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The Iron Glove

The Iron Glove(1954)

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FULL SYNOPSIS

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Early in the eighteenth century, Irish patriot Charles Wogan of Rathecoffey arrives in Scotland to assist Prince James Stuart in his quest to reclaim the throne from George II, the Elector of Hanover and ruler of Great Britain. James soon concedes that his forces are too small and calls a halt to the brief war, returning to exile in France, while Charles vows to remain in Britain to raise support for James. Soon after in a tavern, Charles overhears the Duke of Somerfield make blatantly insulting remarks about King George II. When royal guards attempt to arrest Somerfield for treason, Charles comes to his aid, but the duke is wounded and Charles is arrested and imprisoned. Unknown to Charles, Somerfield is a confidant of the king, specializing in ferreting out traitors loyal to James. Realizing that the outright assassination of James might provoke another expensive war, Somerfield plots for special German agent Ann Brett to masquerade as his wife and gain James's affections by befriending Charles. As part of the plan, Somerfield pretends to be dying from his wound in prison, where Charles is brought to him. Somerfield pleads with Charles to look after his wife and gives him some gold bullion with which to bribe the prison guards and escape. Believing Somerfield dead, Charles breaks out and flees with the "Duchess of Somerfield" to France. At St. Germaine palace, Charles resumes his position as the prince's confidant and protector while Ann is embraced as the widow of a Stuart loyalist. At a dinner for Ann with King Louis' emissary, Count DuLusac, James reveals that he has arranged to marry the Princess of Saxony, Maria Clementina Sobieska. Charles and DuLusac break up an assassination attempt on James, and later, Ann chastises DuLusac, a secret conspirator with Somerfield, for his clumsiness in arranging the attack. When DuLusac observes that Ann seems overly fond of Charles, she insists that she remains committed to her patriotic duty to King George. That night, Charles suggests that DuLusac may have been behind the assassination attempt and, dismayed, James demands proof. Meanwhile, DuLusac tells Ann that he has arranged James's death the following day in a hunting accident. Ann secretly meets with Charles, but only informs him that she is going to Italy and wants him to accompany her, but Charles maintains his loyalty to James. The next day during the hunt, James is lured into a cave alone, but suspicious, Charles follows the prince and saves him from being hurled into a well by DuLusac's accomplices. Determined to prove DuLusac's involvement against James, Charles intercepts a painting the French emissary sends to England. The painting contains a message that Charles easily decodes, and hoping to unmask DuLusac's co-conspirator, Charles adds a request to the note, instructing the recipient to come immediately. Meanwhile, having convinced Ann to delay her trip, Charles escorts her to functions with the prince and at a picnic, proposes to her. Later that day, however, Charles' army compatriots, Patrick Gaydon and James O'Toole, inform Charles that Somerfield is not only alive, but has just arrived in Paris. Stunned, Charles visits Ann, only to find Somerfield already with her. Noting Ann's distress later, Somerfield suggests that her behavior implies that she has switched allegiances. Ann admits that she has come to have sympathy for the kindly James, which forces Somerfield to place her under house arrest. Now convinced that DuLusac has been part of a plot against him, James orders the French emissary back to Paris under escort of Charles. Pressured by Charles, DuLusac reveals that Somerfield and Ann are behind the conspiracy against James, and Charles kills DuLusac in a duel. Meanwhile, unaware that Somerfield is against him, James delights in finding him alive and informs the duke that due to his engagement, he must visit Poland. Somerfield cautions James about placing himself in danger and volunteers to go for him and bring Clementina to France. Pleased, James agrees, unaware that Somerfield plans to use the princess as a hostage against him. By the time Charles returns, the Somerfields have departed. Angered to learn of Somerfield's true loyalty, James allows Charles, Gaydon and O'Toole to go after the couple. Disguised as merchants, the men head to Poland, but in Austria discover that they have missed the Somerfields and the princess. When Charles learns that a foreign royal contingent has gone to the local prison, he deduces that Clementina is being held prisoner. Stealing Austrian military uniforms and a maid's dress, Charles and his men enter the prison as guards. The men capture Somerfield and Ann and, leaving Gaydon to hold the Somerfields, Charles spirits Clementina out disguised as a maid. Gaydon is overpowered and Somerfield, forcing Ann along, pursues Charles. Within sight of the French border, Charles and Clementina's coach loses a wheel and Charles insists that the princess ride alone the short distance across the river to the waiting James while he holds off Somerfield. In the ensuing fight, Ann comes to Charles' aid and shoots Somerfield. With the conspiracy ended, James and Clementina wed, and Charles is knighted and marries Ann. A year later, the princess gives birth to Charles Edward, James's new hope for regaining the throne.