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Parnell (1937)

Passed  -  Biography | Drama | Romance  -  4 June 1937 (USA)
5.1
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The life of Irish politician Charles Stewart Parnell, following from 1880 onward his struggle to free his country from English rule, pursued in prison, Parliament, and elsewhere. Emphasis ... See full summary »

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(screen play), (screen play), 1 more credit »
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Title: Parnell (1937)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Edna May Oliver ...
Aunt Ben
...
Campbell
Alan Marshal ...
Willie
...
Davitt
...
Clara
Berton Churchill ...
The O'Gorman Mahon
...
Murphy
Montagu Love ...
Byron Russell ...
Healy
Brandon Tynan ...
Redmond
Phyllis Coghlan ...
Ellen (as Phillis Coghlan)
Neil Fitzgerald ...
Pigott
George Zucco ...
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Storyline

The life of Irish politician Charles Stewart Parnell, following from 1880 onward his struggle to free his country from English 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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 June 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La vie privée du tribun  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,547,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$1,576,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original play opened in New York on 11 November 1935. See more »

Quotes

Charles Stewart Parnell: Ours could be a great love story, Katie.
Mrs. Katie O'Shea: Great love stories are always unhappy ones.
Charles Stewart Parnell: Then I hope ours *won't* be great.
See more »

Soundtracks

God Save Ireland
(uncredited)
Composer unknown
Sung by the party members after the trial
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Charles Stewart Parnell: A man who betrayed his country or a man whom his country betrayed?
11 November 2006 | by (brooklyn NY) – See all my reviews

Epic motion picture about the life times and loves of the immortal Irish patriot Charles Stewart Parnell, Clark Gable, who fought for Irish independence and home rule from the hated and oppressive British Empire. In the end Parnell succumb not to British power bullets or gallows or even his fellow Irishmens infighting but to the woman that he loved Mrs. Katie O'Shea, Myrna Loy. It was Katie's social climbing husband Captain Willie, Alan Marshal, who exposed his love affair with his wife Katie in order to get back at him.

Parnell was a man who never turned away from a good fight and his career in Irish/British politics was filled with battles that he both fought and won against almost unbelievable odds. Yet when it came to defend himself in the divorce trial of his love Katie O'Shea he just refused to stand up and fight like a man for her and his honor. Katie's husband Willie never loved her and just kept her around, not giving her the divorce that she begged him for, for only political reasons and nothing else.

Coming back to his beloved Ireland after visiting his mother in the United States Parnell is quickly caught up in the vicious and cold-hearted attempt by the British to drive tens of thousands of Irish families out of their homes and farms in a major land-grab on their part. Being himself arrested for inciting violence, which was a bald-faced lie on the part of the British government, Parnell in fact called on his fellow Irishmen to refrain from violence and fight their brutal British overlords with the power of the vote instead.

Being framed for the infamous May 6, 1882 Dublin Phoenix Park murders of British foreign secretary Fredrick Cavendish and his aid T.H Burke, Parnell stood on trial for his life and forced the issue when he got the Irish editor Richard Piggot,Neil Fitzgerald, to admit that he forged the letters supposedly written by the Innocent Parnell taking credit for the two British diplomats murders. Exposed on the stand as both a liar and a fraud a shaken Piggot asks to be excused so he can go outside the courtroom for some air and then proceeds to blow his brains out.

Parnell now on the verge of his greatest and most sought after political victory, Irish autonomy and independence,is back-stabbed by his lovers, Kate O'Shea's, scheming husband Willie who exposes his affair with his wife by suing Katie for divorce. Refusing to defend himself feeling that his, and Katie's, personal life is nobody's business Parnell is then about to be thrown out of the newly formed Irish Parliament that he, more then anyone else, was responsible from being brought into existence in the first place.

With a lifetime of battles under his belt Parnell's decision to turn away from this one the nasty and publicized O'Shea divorce lead him, by the vicious attacks on Katie and himself in the press, to suffer an emotional and physical collapses. In the end Parnell died from pneumonia on October 6, 1891 at the very young age of 45; Parnell was married to Katie some six months at the time of his death.

Nowhere as bad as it's critics said it was back in 1937 "Parnell" gives a very accurate description of one of Ireland's most beloved sons and charismatic statesman and Clark Gable is very good in the role as the fiery but tragic Charles Stewart Parnell. The only thing that was bit too overdone in the film was Parnell's long and drawn out illness which could have been at least cut in half so the movie wouldn't have turned out to be a boring TV soap opera. Besides that "Parnell" is one of the best biographies to come out of Hollywood back then in the 1930's.


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