The Molly Maguires


2h 4m 1970

Brief Synopsis

Life is rough in the coal mines of 1876 Pennsylvania. A secret group of Irish emigrant miners, known as the Molly Maguires, fights against the cruelty of the mining company with sabotage and murder. A detective, also an Irish emigrant, is hired to infiltrate the group and report on its members. But on which side do his sympathies lie?

Film Details

MPAA Rating
NR
Genre
Drama
Historical
Release Date
Jan 1970
Premiere Information
Scranton, Pennsylvania, opening: 27 Jan 1970
Production Company
Tamm Productions
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures
Country
United States
Location
Weatherly, Pennsylvania, USA; Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, USA; Luzerne, Pennsylvania, USA; Llewelyn, Pennsylvania, USA; Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania, USA; Carbon, Pennsylvania, USA; Ashland, Pennsylvania, USA; Eckley, Pennsylvania, USA; Schuylkill, Pennsylvania, USA; Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, USA; Columbia, Pennsylvania, USA; Hazelton, Pennsylvania, USA
Screenplay Information
Suggested by the book Lament for the Molly Maguires by Arthur H. Lewis (New York, 1964).

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 4m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Synopsis

In 1876 the Molly Maguires, a secret society of immigrant Irish coal miners terrorizing the eastern Pennsylvania anthracite belt, are infiltrated by company detective James McParlan, who poses as fugitive murderer James McKenna. McParlan rents a room in the home of disabled miner Raines, and courts Raines' ambitious daughter, Mary. Having secured a job as a miner, the detective ingratiates himself with coworkers by leading the Gaelic football team to victory over its Welsh rival and by beating a brutal policeman. Furthermore, McParlan allays the suspicions of Molly leader Jack Kehoe by casting the decisive vote to murder a mine superintendent, and by rescuing another Molly during the assassination. Following the death of Mary's father, Kehoe and McParlan, claiming Raines' right to a burial suit, break into, loot, and set afire the company store. When Mollies Kehoe and McAndrew attempt to sabotage a mine, however, McParlan alerts Police Chief Davies, and they are arrested. At the trial the detective's testimony results in the Mollies' conviction and death sentence. Shocked by McParlan's duplicity, Mary rejects the agent. While the gallows are being constructed in the jail yard, McParlan confronts the imprisoned Kehoe, then departs for reassignment as head of the Denver Pinkerton Agency.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
NR
Genre
Drama
Historical
Release Date
Jan 1970
Premiere Information
Scranton, Pennsylvania, opening: 27 Jan 1970
Production Company
Tamm Productions
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures
Country
United States
Location
Weatherly, Pennsylvania, USA; Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, USA; Luzerne, Pennsylvania, USA; Llewelyn, Pennsylvania, USA; Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania, USA; Carbon, Pennsylvania, USA; Ashland, Pennsylvania, USA; Eckley, Pennsylvania, USA; Schuylkill, Pennsylvania, USA; Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, USA; Columbia, Pennsylvania, USA; Hazelton, Pennsylvania, USA
Screenplay Information
Suggested by the book Lament for the Molly Maguires by Arthur H. Lewis (New York, 1964).

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 4m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Award Nominations

Best Art Direction

1970

Articles

Richard Harris, 1930-2002 - TCM Remembers Richard Harris


Two-time Best Actor nominee Richard Harris, who was also famous for his feisty, off-screen exploits, was once characterized along with Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole as one of Britain's most charismatic and unpredictable leading men during the heyday of their popularity in the '60s and '70s. He died at the University College of London Hospital on Friday, Oct. 25. He had been suffering from Hodgkin's disease, a form of lymphatic cancer, and was 72 years old.

Harris was born October 1, 1930, in Limerick, Ireland, one of nine children born to farmer Ivan Harris and his wife, Mildred Harty. He was a noted rugby player as a youth, but shortly after his move to London in the mid-50s, Harris studied classical acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. After a few years of stage experience, he made his screen debut in Alive and Kicking (1958) and quickly developed a reputation as a talented young actor. His film career became increasingly impressive with such strong supporting turns in Shake Hands with the Devil (1959), The Guns of Navarone (1961) and Mutiny on the Bounty (1962).

Yet it wasn't until 1963 that Harris became an unlikely star after thrilling movie viewers and critics with his electrifying performance in This Sporting Life. His portrayal of a bitter young coal miner who becomes a professional rugby star marked the arrival of a major international talent and won him the Best Actor award at Cannes and an Oscar nomination.

Strangely enough, Harris' next projects were multimillion dollar epics and he went largely unnoticed amid the all-star casts; he had a small role as Cain in John Huston's production of The Bible (1966) and in Hawaii (1966) he played a sea captain who falls in love with a married woman (Julie Andrews). He also tried his hand at a mod spy comedy opposite Doris Day - Caprice (1967). A much better role for him was playing King Arthur in the film version of the Broadway hit Camelot (1967). The movie was not well received critically, but Harris' singing skills proved to be a surprise; not only did he win a Golden Globe for his performance, but the film's soundtrack album proved to be a bigger commercial hit than the film itself. Even more surprising was his unexpected success the following year with the pop hit "MacArthur Park" - that kitsch cornerstone of lounge karaoke. The song just missed topping the Billboard singles chart in the "Summer of 1968;" It was topped by Herb Albert's "This Guy's In Love with You."

The '70s proved to be a mixed bag for Harris. He scored a huge commercial hit with his best-known film of that decade, A Man Called Horse (1970). It became a cult Western and featured him as an English aristocrat captured, tortured and eventually adopted by Sioux Indians. He also showed some promise behind the camera, co-writing the screenplay for the psychological thriller The Lady in the Car With Glasses and a Gun (1970) and directing (as well as starring) in The Hero (1972), a drama about an aging soccer star. But the quality of films in which Harris appeared declined as the decade progressed: Orca (1977) - a terrible Jaws rip-off, The Wild Geese(1978), and worst of all, Tarzan, the Ape Man (1981), in which he had a thankless role as Bo Derek's explorer father.

Based on those films and his general inactivity in the '80s, Harris' comeback performance in The Field (1990) was a wonderful surprise. In that film he played a man who has nurtured a field into a prized piece of real estate only to lose his sanity as the property is taken from him; the role earned him a deserved Oscar nomination and showed that he was still a vital screen presence. Harris took full advantage of this new spurt in his career by committing himself to many fine character roles: the cool, refined gunslinger in Unforgiven(1992), his intense portrayal of a father mourning the death of his son in Cry the Beloved Country (1995), the resident villain of Smilla's Sense of Snow (1997), and as the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius in the epic Gladiator (2000).

Yet Harris will probably be best remembered by current audiences for his portrayal of Dumbledore, the benevolent and wily head of Hogwarts School in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) which will be released nationwide in just three weeks. Harris is survived by his three sons, Jared, Jamie (both actors) and the director Damian Harris.

by Michael T. Toole
Richard Harris, 1930-2002 - Tcm Remembers Richard Harris

Richard Harris, 1930-2002 - TCM Remembers Richard Harris

Two-time Best Actor nominee Richard Harris, who was also famous for his feisty, off-screen exploits, was once characterized along with Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole as one of Britain's most charismatic and unpredictable leading men during the heyday of their popularity in the '60s and '70s. He died at the University College of London Hospital on Friday, Oct. 25. He had been suffering from Hodgkin's disease, a form of lymphatic cancer, and was 72 years old. Harris was born October 1, 1930, in Limerick, Ireland, one of nine children born to farmer Ivan Harris and his wife, Mildred Harty. He was a noted rugby player as a youth, but shortly after his move to London in the mid-50s, Harris studied classical acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. After a few years of stage experience, he made his screen debut in Alive and Kicking (1958) and quickly developed a reputation as a talented young actor. His film career became increasingly impressive with such strong supporting turns in Shake Hands with the Devil (1959), The Guns of Navarone (1961) and Mutiny on the Bounty (1962). Yet it wasn't until 1963 that Harris became an unlikely star after thrilling movie viewers and critics with his electrifying performance in This Sporting Life. His portrayal of a bitter young coal miner who becomes a professional rugby star marked the arrival of a major international talent and won him the Best Actor award at Cannes and an Oscar nomination. Strangely enough, Harris' next projects were multimillion dollar epics and he went largely unnoticed amid the all-star casts; he had a small role as Cain in John Huston's production of The Bible (1966) and in Hawaii (1966) he played a sea captain who falls in love with a married woman (Julie Andrews). He also tried his hand at a mod spy comedy opposite Doris Day - Caprice (1967). A much better role for him was playing King Arthur in the film version of the Broadway hit Camelot (1967). The movie was not well received critically, but Harris' singing skills proved to be a surprise; not only did he win a Golden Globe for his performance, but the film's soundtrack album proved to be a bigger commercial hit than the film itself. Even more surprising was his unexpected success the following year with the pop hit "MacArthur Park" - that kitsch cornerstone of lounge karaoke. The song just missed topping the Billboard singles chart in the "Summer of 1968;" It was topped by Herb Albert's "This Guy's In Love with You." The '70s proved to be a mixed bag for Harris. He scored a huge commercial hit with his best-known film of that decade, A Man Called Horse (1970). It became a cult Western and featured him as an English aristocrat captured, tortured and eventually adopted by Sioux Indians. He also showed some promise behind the camera, co-writing the screenplay for the psychological thriller The Lady in the Car With Glasses and a Gun (1970) and directing (as well as starring) in The Hero (1972), a drama about an aging soccer star. But the quality of films in which Harris appeared declined as the decade progressed: Orca (1977) - a terrible Jaws rip-off, The Wild Geese(1978), and worst of all, Tarzan, the Ape Man (1981), in which he had a thankless role as Bo Derek's explorer father. Based on those films and his general inactivity in the '80s, Harris' comeback performance in The Field (1990) was a wonderful surprise. In that film he played a man who has nurtured a field into a prized piece of real estate only to lose his sanity as the property is taken from him; the role earned him a deserved Oscar nomination and showed that he was still a vital screen presence. Harris took full advantage of this new spurt in his career by committing himself to many fine character roles: the cool, refined gunslinger in Unforgiven(1992), his intense portrayal of a father mourning the death of his son in Cry the Beloved Country (1995), the resident villain of Smilla's Sense of Snow (1997), and as the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius in the epic Gladiator (2000). Yet Harris will probably be best remembered by current audiences for his portrayal of Dumbledore, the benevolent and wily head of Hogwarts School in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) which will be released nationwide in just three weeks. Harris is survived by his three sons, Jared, Jamie (both actors) and the director Damian Harris. by Michael T. Toole

Quotes

Trivia

Most of this film was shot in Eckley, PA. Paramount Pictures saved the town from being destroyed; Eckley was slated to be demolished for strip mining, but, after the movie was filmed, the land the town was on was donated to the Pennsylvania Historical and Musuem Commission, and the town is now a museum. Several structures built for the movie still survive in Eckley.

Notes

Location scenes filmed in Pennsylvania, in Eckley, Bloomsburg, Llewelyn, Wilkes-Barre, Hazelton, in the boroughs of Mauch Chunk, Weatherly, and Ashland, and in the counties of Luzerne, Carbon, Schuylkill, and Columbia. The musical score includes the traditional Irish tunes: "Eileen Aroon," "Cockles and Mussels," and "Gary Owen."

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Winter February 1970

Suggested by the Arthur H. Lewis book "Lament for the Molly Maguires" (New York, 1964).

music extract "Garry Owen"

music extract "Eileen Aroon"

music extract "Cockles and Mussels"

Released in United States Winter February 1970