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
"Red Hugh" O'Donnell (in Irish, Aodh Rua Ó Domhnaill) was born in 1572, a son of Hugh Roe (Aodh mac Maghnusa Ó Domhnaill), king of Tir Connaill. The movie, though heavily fictionalized, contains many elements from his life: He was imprisoned in Dublin Castle, but at age 15, not as an adult. He did escape twice, in 1591 and January '92, with the assistance of his friends the O'Neills - in fact, he and two O'Neill brothers are the only men to escape (during which Hugh lost two toes to frostbite). At 20, he became The O'Donnell, Lord of Tyrconnel [now Donegal, hence the movie title], but on his father's abdication, not his death. In 1593, he declared war against the English, joined in 1596 by the O'Neills, though Donegal Castle was never taken by the English. After winning an impressive string of battles, Spain entered the conflict as Ireland's allies in 1601, but the combined force was defeated in 1602 and Hugh fled to Spain hoping Philip III would provide more aid. Unfortunately, the Prince of Donegal died that year at Simancas Castle. 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 »
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.
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Fighting Prince of Donegal film would be nice to show to 2nd generation
The 1966 Walt Disney film, The Fighting Prince of Donegal was a bright memory for those of us who saw it first run in 1966. My friends and I bought the book upon which the film was based. It was an opportunity to consider Irish history not told in the encyclopedia and the junior high textbooks available in our town. We followed the acting career of Susan Hampshire as far as we could.
For extra fun, We wrote short fictional stories and scenes to embellish parts we liked. We also wrote new fiction time travel stories based using these historic Irish settings. It was a lot of fun.
I write this to say that we hope someday to find the film, hope to buy it, and see it again. Should anyone be listening, this is a film that should be brought back out for sale.
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