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The Molly Maguires (1970) Poster

Trivia

Martin Ritt blamed the film's massive critical and commercial failure for permanently damaging his career.
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Most of this film was shot in Eckley, Pennsylvania. Paramount Pictures saved the town from being destroyed. It was slated to be demolished for strip mining, but after the movie was filmed, the town's land was donated to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. The town is now a museum. Several structures built for the movie still survive.
The film was a notorious flop when it was released in 1970, earning back a little over ten percent of its eleven million dollar budget, an enormous sum for the time (approximately 55.4 million in 2005 dollars). The film's failure solidified Sir Sean Connery's reputation for being box-office poison outside of James Bond, and torpedoed Sir Richard Harris' chance at superstar status. Connery's career continued its non-Bond stall throughout the 1970s (with the notable exception of John Huston's The Man Who Would Be King (1975)), and Harris' career as a leading man continued to decline until it went into eclipse in the middle of the same decade. While Connery would re-establish himself as a superstar in the 1980s, Harris never again was a front-rank star, though he wound up as a respectable and in-demand character actor later in his career.
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During filming, Sir Sean Connery and Sir Richard Harris became good friends. Harris later agreed to play the cameo role of King Richard the Lionheart in Robin and Marian (1976) as a favor to Connery, and in the late 1980s, there was talk of them making another film together, but this never happened.
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According to Cinematographer James Wong Howe, Director Martin Ritt wanted to shoot this film in black-and-white, but was not allowed to do so by Paramount. By 1970, studios were concerned that black-and-white films would not make as much money when broadcast on television, possibly for fear that they would be considered "old" films.
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The real Jack Kehoe was not a miner, but the owner of a saloon, The Hibernia House. His descendants run it to this day.
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Though a main character, and one of the first to be introduced, Jack Kehoe (played by Sir Sean Connery) does not speak until forty minutes into the film.
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Jack Kehoe was pardoned in 1979, by Governor Milton Shapp.
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Sir Richard Harris received top first billed, Sir Sean Connery received second billing. Reportedly, Connery did not mind being billed in second place, once pointing out to an interviewer, "For the amount of money they're paying me for this, they can put a mule ahead of me." Similarly, Connery also once said, "For one million dollars, they can bill me after the janitor!" The billing order was of note for this film, because Connery was a big star who had played James Bond, while Harris had never achieved super-star status. Top billing usually goes to the bigger star, and based on this usual criteria, Connery would have been top billed.
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The two leads were played by an Irishman (Sir Richard Harris) and a Scotsman (Sir Sean Connery).
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The movie was based on a true story.
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The first word of dialogue in the film is not heard until the fourteen minute and fifty-one second mark.
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Publicity for this picture, at the time of first release, stated that the movie featured, running at five minutes, one of the longest fights ever filmed.
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At the time the movie was made and released, publicity for this picture stated that, at four hundred feet, the mine set was the longest interior set ever constructed in Hollywood.
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According to Shane R. Burridge's IMDb review for the film, the real-life Molly Maguire person "was a peasant girl in seventeenth century Ireland, who supposedly led an uprising against rent collectors." Hence, the connection with the group, and title "The Molly Maguires", as the miners rebel and dress up as women.
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The Breaker, General Store, and central railroad strip in front of the General store are some of the props left by Paramount.
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Filmed in the early summer of 1968.
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Eckley, Pennsylvania (now Eckley Miners Village), is only ten minutes away from the Stockton Mine accident mentioned in the movie.
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Hazleton, Pennsylvania is the closest city to where the movie was shot. Sir Richard Harris was known for visiting a local bar there called "Bunnies Lounge". The bar was renamed in 2006.
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Many people live in the houses of Eckley Miners Village. They have modern comforts, but cannot show these. The houses must also stay as authentic as possible.
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Eckley holds "Patchtown Days" where the town is transformed to look like the time of the movie.
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Sir Richard Harris and Sir Sean Connery were thirty-seven-years-old during filming.
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The film's two leads have played King Arthur on-screen, Sir Sean Connery in First Knight (1995), and Sir Richard Harris in Camelot (1967), as well as on television, in a videotaped presentation of the 1980 Broadway revival of the musical.
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The place and year, in which the movie is set, is Pennsylvania, in 1876.
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Average Shot Length = ten seconds.
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One of two 1970 movies directed by Martin Ritt. The other picture was The Great White Hope (1970).
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This was first announced as a major MGM production in 1965.
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The film's title refers to a secret nineteenth century Pennsylvania group of Irish immigrant coal miners, who fought oppressive mine owners, in order to improve their low wages and poor working conditions. They did this by using sabotage and terrorist tactics.
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The fake alias that undercover operative James McParlan (Sir Richard Harris) used, was James McKenna.
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The picture got nominated for an Academy Award for Best Art Direction, but failed to win.
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The nickname of "The Molly Maguires" was "The Mollies".
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The film was released six years after its source book "Lament for the Molly Maguires" by Arthur H. Lewis had been published. The movie is said to have been "suggested" by this work.
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Eckley, Pennsylvania is often described as a "coal patch" town.
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Sir Sean Connery plays a real-life character named Jack Kehoe. Years later, Connery would appear with actor Jack Kehoe in The Untouchables (1987).
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Debut theatrical feature film of actor Art Lund.
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Anthony Zerbe appeared in the James Bond film Licence to Kill (1989).
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The big fight between Sir Richard Harris and Art Lund had their heights and weights at 6'3", fifteen stone, and 6'4", sixteen stone six respectively.
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Sir Richard Harris and Sir Sean Connery sport mustaches in this movie.
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This motion picture's opening title card reads: " Pennsylvania 1876".
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