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HIS MOTHER (1912)

Production company: Kalem Co.
Country of origin: USA
Producer/director: Sidney Olcott.
Photography: George Hollister.
Locations: Killarney and surrounding area, Co. Kerry.
Black and white; silent; length: 1,000 feet; format: 35mm.
USA release, 26 January 1912. Filmed in Ireland and USA.
Copy: Museum of Modern Art; Irish Film Archive.

Cast: Jack J Clark (Terence, the violinist), Anna Clark (Terence’s mother),
J P McGowan (John Foster, an American banker). Gene Gauntier (Foster’s
daughter), Alice Hollister, Arthur Donaldson.

Summary A party of Americans who are visiting the Lakes of Killamey hear music coming from a nearby cottage. On investigation they discover a young man, Terence, playing the violin and sitting by the fire and in rapt attention is his mother. One of the tourists, banker John Foster, recognises Terence as a musical genius and gives him his card, telling him that if he ever goes to America to visit him at his office. For months afterwards Terence dreams of a musical career in the USA. To satisfy his desire, his mother gives up her life savings to pay for his passage. Arriving in America, Terence finds Foster’s office and tells him of his ambition. Within a year Terence is a success, but he rarely thinks of his mother in Killarney. In despair at not receiving news of her son, Terence’s mother confides in the parish priest who readily helps her to go in search of her son. Arriving in New York, she learns that Terence is to play that night at the Opera House. Buying her ticket, she climbs to the dizzy heights of the gallery and listens enraptured to her son’s performance. One of the stage hands offers to take her to Terence’s home. Arriving at the house, the butler refuses to let them in, but the burly stage hand forces his way in and insists that Terence be told of his mother’s arrival. Although surrounded by a party of friends, when he hears his mother’s voice Terence rushes to the anteroom and embraces her. He brings her into the room, where he presents her to his friends, telling them of the self-sacrifice that made it possible for him to achieve his success.

Note: Filmed in Ireland and USA.

References: Kalem Kalender, 5 January 1912:5,12-13; MPST, January 1912:66-72.

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Contact: irishfilm@tcd.ie | Last updated: Nov 09 2011.