Dublin, 1920. Gypo Nolan, strong but none too bright, has been ousted from the rebel organization and is starving. When he finds that his equally destitute sweetheart Katie has been reduced to prostitution, he succumbs to temptation and betrays his former comrade Frankie to the British authorities for a 20 pound reward. In the course of one gloomy, foggy night, guilt and retribution inexorably close in... Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
RKO was highly dubious about the project, given the depressing subject matter and the pathetic lead character. However, following the success of John Ford's The Lost Patrol (1934), the studio agreed to stump up the budget for the film, provided it didn't cost any more than $250,000. Ford had to forgo his own salary to ensure that the film met that budget restriction. The film came in at $243,000. See more »
Frankie McPhillip tells his mother he travelled to her house via O'Connell Street. In 1922, the year the movie is set, O'Connell Street was still offically called Sackville Street, but the Irish Home Rule Party had unsuccessfully attempted to change it to "O'Connell Street" prior to this and this name was commonly used by nationalist Dubliners. See more »
[loudly at Frankie's wake]
I'm sorry for your trouble, Mrs. McPhillip!
What are you shoutin' for? Don't you know there's a wake goin' on?
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Opening credits prologue: 1920 "Then Judas repented himself-and cast down the thirty pieces of silver - and departed." See more »
Dire poverty leads to betrayal during Irish Rebellion
A brilliant portrait of a traitor (Victor McLaglen in Oscar winning performance) who is hounded by his own conscience. McLaglen plays an IRA rouge who betrays his leader to collect a reward during Ireland's Sinn Fein Rebellion. The scenes showing fights and mob actions are very realistic, focusing on the desperation within individuals. The lack of hope for a better future seems to be a fate worse than death.
Director John Ford superbly creates an murky and tense atmosphere, enhanced by the foggy and grimy depiction of the Irish landscape. Max Steiner's dramatic music score adds to the cinematic delight. Oscar Winner also for Best Screenplay, nominated for Best Picture. This is one of Hollywood's Classic.
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