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Shake Hands with the Devil (1959)

Not Rated | | Action, Drama, History | 24 June 1959 (USA)
In 1920s Ireland, I.R.A. members are being lead by the war mongering Dr. Sean Lenihan (James Cagney), as they fight oppressive British forces.

Director:

Michael Anderson

Writers:

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

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Cagney ... Sean Lenihan
Don Murray ... Kerry O'Shea
Dana Wynter ... Jennifer Curtis
Glynis Johns ... Kitty Brady
Michael Redgrave ... The General
Sybil Thorndike ... Lady Fitzhugh
Cyril Cusack ... Chris Noonan
Marianne Benet Marianne Benet ... Mary Madigan
John Breslin ... Timmy McGrath
Harry Brogan Harry Brogan ... Tom Cassidy
Robert Brown ... First Sergeant 'Black & Tans'
Lewis Casson Lewis Casson ... Judge
Christopher Casson Christopher Casson ... Brigadier
John Cairney ... Mike O'Callaghan
Harry H. Corbett ... Clancy (as Harry Corbett)
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Storyline

In 1921 Dublin, the I.R.A. battles the "Black & Tans", special British forces given to harsh measures. Irish-American medical student Kerry O'Shea (Don Murray) hopes to stay aloof, but saving a wounded friend gets him outlawed, and inexorably drawn into the rebel organization under his former professor Dr. Sean Lenihan (James Cagney), 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:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Ireland | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 June 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Raging Men See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

On receiving the script, James Cagney said, "A trip to Ireland and a plum role...unbeatable!" 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 Century of Cinema: Ourselves Alone? (1995) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The Great James Cagney
2 September 2011 | by williwawSee all my reviews

James Cagney was as great a star that existed in Hollywood. I enjoyed this film of the Irish "struggles" as they are referred to, and features a great beauty, Dana Wynter and a favorite actress of mine Glynis Johns. Mr. Cagney was perfect in his performances and again in this film Cagney when on screen dominates every scene. Don Murray is effective but frankly when Cagney is in a scene no matter who shares the scene one always looks at Cagney. That is what happens when a real movie star is in a scene and James Cagney bred at the great Warner Bros of the 1930's was a box office movie star and great actor.

James Cagney would make one or two more movies in particular Billy Wilder's zany "One Two Three" and then retire. When Cagney retired he retired. No cameos, no guest shots. Jack Warner asked Cagney to return in Warner Bros film version of My Fair Lady but Cagney -who would have been wonderful-refused. ( In fact J L Warner used to refer to Cagney as "the refuser" because James Cagney refused every enticement to return.

Shanke Hands With The Devil is a fine movie, and I recommend it


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