Strabane, they visit a dealer in electrical goods. Clicky remembers a Protestant child who used to be taunted over the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. They perform at an IRA fundraiser they attend with Clicky. He takes them to his flat, shows Michael a gun and asks him if he believes in the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Clicky asks Michael to take him back across the border, but in the morning, the couple leave without him. Clicky considers his life as the brother of an IRA operative in contrast to that of a 'tink''.

While on the road, the couple fight, and Michael runs the van off the road. Angela recalls time spent locked up for attacking her father with a bottle. Michael takes a horse and rides to town to ask for help. Angela runs after him. Michael asks for help at the post office but his bloodied face alarms the cashier who is unwilling to help. On impulse, Michael robs the cash desk. Fleeing the scene, the couple camp beside an abandoned house. While exploring inside, Angela flicks through a photo album and remembers her mother and her warnings about marriage, and her own reluctance to marry Michael. Other travellers join them and set up a camp by the house.

Michael sets out to retrieve the van, but hides as a police patrol car pulls up. Back at the house, the police evict the traveller camp while the couple hide. They leave the area. In town, Michael busks while Angela shops. The couple squat in an old stone tower by the coast. Angela recalls being molested by her father. Clicky searches for Michael and Angela. Meanwhile, the couple meet up with other travellers at a camp.

Clicky visits Devine in his trailer. Back at the camp, Michael and Angela go to separate beds. Clicky refers to Devine's abuse of Angela, and is thrown out of the trailer. At the camp, Michael and Angela are found inside another traveller's bender tent. Michael fights with the other traveller. He flees the camp when police arrive.

Michael and Angela reunite in a seaside town and visit an amusement arcade. They owner directs them to a hotel. In their room they discuss having children. Angela reveals she doesn't want to have any and wants to leave. The couple start to fight, and Angela breaks a window and cuts her hand. As Michael tends to her Angela shows him injuries caused by her father.

The couple reunite with Clicky. In the back of the van, Michael plays with Clicky's gun. Clicky invites Michael and Angela to accompany him to England. Angela remembers hitting her father with a bottle when he tried to touch her, after which she was sent to an orphanage.

Clicky and Michael drive to Devine's trailer. Michael takes Clicky's gun and shoots Devine in the gut, then puts the money owed to him in his hand. Clicky and Michael rejoin Angela. Clicky admits to himself that he does not believe in the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. The three leave for England, then for Europe and America.