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The Fighting Prince of Donegal (1966)

After inheriting his father's title, the young noble Hugh O'Connell is taken hostage by the English viceroy but escapes to lead an uprising.



(screenplay), (book)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Hugh O'Donnell
Susan Hampshire ...
Kathleen McSweeney
Tom Adams ...
Henry O'Neill
Captain Leeds
Norman Wooland ...
Sir John Perrott
Richard Leech ...
Phelim O'Toole
Peter Jeffrey ...
Marie Kean ...
The Mother
Bill Owen ...
Officer Powell
Peggy Marshall ...
Princess Ineen
Sean O'Toole
Fidelma Murphy ...
John Forbes-Robertson


Ireland 1587. Hugh O'Donnell inherits the title of The O'Donnell, the prince of Donegal, and tries to unite Ireland to make war on England. But then Hugh is kidnapped and imprisoned by the Viceroy of Ireland and held ransom for the Clans' good behavior. Hugh must escape prison and the Viceroy's villainous henchman, Captain Leeds, before he can fight. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

viceroy | ireland | prince | clan | prison | See All (76) »


A fiery young rebel rocks an Empire ! See more »


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Official Sites:




Release Date:

1 October 1966 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Fighting Prince of Donegal  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Mark Eden had his first starring role in this film, but during the third day of shooting he had to jump off a horse and run down a hill; he caught his foot in a rabbit hole and broke his ankle. This resulted in him being dropped from the film and losing his five-year contract with Disney. See more »


The song "O'Donnell Aboo," which is sung at the film's conclusion was not written until the 1840s and refers to events in the Nine Year's War, which took place from 1593 to 1602. The film begins in 1587, prior to the conflict. See more »


Lord McSweeney: The Queen does not bluff. She's a politician, yes, but she's a realist. She'd hang her grandmother if she was a threat to the crown.
See more »


O'Donnell Aboo
Music by Michael Joseph McCann (c. 1843)
Arranged by Eric Rogers
Heard instrumentally throughout the film on the soundtrack
Also sung by Andrew Keir and cast at conclusion
See more »

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User Reviews

"When Hugh Succeeds Hugh"
23 April 2012 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

If not as good as the films that Walt Disney put out in the Fifties with Richard Todd, The Fighting Prince Of Donegal is a return to that swashbuckling era of Disney live action films. Peter McEnery in the second of two films he made for Walt Disney Studios is a dashing head of the O'Donnell clan of Donegal. McEnery is Hugh O'Donnell succeeding his father, also Hugh O'Donnell. And the Irish being a people attached to mystical prophecy have it on record that when a Hugh succeeds a Hugh its time to rise and kick the English out.

McEnery had previously done The Moonspinners for Disney with Hayley Mills as his co-star. But Hayley had grown up and left the Magic Kingdom and in a role I'm sure that was meant for Mills, Susan Hampshire steps in as the daughter of Andrew Keir head of the McSweeney clan.

The Fighting Prince Of Donegal is based on a true story that was not hardly the lighthearted romp that McEnery and his mates seem to have chastising the English occupiers. Another reviewer covered the real story quite nicely. I will say that a true telling of the tale would hardly have been good for the audience that Disney films were trying to reach.

Still The Fighting Prince Of Donegal holds up quite well though adult audiences might find it a bit hard to take. Save it for the juvenile trade.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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