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Film Details

TitleRORY O'MORE
Production companyKalem Co
Country of originUSA
ProducerOLCOTT, Sidney
DirectorOLCOTT, Sidney
Script/AdaptationGAUNTIER, Gene
PhotographyHOLLISTER, George
CastJack J Clark (Rory O'More), Gene Gauntier (Kathleen), Robert G Vignola
(Black William), Arthur Donaldson (Father O'Brien), J P McGowan (English
Commander of Regiment), Anna dark (Rory's mother).
Colourb&w
Soundsil
Footage7611000
Release date1911
CopyIFA
NFTVA
SummaryWhile fleeing from British soldiers, Rory O'More, a rebel with a price on his head, stops to bid his sweetheart, Kathleen, good-bye. Black William, an informer, learns of Rory's whereabouts and brings the military to the scene. Rory flees while Kathleen delays the pursuit by flirting with the officer in command of the soldiers. The soldiers continue their chase across the Kerry mountains. Nearing capture, Rory plunges into a lake and one of the soldiers follows him. The two are some distance from shore when Rory hears the soldier shout for help. Abandoning his opportunity to escape, Rory saves the man from drowning. The officer compliments his behaviour and is willing to free him, but the informer. Black William, demands that Rory be arrested so that he can receive the reward for his capture. Rory is imprisoned and sentenced to death after a trial at which he declares, 'If to fight for Irish be a crime, then I am guilty'. Fr O'Brien is encouraged by Rory's mother and Kathleen to help him. While administering the last rites on the scaffold, Fr O'Brien succeeds in cutting Rory's bonds. Rory jumps over the wall behind the scaffold and there finds a horse waiting for him. During the escape, Fr O'Brien is shot by soldiers. Making his way to the sea, Rory finds a boat in which Kathleen is waiting for him, ready to take them to America. (V).
NoteUSA Rel 4/9/1911; re-issued 26/9/1914. Copy: IFA; NFTVA (761 ft). Filmed in Ireland. The historical figure Sir Rory O'Moore was a leader of the 1641 Rising against English rule in Ireland, though the period of this film is probably 1798-1803. Beyond the published roles, Herbert Reynolds has identified the parts played by J P McGowan and Anna dark in the extant film. Robert G Vignola is sometimes referred to as 'assistant director' for this film, but this is unsubstantiated and, in any event, a credit of doubtful significance, as Reynolds relates: 'Vignola briefly directed his own production unit for Kalem during 1910 but had abandoned directing because he preferred acting under Olcott, in whose unit almost everyone served as an assistant to the director in one way or another. (Vignola's speciality was as a prop master.)'. Reynolds further points to the complexity of crediting the work of other Kalem members. 'If it is to be used at all, the title "assistant director" would probably belong to Gene Gauntier, but the term has virtually no specific meaning other than that Kalem thought of her (the scenario writer and leading lady, and one-time director herself) as the second most important individual in the group. Alien Famham was the 'scenic artist' (a contemporary description of what would later be known as art director) for the Kalem's work in Ireland from this release (RORY O'MORE) onward. George Hollister was the sole cameraman for the unit, as Sidney Olcott was their one and only producer/director, so it is always a certainty that the scenic design is Famham's and the photography is Hollister's, as the producing and directing is Olcott's. We have thus been inclined to credit the work of these men even though they may not have been awarded formal credits at the time. The case with Gauntier is more complicated; assistant director/scenario writer/leading lady though she was, we cannot always be certain that a given script is her own, as others sometimes contributed story ideas that she would type and polish up - with scenario credit frequently going to the contributor. Therefore, we have aimed at awarding her with writing credit only if she was formally acknowledged. Muddying the records in Gauntier's case is the fact that, for a few weeks in 1912, she returned to the USA while the others were at work in Ireland - during which time they were shooting scenarios that she had prepared in advance, but she was obviously neither acting nor "assistant director". This hiatus seems to have included THE KERRY GOW and IRELAND THE OPPRESSED.'
ReferenceBio 7/9/1911:519; Bio 19/10/191 l:xvi; Kalem Kalender 1/9/1914:5 (reissue); MPW 29/8/1911:445-6; MPW 2/9/1911:637. Film User Sept 1958:386; S&S Oct/Dec 1953:96.
Format35mm
LanguageEnglish
Production creditsp.c: Kalem Co, p/d: Sidney Olcott, sc: Gene Gauntier from the ballad and
novel Rory O'More by Samuel Lover (1836), later dramatised (1837),
c: George Hollister, scenic artist: Henry Allen Farnham.
LocationKillarney
Kerry
Genre/CategoryShort Film Drama
Historical Drama
KeywordsIrish Patriots
Irish Rebels
1641 Rebellion
Irish History

Contact: irishfilm@tcd.ie | Last updated: Aug 13 2019.