Skip Trinity Banner Navigation

Skip to main content »

Trinity College Dublin

Skip Main Navigation

Film Details

TitleLAD FROM OLD IRELAND, THE
Production companyKalem Co
Country of originUSA
ProducerOLCOTT, Sidney
DirectorOLCOTT, Sidney
Script/AdaptationGAUNTIER, Gene
PhotographyHOLLISTER, George
CastSidney Olcott (Terry O'Connor), Gene Gauntier (Aileen), Arthur
Donaldson (priest), J P McGowan, Robert Vignola (men in campaign office
on election night), Thomas O'Connor (Murphy, a landlord), Jane Wolfe
(Elsie Myron, an American heiress), Laurene Santley, Agnes Mapes.
Colourb&w
Soundsil
Footage8241009
Release date1910
CopyIFA
NFTVA
IFA (VHS)
SummaryIn the rural Ireland location of Rathpacon, County Cork, Terry is working in the fields. Determined to improve his poverty-stricken existence, he decides to emigrate to America. He bids a sad farewell to Aileen, his sweetheart, who is left in the care of her mother, but he promises to return to her. Arriving in New York, Terry works on a building site and eventually rises to become the Tammany Hall mayor of the city. Forgetting about Aileen, he is seen in the company of an American heiress on the night of his electoral victory. However, he finds a letter from Aileen informing him of her family's desperate economic plight and declaring that they are in danger of being evicted from their home. Returning home, Terry is seen on a ship in mid-ocean conjuring up an image of Aileen. When he arrives at Aileen's cottage the eviction is in progress. He enters the cottage and confronts the landlord. He thrusts the rent arrears into his hand and sends him out of the house. The following Sunday the banns are read by the priest announcing the forthcoming marriage of Terry and Aileen. (V).
NoteUSA Rel 23/11/1910; re-issued 1/8/1914. GB distr: Markt & Co. Filmed in Ireland and USA. Farnham, whose names are sometimes given as 'Al(l)an' or 'Farnum', did not participate in the production of scenes taken in Ireland, as Herbert Reynolds points out, but would likely have been responsible for the New York studio interiors. Unpublished cast members Donaldson, McGowan and Vignola have been identified by Reynolds in the extant film. THE LAD FROM OLD IRELAND is regarded by some as the first American-produced fiction film made outside the USA (Sight and Sound, Oct-Nov 1953:96), though this may have been confused with what is contemporaneously described as 'the first production ever made on two Continents' (Bio 12/1/1911:47). It may also be the first fiction film made in Ireland, but see note with A DAUGHTER OF ERIN (USA 1908). The available print, with intertitles in German, ends with the penultimate scene, at the cottage.
ReferenceBio 12/1/1911:47; Bio 6/4/1912:v; Bio 21/8/1913:21; Kalem Kalender
1/8/1914:2 (reissue); MPN 10/12/1910:9; MPN 17/12/1910:19; MPN 21/10/1916, Sec 2:109-10; MPW 26/11/1910:1246, 1249; MPW 3/12/1910:1296,1343; MPW 17/12/1910:1405; MPW 1/8/1914:732; NYDM 2/11/1910:29; Var 3/12/1910. AFI Cat 1893-1910:574; Bowser, 1990:153-5; Rockett et al, 1987:7-8.

All reference materials cited below are held at the Tiernan McBride Library of the Irish Film Institute.

Old file record giving film stock details, plot summary, review and subjects references for film (D.C. Swift)

The Bioscope, 12/1/1911:2, plot-synopsis of the film.

Sight and Sound, Dec. 1953:96-8, ‘Ireland's first films’, article on Sidney Olcott's contribution to early Irish films (Proionsias O Conluain).

‘Kalem's Great Trans-Atlantic drama...’, copy of advertisement for the film.
Format35mm
DistributorMarkt & Co
LanguageEnglish
Production creditsp.c/distr: Kalem Co, p/d: Sidney Olcott, c: George Hollister, sc: Gene
Gauntier, scenic dsgn: Henry Alien Farnham.
LocationCork
USA
Genre/CategoryShort Film Drama
Historical Drama
KeywordsMigration
Labourers
Politics
Rural Ireland
Evictions
Landlords
Tenants
Priests

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