Skip Trinity Banner Navigation

Skip to main content »

Trinity College Dublin

Skip Main Navigation

Film Details

Production companyAeon Films Productions
SponsorBórd Scánnán na hEireann/Irish Film Board
Arts Council of Ireland
Radio Telefís Éireann/RTE
Country of originIreland
ProducerMURPHY, Pat
DirectorMURPHY, Pat
Script/AdaptationMURPHY, Pat
PhotographyO'SULLIVAN, Thaddeus
EditingKEATING, Arthur
Production designLUCAS, John
Costume designBOYLE, Consolata
McCRUMM, Elizabeth (Costume Advisor)
Executive producerHAYES, Tom
Associate producerGALLOWAY, Ken
MCBRIDE, Tiernan
Music composerBOYLE, Robert
CastBrid Brennan (Anne Devlin), Bosco Hogan (Robert Emmet), Des McAleer (James Hope), Gillian Hackett (Rose Hope), David Kelly (Doctor Trevor), lan McElhinney (Major Sirr), Chris O'Neill (Thomas Russell), Pat Leavy (Mrs Devlin), Marie Conmee (Mrs Darby), John Cowley (Mr Devlin), Bemie Downes (Julia Devlin), Niall O'Brien (Michael Dwyer), Eamonn Hunt (Arthur Devlin), Martin Dempsey (magistrate), Noel O'Donovan (Tom Halpin), Vinnie Murphy (Michael Quigley), Liam Halligan (John Fleming), Isobel Stephenson (Sarah Curran), Gabnelle Hyland (Mrs Dunn), May Ollis (Mrs Hanlon), Tom Laidlaw (Chief Secretary Wickham), Robert Carrickford (Under-Secretary Marsden), Dave Carey (Dunn), Don Foley (Hanlon), James Gallery (James Devlin), Alma Hanly (Mary Devlin), Padraic Murray (Art Devlin), Brendan Morrissey (Edward Devlin), Anne Barren (Judith Devlin), Joan Sheehy (girl next door), Eamonn Draper (Philip Long), Richard Seagur (aristocratic man), Gerard O'Brien (Lieutenant Darby), Seamus Newman (sergeant), Colm Heffernan (Frenchman), Sarah Carroll (Mrs Dunn's maid).
Release date1984
TX channelRTE 1
TX date18/03/1986
SummaryIn 1798 in Rathdrum, Co Wicklow, Anne Devlin is one of a group of women who retrieve at night the body of a dead republican following the 1798 Rising She is one of a family of republican sympathisers whose father has been imprisoned following the Rising. On her way to visit her father in jail, she sees the dead body of Agnew, the rent collector. When reporting the death, Anne is questioned about her cousin, Michael Dwyer, a rebel leader on the run, who is suspected of the killing. She brings clothes and food for her father, and also washes him. Anne and her mother go to see their landlady, Mrs Darby, to seek postponement of the rent arrears on their land. At the Devlins' in 1800, Julia Devlin gives a signal to Dwyer and his men to indicate that it is safe to visit them. Anne continues to visit her father in jail, and urges him to insist on a trial or his release. At his trial, Mr Devlin is freed after police informer Tom Halpin is discredited. In 1803, the Devlins are living in Dublin when Republican leader Robert Emmet visits them to seek their help as he plans another rebellion. He asks for one of the Devlins to play housekeeper for him as a means of presenting an outward image of normality. Anne volunteers to act as housekeeper, but soon discovers that some of the conspirators treat her as a servant while she also becomes alert to the social class tensions between the leaders of the rebellion. The rebellion fails and the republicans are captured. Anne, staying behind at the house, is maltreated by English soldiers, including being subjected to a mock hanging. Following a raid on the Devlins' home. Crown soldiers arrest the family. Despite being interrogated by Major Sirr and kept in solitary confinement, Anne denies all knowledge of the republicans. She is transferred to Kilmainham Jail and put in the charge of the sinister Dr Trevor. There she meets other republican prisoners, including members of her family and Michael Dwyer, who advises her to remain silent. She is brought to meet Emmet in the prison yard, but she refuses to countenance his urgings to inform on him to secure her own freedom. She is re-united with her eight- year-old consumptive brother, who dies of his illness in her arms while she is in solitary confinement. Anne is eventually released in 1806, two years after an amnesty had been declared for state prisoners in Ireland. (V).
NoteIR Rel 13 May 1984 (Cork Film Festival). Filmed on location in Strokestown Park, Co Roscommon, Dublin Castle and Kilmainham Jail, Dublin. This film cost £480,000 to make. Anne Devlin died in 1851. Reverend Brother Luke Cullen (d.1859) of the Carmelite Monastery, Clondalkin, Co Dublin wrote down Anne Devlin's own accnt. of this period and prepared a manuscript, The Life, Imprisonment, Sufferings and Death of Anne Devlin, the Faithful Housekeeper of Robert Emmet, to which he added a preface in 1857. According to the foreword to The Prison Journal of Anne Devlin, John J Finegan, ed. (Cork: The Mercier Press, 1968), the first publication of the diaries was in the Evening Herald (Dublin) in January 1960. Robert Emmet (1778-1803) led an assault of about 100 men on Dublin Castle, but failed to capture the headquarters of British administration in Ireland. The 1803 Rebellion lasted only one day, 23 July 1803. Refusing to leave Dublin until he met his fiancee, Sarah Curran, Emmet was captured at Harold's Cross on 25 August. He was executed on 20 September. See also ROBERT EMMET (USA 1911) and IRELAND A NATION (USA 1914).
ReferenceCencrastus Winter 1984, No. 19, pp. 38-9; Connacht Sentinel 15/1/1985;
EP 17/1/1985; New Galway Observer 23/1/1985; II 12/4/1984; II 14/4/1984; IT 14/4/1984; IT 15/4/1984:12; IT 17/4/1984; IT 23/4/1984; IT 11/10/1984; IT 12/7/1985:11; Magill/11/1984:43; MFB 1985:3; SI 13/4/1984; SP 14/10/1984; ST 2/10/1983; ST 13/4/1984. Framework Nos. 30-31, 1986.

The Furrow, 4/1985: 244-9, 'Cinema and Feminism: the Case of Anne Devlin', contrasts between Anne Devlin and Maeve. (Kevin Barry)

Crew and Cast Lists - Anne Devlin. Held at the Tiernan MacBride of the Film Institute of Ireland.

'New Films from Ireland - Anne Devlin', review. Held at the Tiernan MacBride of the Film Institute of Ireland.

'Anne Devlin has Dublin Screening for Amnesty Benefit', news release, background to film shown for Amnesty International benefit, 28/2/85: 1.

Monthly Film Bulletin, 1/1986: 3, crew and cast list, synopsis, review (Verina Glaessner).

Monthly Film Bulletin, 1/1986: 4-5, 'Breaking Down The Myths - Feminist Film Distribution Today', interview with Cinema of Women (film's distributors). (Pam Cook).

Irish Times, 4/3/1985: 12, 'Maid in Ireland', review (Ray Comiskey).

Sunday Independent, 13/4/1984: 2, 'History Without a Sex Bias', review and background of film (Ciaran Carty).

Irish Times, 12/7/1985: 11, 'Her Integrity is Striking - She'll be a Star, interview with Brid Brennan (who plays Anne Devlin). (Blanaid Quilligan)

Irish Times, 20/11/1984: 2, 'A Woman on History's Fringe' (Ray Comiskey).

Image, 3/1985: 1, 'The Devlin Report: Brid Brennan - from Strength to Strengths' (Fintan O'Toole).

Press pack: Crew and cast lists, Aeon Films background, films in development (Aeon Films). Held at the Tiernan MacBride of the Film Institute of Ireland.

Framework, 1986: 2-15, 'The Politics of Silence - Anne Devlin, Women and Irish Cinema', (Luke Gibbons).

'Anne Devlin and the Financial Side of the Irish Film Industry'. Production finance and distribution. Held at the Tiernan MacBride of the Film Institute of Ireland.

Sunday Tribune, 13/4/1985: 1, 'Irish are Wearing the Green in Cannes' (Michael Dwyer)

Sunday Tribune (Inside Tribune), 2/11/1983: 3, 'The Shooting of Anne Devlin' (Michael Dwyer).

Cencratus, Winter 1984: 37-40, 'New Strategies for the anti-Colonial Cinema', review of films at Edinburgh Film Festival (David Will).

Irish Independent, 3/11/1983: 1, 'On Location in Ireland'

Sunday Press, 14/11/1984: 1, 'Flawless Murphy' , report on film Anne Devlin at Cork Film Festival (Paddy Woodworth).

Irish Times, 3/1985: 'Getting Emmet on Film', interview with Bosco Hogan, brief biography (Ray Comiskey).

Connacht Sentinel, 15/1/1985, 'Calling Under 18s: Be a Film Critic', film chosen as subject for film critic competition.

Cork Evening Echo, 10/1984: 'World Premiere Closes 52-Feature Film Festival' , Anne Devlin film premiere at end of Cork Film Festival (Noel Spillane).

Galway Observer, 16/1/1985: 1, 'Anne Devlin a First for Pat', Anne Devlin first film to be Irish crewed, cast and financed.

Filmex, 8/7/1984: 1, 'Anne Devlin', review of film, crew list (Ken Wlaschin).

London Film Festival programme, 17/11/1985: 15, crew list, review (David Will).

RTE Radio 1, 7/3/1985: 4, 'Transcript of appraisal by Des Hickey and Nell McCafferty'.

'Anne Devlin Success', 18/1/1985, brief review.

'Festivity in the Cinema Only', 11/11/1984, review of film Anne Devlin at Cork Film Festival (Mary Leland).

Irish Independent, 12/4/1984, 'Stars Gather - And So do the Gazers' , brief report from Cannes Film Festival (Helen Quinn).

Sunday Independent, 13/4/1984, 'Aimez-vous Irish?', brief report from Cannes (Ciaran Carty).

Irish Independent, 15/4/1984, 'A Great Day for the Irish' (Helen Quinn).

Irish Times, 17/4/1984, 'Ray Comiskey reports from the Film Festival', brief review of film at Cannes (Ray Comiskey).

'Anne Devlin is True Heroine' , 23/1/1985, review.

Framework, 1985: 132-7, 'An Interview with Pat Murphy', director talks about feminism and nationalism in Anne Devlin (David Will).

Sunday Tribune, 4/9/1983, 'Businessman PutsUp Cash for Anne Devlin Film', film finance, cast and background.

Irish Times, 14/4/1984, 'Cannes Launch for Irish Films' (Ray Comiskey).

In Dublln, 13/4/1982: 9, 'Award Goes To Pat Murphy', 1981 Arts Council Film Script Award won by Pat Murphy (Michael Dwyer).

'Anne Devlin: a film by Pat Murphy', publicity, cast list, synopsis, biographies.

Cork Examiner, 8/10/1988: 5, 'Successful Festival of Film', screening of the film Anne Devlin preceeded press conference at Cork Film Festival (Noel Spillane).

Irish Catechist, 4/1985: 59-62, 'The Nightmare of History', critical discussion of the film Anne Devlin (John Devitt).

Variety, 11/7/1984: 18, review of the film Anne Devlin.

'Anne Devlin: Promotional Brochure for Film'. Held at the Tiernan MacBride of the Film Institute of Ireland.

'Be Our Guest. Pat Murphy', Pat Murphy on her approach to filmmaking. Held at the Tiernan MacBride of the Film Institute of Ireland.

'Anne Devlin - Press Release', press release for the world premiere Anne Devlin in Cork (Theo Dorgan). Held at the Tiernan MacBride of the Film Institute of Ireland.

'Anne Devlin: A Film by Pat Murphy', synopsis of Anne Devlin. Held at the Tiernan MacBride of the Film Institute of Ireland.

The Guardian, 20 Mar: 1: review of Anne Devlin by Pat Murphy and Pigs by Cathal Black (Derek Malcolm).

Galway Diary, article on director Pat Murphy and her latest film Anne Devlin
(Joyce McGreevy Stafford). Held at the Tiernan MacBride of the Film Institute of Ireland.

Women's Review, Issue 4: 26, review of Anne Devlin by Deborah Philips.
Held at the Tiernan MacBride of the Film Institute of Ireland.

Women's Review, Issue 5: 34, 'At A Cinema Near You...', interview with director Pat Murphy on the political significance of her film Anne Devlin (Sarah Gellner). Held at the Tiernan MacBride of the Film Institute of Ireland.

Article on the historical figure of Anne Devlin and casting the role for the film (Mary Finn). Held at the Tiernan MacBride of the Film Institute of Ireland.

Image: 120: 'Byzantium. The Devlin Report', article on the difficulties Pat Murphy faced in trying to get Anne Devlin made in Ireland. Held at the Tiernan MacBride of the Film Institute of Ireland (Michael Dwyer).

Screen: 32, review of Anne Devlin (Mandy Merck). Held at the Tiernan MacBride of the Film Institute of Ireland.

Article on Irish directors. Included is a small piece on Anne Devlin by Pat Murphy (Ray Comiskey). Held at the Tiernan MacBride of the Film Institute of Ireland.

Irish Independent, 'How Pamela Stays Young...on Film', gossip column article from the Cannes Film Festival. Anne Devlin had its first screening to a packed house. (Helen Quinn).

Screen International, 14/4/1985: 120, 'A Big Year at Cannes for the Irish',
article on Anne Devlin by Pat Murphy and Pigs by Cathal Black at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival.

'A Forgotten Heroine' 16/4/1984: 36, press release for screenings of Anne Devlin at the Cannes Film Festival.

Le Film Francais, 1984, 'Irish Film-makers Descend on Cannes with New Projects, short article on the Irish delegation at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival. Cal by Pat O'Connor is in competition. Anne Devlin by Pat Murphy and Pigs by Cathal Black have lined up four market screenings at the festival.

Sunday Tribune (Inside Tribune), 20/4/1984: 1, 'Film Feis', short accnt. of Anne Devlin screened at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival (Michael Dwyer).

Irish Times, 21/4/1984: 1, report from the 1984 Cannes Film Festival. Some inquiries have been made about Anne Devlin and Pigs but nothing definite (Ray Comiskey).

Magill, 11/1984: 43, 'Secret History', review of Anne Devlin premiered at the Cork Film Festival (David McKenna).

Sunday Tribune, 25/11/1984: 1, 'Punters Queue for Irish Films', report on the London FIlm Festival that is screening Anne Devlin and Pigs (Michael Dwyer).
DistributorCinema of Women (GB)
Production creditsp.c.: Aeon Films. An Aeon Films Production. With the assistance of Bord Scannan na hEireann/Irish Film Board, The Arts Council of Ireland. In association with Radio Telefís Éireann, p: Pat Murphy, Hayes, exec. p: Tom Hayes, assoc. exec. p: Ken Galloway, Tiernan MacBnde, d- Murphy, sc: Murphy from the journals of Anne Devlin (see note), c- Thaddeus O'Sullivan, loc. super: Luke Dodd, loc. m: Don Geraghty, a.d: Martin O'Malley, Gay Brabazon, ed: Arthur Keating, p.dsgn.: John Lucas, sp. effs- Brian Ingoldsby, Tommy Cashman, m/m.d: Robert Boyle, s. ed: Annette D'Alton, s: Liam Saurin, dub. mix: Colin Martin, cost: Consolata Boyle focus puller: Adam Rogers, Declan Quinn, grip: Mick Duffield, clapper loader: Aidan McGuinness. a. ed: Geraldine Creed, boom op.: Paddy Byrne, a.s: Jackie Crawford, cont: Andrea Lynott, p. buyer: Cos Egan ward: Kate Blackmore, cost. adv: Elizabeth McCrum, make-up: Pat Burrows hair: Dee Corcoran, creative cnslt: Ted Hickey, creative a: June Glazier, Gerry Sandford, a. to d: Hilary McLoughlin, elec: Con Dempsey, Terry Eiffe, Maurice Swan, carpenters: Russ Bailey, Vivion O'Bnen, painter- David Rath, plasterer: Christy Yourell, stagehand: Paddy Shortt, key wrangler: Pat Delaney, p. secretary: Cathy Handleman, a.p. secretary: Siobhan Campion, p. accnt: Kevin Moriarty, a. accnt: Anna Hayes, p. trainee: Manus Hingerty, transport: Noel Cathcpole, Colin Duffy, stills: Christine Bond, caterers: Paul Hampson, Catherine O'Connor.
LocationStrokestown Park
Co Roscommon
Dublin Castle
Kilmainham Jail
Genre/CategoryHistorical Drama
Period Drama
Feature Film Drama
Robert Emmet
Anne Devlin
Irish History
1798 Rebellion

Contact: | Last updated: Nov 27 2006.