The Rising of the Moon (1957)

80-81 mins | Comedy-drama | 10 August 1957

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HISTORY

The working title of the film was Three Leaves of the Shamrock . After the opening title, a card reads: “The Three Stories—'The Majesty of the Law'—After the short story by Frank O’Connor; 'A Minute’s Wait'—From the comedy by Martin J. McHugh; '1921'—Inspired by Lady Gregory’s play 'The Rising of the Moon.'” Irish-American actor Tyrone Power’s opening credit reads: “Introduced by Tyrone Power.” As his credit indicates, Power makes a brief introductory comment before each segment. The list of opening cast credits ends with "and Players from the Abbey Theatre Company." Neither Power nor “Players from the Abbey Theatre Company,” are listed in the end credits.
       The other actors’ opening credits appear alphabetically; in the end credits, they are listed according to the segment in which they appear. In all cast and crew credits, Irish surnames bearing the "O" prefix appear without an apostrophe, instead of the more Anglicized form in which an apostrophe is placed after the "O." For example, Denis O'Dea, Michael O'Duffy and Eamonn O'Gallegher appear in opening and closing credits as "Denis O Dea," "Michael O Duffy" and "Eamonn O Gallegher." Actress Maureen Connell's surname is misspelled "Connel" in the copyright record and studio publicity material. The character names of the nuns, Black and Tan officers and neighbors are listed onscreen as “Two Nuns, “Two Black and Tan Officers” and “The Neighbours,” respectively. "Black and Tan" was Irish slang for British soldiers.
       Although the copyright record lists the production company as Four Province Productions, onscreen credits and other material lists the company name as Four Provinces. The company name reflects a commonly used phrase that refers to the four provinces ... More Less

The working title of the film was Three Leaves of the Shamrock . After the opening title, a card reads: “The Three Stories—'The Majesty of the Law'—After the short story by Frank O’Connor; 'A Minute’s Wait'—From the comedy by Martin J. McHugh; '1921'—Inspired by Lady Gregory’s play 'The Rising of the Moon.'” Irish-American actor Tyrone Power’s opening credit reads: “Introduced by Tyrone Power.” As his credit indicates, Power makes a brief introductory comment before each segment. The list of opening cast credits ends with "and Players from the Abbey Theatre Company." Neither Power nor “Players from the Abbey Theatre Company,” are listed in the end credits.
       The other actors’ opening credits appear alphabetically; in the end credits, they are listed according to the segment in which they appear. In all cast and crew credits, Irish surnames bearing the "O" prefix appear without an apostrophe, instead of the more Anglicized form in which an apostrophe is placed after the "O." For example, Denis O'Dea, Michael O'Duffy and Eamonn O'Gallegher appear in opening and closing credits as "Denis O Dea," "Michael O Duffy" and "Eamonn O Gallegher." Actress Maureen Connell's surname is misspelled "Connel" in the copyright record and studio publicity material. The character names of the nuns, Black and Tan officers and neighbors are listed onscreen as “Two Nuns, “Two Black and Tan Officers” and “The Neighbours,” respectively. "Black and Tan" was Irish slang for British soldiers.
       Although the copyright record lists the production company as Four Province Productions, onscreen credits and other material lists the company name as Four Provinces. The company name reflects a commonly used phrase that refers to the four provinces of Ireland: Ulster, Munster, Connaught and Leinster. According to a 2 Feb 1955 Var news item and other sources, the Four Provinces' board was comprised of British film director Brian Desmond Hurst, Irish architect Michael Scott and producer Lord Michael Killanin, who was on the board of directors of a major aspirin distributor and Shell Oil Company. A 9 Jul 1957 DV news item added Power to the company’s board. The MPH review reported that Killanin’s goal was to establish a film industry in Ireland, which, according to a 14 Jul 1957 NYT news item, as yet had no sound stage. In “the hope that this will result in the building of a permanent studio in Eire and the encouragement of production there by others,” director John Ford and writer Frank S. Nugent agreed to be paid their respective Screen Guild’s minimum rate, according to a Feb 1956 NYT article. [A modern source states that Ireland opened its “first four wall studio” in 1958.]
       Although a Feb 1955 Var news item reported that the film would be released through Republic, the same studio that released Ford’s previous film shot in Ireland, The Quiet Man (see above), The Rising of the Moon was ultimately distributed by Warner Bros. Portions of the film, which was filmed entirely in Ireland, were shot in Dublin. According to the NYT review, King John’s Castle in Limerick served as a prison and Lord Gort’s Lough Cutra in County Clare depicted the Tan headquarters.
       Jimmy O’ Dea, who appears in “A Minute’s Wait,” was described by a Jul 1957 DV piece as Ireland’s top comic. As indicated in the opening credits, many of the actors in the film were players from Dublin’s Abbey Theatre, Ireland’s first national theater which was founded by William Butler Yeats, Edward Martyn and Lady Augusta Gregory. Gregory wrote the source play The Rising of the Moon upon which the “1921” segment of the film was based. Although, according to the Feb 1956 NYT article, Maureen O’Hara and Barry Fitzgerald agreed to appear in the film if their schedules allowed, Ford claimed that he was reluctant to use performers with big “names” who “might throw these delicate stories out of balance.”
       American reviews were generally favorable, although noting, as did HR , that one’s “appreciation” of the film “may be tempered by the degree to which you are Irish, by derivation or inclination.” The DV review stated that the film was being shown in the United States in art houses. According to a 19 Feb 1958 Var , despite good notices, D. P. Quish of Limerick County Council, who was unanimously supported by other council members, called the film “a vile production and a travesty of the Irish people.” Although he urged the Justice Minister in Ireland to contact the governments of all countries where the picture was distributed to have the film withdrawn, the article predicted that no official government action was likely to be taken and, according to modern sources, none was. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
27 Jul 1957.
---
Daily Variety
6 Apr 1956.
---
Daily Variety
9 Jul 1957.
---
Film Daily
11 Jul 57
p. 10.
Hollywood Citizen-News
18 Jul 1957.
---
Hollywood Reporter
12 Jun 1957.
---
Hollywood Reporter
9 Jul 57
p. 3.
Los Angeles Examiner
18 Jul 1957
Section 3, p. 9.
Los Angeles Mirror
18 Jul 1957
Part II, p. 11.
Los Angeles Times
18 Jul 1957.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
13 Jul 57
p. 450.
New York Times
26 Feb 1956.
---
New York Times
10 Jul 57
p. 23.
New York Times
14 Jul 1957.
---
New Yorker
20 Jul 1957.
---
Newsweek
15 Jul 1957.
---
Time
22 Jul 1957.
---
Variety
2 Feb 1955.
---
Variety
12 Jun 57
p. 18.
Variety
19 Feb 1958.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Four Provinces Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
Asst dir
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
COSTUMES
MUSIC
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Tech adv
Tech adv
Tech adv
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "The Majesty of the Law" by Frank O'Connor in Fortnightly Review (Aug 1935)
the play "The Rising of the Moon" by Lady Augusta Gregory (Dublin, 9 Mar 1907) and the play "A Minute's Wait" by Martin J. McHugh (production unknown).
SONGS
"The Rising of the Moon," music by Turough O'Carolan, lyrics John Keegan Casey.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Three Leaves of the Shamrock
Release Date:
10 August 1957
Premiere Information:
World premiere in Dublin: early June 1957
New York opening: 9 July 1957
Los Angeles opening: 17 July 1957
Production Date:
began early April 1956
Copyright Claimant:
Four Provinces Productions, Ltd.
Copyright Date:
10 August 1957
Copyright Number:
LP12347
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound Recording
Black and White
Widescreen/ratio
1.85:1
Duration(in mins):
80-81
Countries:
Ireland, United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
18178
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Ireland, inspector Michael Dillon leaves the police barracks of Ballinalough and proceeds on foot through the rural countryside, his journey marked by two neighbors and by Micky J., a poteen maker or moonshiner, who tries to elude him. Although Michael catches him, Micky is relieved to learn that the policeman’s destination is the ancestral estate of Dan O’Flaherty, and follows him the rest of the way. Dan greets Michael as an old friend and invites him into his cottage below the old castle tower. The men have a friendly chat about old times, poteen and other matters. Then the two neighbors arrive, offering to pay Dan’s fine, thus revealing the true purpose of Michael’s visit: Michael has a warrant to take Dan to prison for failing to pay the fine he was charged after hitting Phelim O’Feeney, the family enemy, in the head. From under a rock in the floor, Dan retrieves twice the amount of money needed to stay out of prison. However, as Dan believes that paying the fine would be admitting that Phelim, who called him a liar, did not deserve the contusion, he returns the money to its place and thanks the neighbors for their generosity. Dan arranges with Michael to come to the jail on Friday after dinner. At the appointed time, while Dan bids his family and neighbors farewell, Phelim himself arrives and offers to pay the fine, but Dan proudly insists on serving the prison sentence, which he believes is the way to uphold the O’Flaherty name. At the barracks, Michael is waiting for him and the two friends, with arms around ... +


In Ireland, inspector Michael Dillon leaves the police barracks of Ballinalough and proceeds on foot through the rural countryside, his journey marked by two neighbors and by Micky J., a poteen maker or moonshiner, who tries to elude him. Although Michael catches him, Micky is relieved to learn that the policeman’s destination is the ancestral estate of Dan O’Flaherty, and follows him the rest of the way. Dan greets Michael as an old friend and invites him into his cottage below the old castle tower. The men have a friendly chat about old times, poteen and other matters. Then the two neighbors arrive, offering to pay Dan’s fine, thus revealing the true purpose of Michael’s visit: Michael has a warrant to take Dan to prison for failing to pay the fine he was charged after hitting Phelim O’Feeney, the family enemy, in the head. From under a rock in the floor, Dan retrieves twice the amount of money needed to stay out of prison. However, as Dan believes that paying the fine would be admitting that Phelim, who called him a liar, did not deserve the contusion, he returns the money to its place and thanks the neighbors for their generosity. Dan arranges with Michael to come to the jail on Friday after dinner. At the appointed time, while Dan bids his family and neighbors farewell, Phelim himself arrives and offers to pay the fine, but Dan proudly insists on serving the prison sentence, which he believes is the way to uphold the O’Flaherty name. At the barracks, Michael is waiting for him and the two friends, with arms around each other, enter the prison building.
       At the Dunfaill railway station, the Ballyscran and Dunfaill train pulls in and the porter, Paddy Morrisey announces to the passengers that there will be “one minute's wait only” before it departs. At his suggestion, the coach passengers briskly head for the station’s refreshment bar manned by Pegeen Mallory. Mr. O’Brien, the engineer, drinks a beer and entertains the lively crowd with a ghost story. Outside Mrs. Falsey, traveling with her niece Mary Ann McMahon, encounters farmer Barney Domigan and his son Christy. When Barney explains that he is taking his son to arrange a marriage with Mary Ryan, who has a three-hundred-pound dowry, Mrs. Falsey listens thoughtfully. From the first-class compartment, Col. and Mrs. Charles Frobishire, an older, stern-faced British couple, ask Paddy to open their door, but the porter cheerfully explains that he no longer has the key. Instead he offers to water Mrs. Frobishire’s bouquet of flowers, which he mistakenly presumes is a bridal bouquet. After the passengers are called back to the train, Paddy opens the door, which was not locked, and returns the freshened flowers, wishing Mrs. Frobishire “a child for every blossom.” The train is ready to depart when a prize goat is delivered and another “minute's wait” announced. As the railroad workers argue about the wisdom of putting the animal in the baggage department, the passengers scurry back to the bar, where O’Brien continues his ghostly tale. Mrs. Falsey and Barney continue their conversation, oblivious to Christy and Mary Ann’s growing attraction to each other. After Paddy moves the confused Frobishires to a third-class compartment, places the goat inside their first-class cabin, and the passengers are re-boarded, another “minute's wait” is announced. Mrs. Kinsella, the fisherwoman, has just arrived and insists on loading lobsters for the Bishop’s Golden Jubilee Dinner. The passengers race back to the bar, while the lobsters are crammed in with the Frobishires. The passengers are then re-boarded and the train is ready to leave, when the telephone rings. Pegeen reports that the Ballyscran Hurling Team’s bus has broken and the team is on its way. As the athletes, who have won a championship match, parade alongside bagpipers to the station, Mrs. Falsey suggests to Barney that Mary Ann would be a better choice for Christy than Mary Ryan. Assuming that Mary Ann is penniless, as her father died fighting with the Americans in the war, Barney patiently insists that a bride needs a dowry. At that, Mrs. Falsey triumphantly pulls out a bank statement, revealing that Mary Ann inherited her father’s $10,000 government “bonus” for “getting himself killed.” The Frobishires ask for a cup of tea, so Paddy takes them to an outdoor table away from the heightened gaiety. Paddy then goes inside the bar and joins Pegeen in a jig. Mrs. Falsey and Barney come to an agreement, while Mary Ann and Christy come to a similar decision while kissing in a boxcar. After passengers are recruited to help attach an additional carriage to the train for the hurlers, Paddy and Pegeen, who have been “walking out together” for almost twelve years, are left alone. The passengers are returning to their seats, when Christy confronts Barney with an ultimatum: he will wed Mary Ann or join the foreign legion. His independent thinking irritates Barney, who then offends Mr. Rourke, the station master, by recalling a lapse in his great-grandfather’s good behavior many years ago. When Rourke protests that the old story is a lie, the two prepare to fight. Inside, Pegeen answers affirmatively when Paddy asks if she wants to be “buried with his people.” The train whistle blows, prompting almost everyone to return to his proper place, and the train chugs out of the station, leaving the forgotten Frobishires behind.
       In Galway, in 1921 during the “Troubles” of the “Black and Tan War,” political prisoner Sean Curran awaits his execution, while sympathizers gather outside the jail to pray for him. Two nuns, one of whom claims to be Sean’s sister, ask a sympathetic warder to be allowed a last visit with the condemned man. The warder takes them inside and the major in charge, who is weary of his “hangman” role, orders the women escorted to Sean’s cell. Later, when the clock strikes the hour, the nuns leave, one of them doubled over in grief. Sgt. Michael O’Hara helps the nuns into a cab and notices that one wears high heels, but shrugs it off. Afterward, when the major and his soldiers come to take Sean to the gallows, they find only Peggy O’Donnell, an actress from Brooklyn, in his cell. The police search the town, while Sean and his rescuer slip into a theater. After dark, Sean, disguised as a balladeer and accompanied by a donkey, passes through the police blockade with the help of the warder, who confirms that Sean is the minstrel Jimmy Walsh. O’Hara is guarding an area of the waterfront called the Spanish Arch, when his temperamental wife, to whom Sean is a hero, arrives with his dinner. Although she has been nagging O’Hara all evening about his part in executing “the greatest man in Ireland today,” when she sees a five-hundred-pound reward for Sean’s capture, she considers the futility of his plight and the usefulness of the money. The disguised Sean arrives with his donkey and offers to sing. In his repertoire is the revolutionary song, “The Rising of the Moon,” which O’Hara, his wife recalls, used to sing during their courting days. The couple begins to bicker, allowing Sean to board a rowboat that has come for him. When O’Hara realizes that Sean is escaping, he calls to the rowers, threatening to shoot, but then has second thoughts, prompted by his love of Ireland. He begins to sing the song, which, he admits, is somewhat treasonous, and his wife joins in. Afterward, in a loving mood, she returns home, leaving O’Hara to wonder if he has been a fool. Meanwhile, Sean rows to freedom. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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