Shake Hands with the Devil (1959) Poster


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  • In the midst of the troubles in 1921 Ireland, Irish-American Kerry O'Shea (Don Murray), a medical student at the College of Surgeons in Dublin, reluctantly becomes a part of the IRA movement when he tries to save a fellow medical student accidentally shot during a dispute between Irish nationalists and British Black & Tans. The rebel group, led by Kerry's former professor Dr Sean Lenihan (James Cagney), takes as a hostage Jennifer Curtis (Dana Wynter), the daughter of Sir Arnold Fielding (Clive Morton), a high-ranking advisor to the military governor, in hopes of exchanging her for one of their own taken prisoner. Things get complicated when Kerry falls in love with Jennifer, whom Lenihan intends to execute if the exchange doesn't work out. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Shake Hands with the Devil is a 1934 novel by Irish author Rearden Conner. The novel was adapted for the movie by Marian Spitzer and the screenplay written by Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Kerry makes it back to the hideout, following the botched ambush on the docks. He's told that they lost O'Brien (Richard Harris) and Tommy Connor (Wilfred Downing), to which he adds Kitty Brady (Glynis Johns), shot in cold blood by Sean Lenihan because he believed that she told on them. Nevertheless, the men are happy because the fighting is about to end. The General (Michael Redgrave) is just leaving for London to sign a truce with England. Before he leaves, the General orders Mike (John Cairney) to go down to the lighthouse and tell them to release Jennifer Curtis, and Kerry tags along. Meanwhile, at the lighthouse, news has just arrived informing them that Lady Fitzhugh (Sybil Thorndike) is dead. Rather than release Jennifer, however, Sean hands her a Bible and leads her to the cliffs in preparation for killing her. Just as Sean is about to pull the trigger, Mike and Kerry come running up. Kerry tells Sean about the truce, but he doesn't care and babbles on about getting together some more men and rebuilding their army. When he asks the others if they're with him and they all decline in favor of the truce, Sean calls them 'traitors' and promises to take care of them later, after he executes Jennifer. As Sean turns to aim his gun at her, Kerry pulls out his gun and cocks it. Sean reminds him that he's a soldier, but Kerry yells back, 'I'm not going to fight your war!' When Sean wheels around to shoot him, Kerry fires first, killing Sean. In the final scene, Kerry throws his gun off the cliff. Edit (Coming Soon)


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