A 1970 American historical drama film directed by Martin Ritt, starring Sean Connery, Richard Harris, and Samantha Eggar.
The movie tells the true story of a group of Irish-American coal miners in 19th-century Pennsylvania, led by "Black Jack" Kehoe (Connery), who form a secret society known as the Molly Maguires to fight exploitation by their oppressive employers, often by violent means. A Pinkerton Detective named James McParlan (Harris) infiltrates the group to take them down from the inside. But he quickly finds himself sympathizing more with the Mollies than with the company men who hired him.
The film takes a few small liberties with the plot, sacrificing strict historical accuracy for drama, but the setting is highly realistic and occasionally beautiful. It was a box-office flop, but well worth watching.
This movie provides examples of:
- Black-and-Gray Morality
- Conflicting Loyalty
- Dirty Business
- The Infiltration
- Jade-Colored Glasses
- Knight Templar
- The Mole
- No One Gets Left Behind: James going back for the Molly who is wounded during the gunfight.
- Pay Evil unto Evil
- Pinkerton Detective
- See You in Hell
- Sliding Scale of Visuals Versus Dialogue: The first words are spoken 15 minutes into the movie. Jack Kehoe doesn't speak until 40 minutes in.
- Shown Their Work: In addition to the mining village of Eckley, scenes were also filmed at the (now former) Carbon County Jail, where several of the real-life Molly Maguires were incarcerated and executed. Like Eckley's Miners Village, the jail is a museum today.
- Stuff Blowing Up
- The Film of the Book: The film is an adaptation of Arthur H. Lewis's novel, based on a real life uprising of Irish-American coal miners.
- There Are No Good Executives
- Token Romance
- Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters