The life of Irish politician Charles Stewart Parnell, following from 1880 onward his struggle to secure Home Rule, pursued in prison, Parliament, and elsewhere. Emphasis is on the ...
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Hard-hitting news editor Jim Branch falls for high-society type Sharon Norwood but can't get to first base as he continually makes use of her knowledge of the rich and famous to try to ... See full summary »
Robert Z. Leonard
The life of Irish politician Charles Stewart Parnell, following from 1880 onward his struggle to secure Home Rule, pursued in prison, Parliament, and elsewhere. Emphasis is on the relationship with married Katie O'Shea which threatens to bring all Parnell's plans to ruin. Moderately accurate historically. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To get Clark Gable and Myrna Loy in the mood for the sad ending of the movie, the director put on sad music over and over again. Gable complained to then-girlfriend Carole Lombard and the next day instead of the regular music a jazzy version of "I'll Be Glad When You're Dead, You Rascal You" started playing. See more »
The character of Parnell has interested me ever since I read James Joyce's Ulysses. I caught this movie by accident when channel surfing and landed on TCM, the source of many old movie nuggets. "Parnell" brings us some first rate actors, from Clark Gable to Myrna Loy, Edmund Gwyn and Donald Crisp. The viewer sees the main outline of the controversy involving Charles Parnell and Kitty O'Shea and its impact on the Irish Free State bill. The movie is dressed up in melodrama with violin music to the strains of Irish ballads. This cloying treatment, not unusual in Hollywood, does not detract from the story of a great man and the overlooked merits of this film. Parnell brought the Irish factions together to achieve a significant breakthrough in his time and might have saved many troubles. Parnell was the stuff of greatness and his story has been enshrined in history and literature. We know that the struggle for Ireland continued beyond his life; still, his story reverberates. This movie gives a sense of the tragedy but the poor sound and grainy film are a bit of an irritation. Also, the choice of Clark Gable, Hollywood's rugged icon of the 1930's, for the role of Parnell, falls flat. This is unfortunate because the movie is far from a disaster. Nevertheless, I would like to see a film with a more complete story, with more character development and background. It would tell the epic tale of Parnell's achievements and the forces that shaped Ireland in the late nineteenth century. The British movie industry does those period movies very well. This movie gives us a taste of that history.
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