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Film Details

Production companyKalem Co
Country of originUSA
ProducerOLCOTT, Sidney
DirectorOLCOTT, Sidney
Script/AdaptationGAUNTIER, Gene
PhotographyHOLLISTER, George
Music composerSIMON, Walter C.
CastSidney Olcott (Conn, the Shaughraun), George Melville (Robert
Ffolliott), Gene Gauntier (Claire Ffolliott), Jack J dark (Captain
Molineaux), Alice Hollister (Moya), Helen Lindroth (Arte O'Neil),
J P McGowan (Corry Kinchela), Robert G Vignola (Harvey Duff), Arthur
Lester (Father Dolan), Mrs Brokaw (Mrs O'Kelly, Conn's mother),
Henrietta O'Beck.
Release date1912
SummaryShortly before the death of their father, Robert and Claire Ffolliott are given into the care of Fr Dolan, the parish priest of Suil-a-beg, and Corry Kinchela, an unscrupulous land agent and squireen, who schemes with Harvey Duff, a dishonest police agent, to secure possession of the children's land. They frame him on a charge of being a Fenian and an enemy of the Crown. When Robert is arrested, Kinchela is also imprisoned and he induces Robert to transfer his estate to him by declaring that the lands will revert to the Crown in the event that he is convicted. Fr Dolan, believing that Kinchela is acting in good faith, recommends the transaction. Robert's sister, Claire, and his sweetheart, Arte O'Neil, come to cheer him up, but Robert is convicted on Duffs testimony and sentenced to the penal settlement in Australia. Several years later Robert escapes and sails for Ireland. In the meantime, the estate has been going to ruin, and Claire and Arte are dependent on Conn, the Shaughraun, who supplies them with food by his poaching. Kinchela threatens to dispossess the girls, but Fr Dolan declares that they will never be without a home while he lives. When Duff informs Kinchela of Robert's return, the land agent is greatly disturbed, and plans to capture the fugitive. Robert, however, surrenders voluntarily. Kinchela, knowing that the Queen has announced that all Fenian prisoners will be pardoned, sees that Robert cannot be detained in prison legally. He therefore pretends to be friendly with him, and induces him to escape, having previously arranged with the soldiers to be in readiness, in order that Robert may be shot when he attempts to get away. But the crafty Conn, who communicates with Robert, assists him in removing a portion of the prison wall, through which he escapes. In the meantime, Claire decoys Captain Molineaux from his duty in order that Conn's plans may not be thwarted. It is commonly believed that Conn has been killed, and a wake is held. But Conn is merely perpetuating a joke, and he is an attentive listener to all that takes place at his own wake. Arte and Moya, Conn's sweetheart, are the only witnesses to the shooting of the Shaughraun, and they are kidnapped by Kinchela. Robert learns that the Fenian prisoners are to be pardoned, and he returns home, only to find that Arte has disappeared. Meanwhile, Kinchela removes the girls to a lugger that they may be spirited out of the country. Eventually, the girls are reunited with their sweethearts, and Kinchela and his accomplices are brought to justice. (Adapted from AKJ 20/3/1913).
Note3 reels. USA Rel 23/12/1912; IR Rel 16/3/1913; GB Rel 16/3/1913. Note: Filmed in Ireland. See note with THE SHAUGHRAUN, AN IRISH ROMANCE (USA 1907). 'In the galaxy of features known as the O'Kalem plays, this production shines out with especial lustre... When this company began filming Irish plays on Irish soil it entered a new field of cinematographic endeavour. It demonstrated beyond all cavil that the motion picture is vastly more than a mere vehicle of cheap dramatic composition... In THE SHAUGHRAUN... they have well-nigh touched perfection in the use they made of outdoor scenery... After we have seen the weird and rugged beauty of the stem and cliff-bound Irish coast, much of the temperament and much in the history of the Celtic race becomes as clear as crystal. We enjoy the sensation. We thrill with delight at this new way of learning things by the roots. If these three magnificent reels had not a single point of merit but the choice they made of characteristic sketches of this wild and romantic coast, they would be well worth seeing. Imposing, however, as all these scenes are, they form but a part of the true story and the true atmosphere, and we feel constantly that they have been selected for that purpose only... THE SHAUGHRAUN gives us its scenic splendors as merely one item in its program of uniform excellence. It would be easy to fill page after page with the peculiar merits of this production. I might dwell on the wonderfully realistic portrayal of man's struggle with the hostile forces of nature; I might speak to advantage of the moving studio, which is set amidst the real scenery and gives a perspective of real nature whenever a door or window is opened; I might allude to the startlingly accurate interiors, with which this company has taken such extraordinary pains. Plates were made for the ensuring of real interiors of Irish huts and cottages and from these plates the artist and director arranged the interior settings. I might mention, too, the excellent judgement which spared the splendid diction of Boucicault and goes for its subtitles to the text of the play whenever possible. Splendid, special music has been arranged for this feature'. (W Stephen Bush, MPW 14/12/1912:1065).
ReferenceBio 27/2/1913:xi-xii; Kalem Kalender 1/12/1912:10-11; MPW /12/1912:1317; MPW 14/12/1912:1065; MPST/1/1913:41-51.
Production creditsp.c: Kalem Co, p/d: Sidney Olcott, sc: Gene Gauntier from the play The
Shaughraun by Dion Boucicault (1st pert, New York, 14/11/1874),
c: George Hollister, scenic artist: Henry Allen Farnham, special piano
m: Walter C Simon.
Genre/CategoryShort Film Drama
Historical Drama
Theatrical Adaptation
KeywordsIrish History
Irish Rebels

Contact: | Last updated: Aug 13 2019.