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Film Details

TitleWHEN LOVE CAME TO GAVIN BURKE
Production companyFilm Company of Ireland
Country of originIreland
DirectorO'DONOVAN, Fred
CastFred O'Donovan (Gavin Burke), Brian Magowan (Jack Devine), Valentine
Roberts (Tom Ryan), Stephen Gould (John Ronan), Nora Clancy (Kate O'Malley), Oonah Halpin (Grace as a child), Queenie Coleman.
Colourb&w
Soundsil
Footage3670
Release date1917
SummaryOn the banks of the River Liffey at the end of the 19th century, Gavin Burke, a young farmer, is in love with Kate O'Malley, who lives nearby. Kate returns Gavin's affection, and although nothing is explicitly stated, it is assumed that they will eventually marry. The one difficulty in Kate's mind is that she would end up a poor farmer's wife. At this time, John Ronan, a prosperous hotel-keeper, begins to pay attention to Kate and, as a result, her ambitions are aroused. On the one hand, as Gavin's wife, there would be drudgery, want, and a hard primitive life - in the other alternative, as the mistress of a flourishing hostelry, she would have ease and comfort. For a time Kate is torn between the two men, but in the end she determines that her head instead of her heart must govern, and she rejects Gavin in favour of Ronan. Years pass: Gavin becomes gloomy and introspective, but he also becomes one of the most prosperous men in the area. In the meantime, Ronan begins to dissipate and as a result the Ronan family fortunes decline. The one joy in Kate's life is her daughter. Grace. One day, while taking his daughter to the doctor, Ronan, in a drunken state, falls from his horse and is killed. Grace, left alone on the road, is led to Gavin Burke's door. Burke takes the child into his house, and she quickly brightens up his dour disposition. Gavin makes an offer to Kate that on condition she never sees Grace again, he will adopt the girl and raise her as his own. Kate, reduced to want, feels that she cannot stand in Grace's way, and makes the sacrifice. Years later Grace is a young woman. History repeats itself: as in her mother's case. Grace is sought by two men. One, Ryan, is wealthy, while the other, Jack Devine, is poor. Grace, however, unlike her mother, chooses the one she loves. As a result, the rivalry between the two men becomes bitter, with Ryan making an unsuccessful attempt on Jack's life. The conflict cements Grace's relationship with Jack. Gavin remains adamant that his adopted daughter may not have the comfort of her mother's affection. Kate is reduced to an employee in the hotel where she was once mistress. In the desire to shower gifts on her daughter, whom she sees surreptitiously, she takes money belonging to her employer. By chance, Gavin is suspected of the theft. It is in his power to denounce Kate, but instead he saves her from public disgrace. Gavin eventually relents on Kate attending Grace's wedding. After the wedding, Kate, now lonely, watches the young couple leave. Gavin has given away his wealth to the young couple and, reduced once more to his original frugality, he proposes to Kate. She accepts, declaring that it is love, not wealth, she desires. (Adapted from IL Dec :6-7).
Note6 reels. IR Rel Dec 1917; GB Rel May 1918.
ReferenceGifford 06546: May 1918.
Format35mm
LanguageEnglish
Production creditsp.c: Film Company of Ireland, d: Fred O'Donovan.
Genre/CategoryHistorical Drama
Feature Film Drama

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