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Parnell True story of the Irish... MORE > $15.96 Regularly $19.99 Buy Now


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DVDs from TCM Shop

Parnell True story of the Irish... MORE > $15.96
Regularly $19.99
buy now

In 1880, Charles Stewart Parnell returns to his native Ireland after a lengthy visit to the United States. Hailed by his people as "the uncrowned King of Ireland," he is hated by the English for his stand on home rule for Ireland. He is arrested for perdition, but is released after the next election to serve in the House of Commons. While he is in prison, Captain William O'Shea and his patron, The O'Gorman Mahon, go to see him in hopes of securing Parnell's help with O'Shea's political career. When they are both serving in the House, O'Shea convinces his wife Katie, for whom he cares little, to invite Parnell to dinner. Hearing Parnell speak, Katie is immediately impressed by him and after their meeting, he is impressed by her as well. When he is accused of being responsible for the notorious Phoenix Park murders of two English officials some years before, he welcomes an investigation because he is innocent. He then returns to Ireland to calm the people who were starting to turn against his words in favor of action. On his return to England, Parnell is too ill to go to dinner at the O'Sheas', so Katie brings him to her estate in the country. At the inquiry into the murders, a caligrapher named Pigott swears that a seditious letter is written in Parnell's handwriting. Katie finds a letter written by Pigott to Parnell that has the same word misspelled as the phony letter and Pigott is revealed as a forger. Asking to be excused from the court, Pigott then commits suicide. Parnell is then exonerated and has the support of Prime Minister Gladstone, who promises Home Rule. Just as Parnell and Katie are about to leave for a dinner party at Gladstone's home, however, they are served with papers that name Parnell a corespondent in O'Shea's divorce case against Katie. Gladstone refuses to speak with Parnell when the scandal breaks and most of the members of Parnell's own faction turn against him. Fearing that his personal scandal will ruin Ireland's political situation, all but a few of his closest advisors seek another leader. During a heated argument with his colleagues, Parnell has a heart attack. Though Campbell, his devoted secretary, wants to summon Katie, Parnell insists on going to her. A short time later, as he faces death, he calls his men to him and offers them advice on the future of their country. After they leave, he dies, with Katie by his side.