The Fighting Prince of Donegal
|The Fighting Prince of Donegal|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Michael O'Herlihy|
|Produced by||Walt Disney|
|Written by||Robert Westerby,
Robert T. Reilly
|Music by||George Bruns|
|Edited by||Peter Boita|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Distribution|
|October 1, 1966|
The Fighting Prince of Donegal is a 1966 Walt Disney Productions adventure film starring Peter McEnery and Susan Hampshire, based on the novel Red Hugh: Prince of Donegal by Robert T. Reilly. It was released by the Buena Vista Distribution Company.
Set in the late 1580s, the film very loosely follows the real-life exploits of the 16th century Irish prince "Red" Hugh O'Donnell. The story begins when Hugh's father, the Chief of the Name, dies, leaving his son as Chief of Clan O'Donnell. With his ascension to the throne, an Irish prophecy is seemingly fulfilled which promises independence from Elizabethan and English rule. In response, the Queen's Lord Lieutenant abducts him and imprisons him in Dublin Castle as a hostage for the Clan's good behavior. After a daring escape, he flies across Ireland with the sons of Hugh Roe O'Neill.
The O'Donnell lords see this occurrence as the opportunity to strike back at the foreigners by force, but Hugh convinces them the right plan is to band together with the other clans of the island, and bargain for their freedom from a position of strength. As he prepares for battle, O'Donnell also courts the beautiful Kathleen McSweeney, to further augment the clans of Ireland.
- Peter McEnery as Hugh O'Donnell
- Susan Hampshire as Kathleen McSweeney
- Tom Adams as Henry O'Neill
- Gordon Jackson as Captain Leeds
- Norman Wooland as Sir John Perrott
- Richard Leech as Phelim O'Toole
- Peter Jeffrey as Sergeant
- Marie Kean as The Mother
- Bill Owen as Officer Powell
- Maurice Roëves as Martin
- Donal McCann as Sean O'Toole
Critical reception was split on Fighting Prince between those who thought it cliched and oversimplified (Variety and Time) and those who accepted it as unpretentious fun (the New York Herald Tribune and The New York Times).
The film did not do well at the box office.
Comic book adaption
- Maltin, Leonard. The Disney Films. Bonanza Press, 1978, page 244.
- "Gold Key: Walt Disney Presents The Fighting Prince of Donegal". Grand Comics Database.