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Film / The Rising of the Moon

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"By the rising of the moon, by the rising of the moon
For the pikes must be together by the rising of the moon"
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A 1957 Anthology Film by John Ford. Ford once again returned to his beloved Ireland to make this quaint little film. Featuring no Hollywood stars (except Tyrone Power as the film's host), this picture was filmed entirely in Ireland and featured exclusively Irish actors - including players from Dublin's famed Abbey Theatre, the national theatre company. The film tells three stories each based of the work of a notable Irish literary figure.

The stories are:

  • "The Majesty of the Law", based on the short story by Frank O'Connor. A story about conflict between the law and personal honor.
  • "A Minute's Wait", based on a 1914 one-act comic play by Martin J. McHugh. A one minute stop at a train station turns into a two hour delay, as last minute passengers and cargo show keep showing much to the constant frustration of the station master.
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  • "1921", based on the play "The Rising of the Moon" by Lady Gregory. Set in Galway during the Troubles, the Black and Tans search for an Irish patriot who has escaped from prison just minutes before he's about to be executed.

Tropes used in this film:

  • Dark and Troubled Past: Much to the Station Master's chagrin in "A Minute's Wait", the less than savory actions of his family are brought by the passengers.
  • Did You Die?: "Mr. O'Brien! What happened to the ghost? Did he not come back and get you?" O'Brien says he'll finish the story "when there's more congenital company."
  • Honor Before Reason: In "The Majesty of the Law", Dan O'Flaherty refuses to pay a fine for assaulting a man, because he feels he did nothing wrong even though he knows he'll have to go to prison.
  • Hyperlink Story: A Minute's Wait is a single ensemble story without any real main character.
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  • Scenery Porn: It may not be in Technicolor like The Quiet Man, but John Ford still makes Ireland look utterly gorgeous.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: In "1921", the Police Sergeant lets Curan escape at the cost of the £500 reward.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Parodied, more like Kiss Slap Kiss. In "A Minute's Wait", Mary Ann grabs Christy and plants a big wet one on his lips. She then hauls off and smacks him silly — then cheerily invites him to sit next to her and takes a bite of his banana. You'll see this in a lot of films from around this time. Mary Ann seems to knows a woman is supposed to resist if a man (even one she likes) makes a pass. She may be thinking of Making It Look Like A Struggle and also letting Christy know she can give as good as she gets, so he'd better not mistreat her.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: This is how Curran's supporters free him before his execution. Two nuns arrive at the prison, one of them Curran's sister, come to see him for the last time. The guards allow the siblings to be alone together (during which a power failure is faked to buy time). The nuns leave, and when the guards come in to tell Curran "it's time," "he" reveals himself to be Peggy O'Donnell, an American citizen. Curran, of course, has gotten away in the nun's habit.
  • That Old-Time Prescription: Dan O'Flaherty goes on at some length about "the wise people" and their knowledge of Irish traditional herbal medicine, including the use of heather flowers. His information is poetically delivered, but accurate.
  • Title Drop: The film's title comes from a classic Irish folk song called "The Rising of the Moon", which is played throughout the last story "1921".


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