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23 user 10 critic

Shake Hands with the Devil (1959)

In the 1920's Ireland, IRA members are being lead by the war mongering Dr. Sean Lenihan, as they fight oppressive British forces.

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Writers:

(novel), (adaptation) (as Marian Thompson) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sean Lenihan
...
Kerry O'Shea
...
Jennifer Curtis
...
Kitty Brady
...
The General
...
Lady Fitzhugh
...
Chris Noonan
Marianne Benet ...
Mary Madigan
...
Timmy McGrath
Harry Brogan ...
Tom Cassidy
...
First Sergeant 'Black & Tans'
Lewis Casson ...
Judge
Christopher Casson ...
Brigadier
John Cairney ...
Mike O'Callaghan
Harry H. Corbett ...
Clancy (as Harry Corbett)
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Storyline

In 1921 Dublin, the IRA battles the "Black & Tans," special British forces given to harsh measures. Irish-American medical student Kerry O'Shea hopes to stay aloof, but saving a wounded friend gets him outlawed, and inexorably drawn into the rebel organization...under his former professor Sean Lenihan, who has "shaken hands with the devil" and begun to think of fighting as an end in itself. Complications arise when Kerry falls for a beautiful English hostage, and the British offer a peace treaty that is not enough to satisfy Lenihan. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They fought like devils...loved like devils...and lived with one foot in hell! See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | History

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

24 June 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Raging Men  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was made by Marlon Brando 's production company, Pennebaker Films. See more »

Goofs

In response to Kerry's (Don Murray) horror upon hearing that his friend Paddy Nolan's body is to be dumped unceremoniously in a park (probably St. Steven's Green), The Commandant (James Cagney) bemoans the fact that the IRA cannot risk the public ceremony of burying the boy with full honors in Glasnevin like Parnell. Charles Parnell, the 19th century Irish Patriot who called for home rule is not buried in Glasnevin, a Catholic cemetery, as he was a protestant. Ironically, Glasnevin is where The General, Irish patriot, Michael Collins is buried not far from the resting place of Kitty O'Shea, Parnell's mistress. Michael Collins grave is the most visited in Glasnevin. See more »

Connections

Featured in Irish Cinema: Ourselves Alone? (1995) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
simply superb
20 August 2003 | by See all my reviews

This is without question a superbly well-made film on "The Troubles", back at a time when the IRA was in full bloom. As has been noted here, everything works well - the excellent cinematography (with beautiful vistas of the Irish countryside), a superb cast, great direction, and a richly textured script. All the characters are well drawn and fleshed out. Cagney's work here as the fanatic physician/seditionist is among his best screen portrayals. One suspects at first that the film is going to be an outright paean to the IRA, but as the film progresses, the murderous and fanatic side of their work is made clear, and we are left with a complex and ambiguous picture. I cannot recommend this film highly enough; it is simply not to be missed.


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