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Film Details

TitleBOLD EMMETT, IRELAND'S MARTYR
Production companyLubin Film Mfg Co
Country of originUSA
DirectorOLCOTT, Sidney
Script/AdaptationOLCOTT, Sidney
CastJack Melville (Robert Emmett), Robert Rivers (Fealy), Sidney Olcott
(Con Daly), Valentine Grant (Norah Doyle), Laurene Santley (Mrs Doyle),
Pat O'Malley (Major Kirke).
Colourb&w
Soundsil
Footage3000
Release date1915
SummaryCon Daly, a United Irishman, is seen with his sweetheart, Norah Doyle, who lives with her mother. In a nearby cave, rebels, including Robert Emmet, are making arms and ammunition. The police with military support evict the Dwyers, and a riot starts. In revenge, the military officer. Major Kirke, is ambushed and badly wounded by Dwyer. Kirke is taken to Mrs Doyle's home, where he is looked after. 'Hot heads' decide to take the wounded major hostage, while Con explains to the priest the course of events as United Irishmen try to break into the cottage. They are repulsed by Norah and her siags mother and are then sent away by the priest who asks that 'advantage' not be taken of the 'wounded foe'. The major recovers but his offer of money to Mrs Doyle is refused. Before leaving he shakes hands with Mrs Doyle and the soldiers carry him away on a stretcher. Subsequently, Major Kirke resigns his commission and returns to Dublin. Disguised as a 'fifer'. Emmet enters the military camp and plays the tin whistle for English soldiers. Emmet visits an inn where Con and Fealy are waiting. As Fealy listens at the door, the pair exchange passwords, while Con tells Emmet that the 'boys' are ready. Fealy reports to the military but he is overheard by a spy for the United Irishmen. At the Doyles' home. Emmet takes off his coat to reveal a uniform. The insurgents lie in ambush for the soldiers and after they are attacked, the military arrest Fealy suspecting him of trickery. Later, Fealy brings the soldiers to the Doyles' cottage, but Emmet escapes up the chimney as Con, Norah and Mrs Doyle hold off the soldiers. Con and the Doyles are arrested for aiding Emmet, while Fealy gives evidence against them at a military tribunal. Con is sentenced to hang, while Norah is to be transported to a penal colony for seven years. Mrs Doyle goes to Dublin to find Major Kirke and plead for his help. At Dublin Castle, Mrs Doyle meets Kirke who dispatches a rider with pardons for Con and Norah because of their help when he was wounded. But Emmet 'has not deserted Con'. As Con is on the scaffold, and with the rope around his neck, a United Irishman severs it with a shot fired from a tree-top overlooking the prison yard. Before another rope can be 35 procured to hang Con, the messenger arrives with the pardon and saves him from execution. The United Irishmen turn on Fealy and beat him. All are reunited in the Doyle cottage and Mrs Doyle offers a toast: 'Long live the major and the Lord Lieutenant'. The Innkeeper adds, 'and also Mr Emmet for 'twas he who ordered the shot', as Norah embraces Con. (V).
Note3 reels, USA Rel astn 11/8/1915. Copy: LC (16mm, 882 ft, 18 mins, incomplete). Filmed in Ireland. Robert Emmett's name is misspelled throughout the film. It was the second film released [the first was ALL FOR OLD IRELAND (USA 1915)] following Olcott's final visit to Ireland. The period in which the film is set is somewhat confused. References to the United Irishmen suggest the events are part of the 1798 Rising, though Emmet (1778-1803), while one of the leaders of the United Irishmen at Trinity College, as a result of which he was forced to end his studies there, did not engage in any armed action during the 1798 Rising. He was the main leader of the Rebellion of 23 July 1803. One shot in the film includes a letter dated 31 July 1803, which was eight days after the Rebellion, and suggests that the events are set during the period from the Rebellion to Emmett's capture on 25 August 1803.
ReferenceMPN 14/8/1915:85; MPW 7/8/1915:1018; MPW 11/8/1915:1050; Var 20/8/1915.
Format35mm
LanguageEnglish
Production creditsp.c: Lubin Film Mfg Co, d/sc: Sidney Olcott.
Genre/CategoryShort Film Drama
Historical Drama
KeywordsIrish Rebels
1803 Rebellion
1798 Rebellion
British Army
Irish History
United Irishmen
PeopleRobert Emmet

Contact: irishfilm@tcd.ie | Last updated: Nov 27 2006.