Dublin, 1920. Gypo Nolan, strong but none too bright, has been ousted from the rebel organization and is starving. When he finds that his equally destitute sweetheart Katie has been reduced to prostitution, he succumbs to temptation and betrays his former comrade Frankie to the British authorities for a 20 pound reward. In the course of one gloomy, foggy night, guilt and retribution inexorably close in...Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
John Ford kept Victor McLaglen continually off-balance (and thus in character) by getting him drunk, changing his schedules, verbally abusing him on and off the set and filming scenes when he'd told McLaglen that they were only rehearsing. For the crucial rebel court scene, the story goes that Ford reduced the actor to a trembling wreck by promising him the day off only to bring him into the studio early and extremely hung over, insisting that he spit out his lines. McLaglen was so furious with Ford over this that he threatened to quit acting and kill the director. See more »
Frankie McPhillip tells his mother he travelled to her house via O'Connell Street. In 1922, the year the movie is set, O'Connell Street was still offically called Sackville Street, but the Irish Home Rule Party had unsuccessfully attempted to change it to "O'Connell Street" prior to this and this name was commonly used by nationalist Dubliners. See more »
Gypo, where did you get that money? Look at it, and not an hour ago you hadn't a penny to warm your pocket. Did someone die and leave you a pot of gold?
Why are you sayin' that for?
Well, did you rob a church or what?
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Opening credits prologue: 1920 "Then Judas repented himself-and cast down the thirty pieces of silver - and departed." See more »
Since it's original release, the UK prints of this film have omitted all references to the IRA, but a 1998 release on a budget video label restores these cuts for the first time. See more »
Dire poverty leads to betrayal during Irish Rebellion
A brilliant portrait of a traitor (Victor McLaglen in Oscar winning performance) who is hounded by his own conscience. McLaglen plays an IRA rouge who betrays his leader to collect a reward during Ireland's Sinn Fein Rebellion. The scenes showing fights and mob actions are very realistic, focusing on the desperation within individuals. The lack of hope for a better future seems to be a fate worse than death.
Director John Ford superbly creates an murky and tense atmosphere, enhanced by the foggy and grimy depiction of the Irish landscape. Max Steiner's dramatic music score adds to the cinematic delight. Oscar Winner also for Best Screenplay, nominated for Best Picture. This is one of Hollywood's Classic.
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