The Rising of the Moon (film)

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The Rising of the Moon
The Rising of the Moon FilmPoster.jpeg
Original Australian film poster
Directed by John Ford
Produced by Michael Killanin
Written by Lady Augusta Gregory
Michael J. McHugh
Frank S. Nugent
Frank O'Connor
Starring Cyril Cusack
Noel Purcell
Denis O'Dea
Narrated by Tyrone Power
Cinematography Robert Krasker
Edited by Michael Gordon
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date
  • 10 August 1957 (1957-08-10)
Running time
81 minutes
Country Ireland
Language English

The Rising of the Moon is a 1957 Irish anthology film directed by John Ford.[1][2][3][4] It consists of three episodes all set in Ireland:


The Majesty of the Law[edit]

Police Inspector Dillon (Cyril Cusack) reluctantly sets out to see an old friend, Dan O'Flaherty (Noel Purcell). Along the way, he encounters Mickey J. (Jack MacGowran), a poitín maker who, fortunately for him, is not Dillon's target today. The inspector has the unfortunate duty of serving a warrant on O'Flaherty for striking Phelim O'Feeney (John Cowley) on the head. O'Flaherty refuses to pay the fine, as he feels he has done nothing wrong, nor will he allow O'Feeney to pay it for him. Instead, he heads off to prison.

A Minute's Wait[edit]

A train pulls up to the Dunfaill station, where Paddy Morrisey (Jimmie O'Dea) announces there will be "a minute's wait". The passengers and crew crowd into the bar for refreshments, served by Pegeen Mallory (Maureen Potter). Later, Paddy finally proposes to his longtime girlfriend Pegeen.

Mrs. Falsey (May Craig) chats with her old friend Barney Domigan (Harold Goldblatt), while her niece Mary Ann MacMahon (Maureen Connell) becomes acquainted with his son Christy (Godfrey Quigley). Domigan is on his way to arrange a marriage between Christy and a young woman with a substantial dowry. Mrs. Falsey persuades him to change his mind by informing him that the U.S. Army has awarded Mary Ann $10,000 for her father's death in battle. The young couple, unaware of this development, insist they will only marry each other.

Meanwhile, the train is repeatedly delayed, much to the befuddlement of an older English couple (Anita Sharp-Bolster and Michael Trubshawe). They are first displaced from their first class compartment to make way for a prize-winning goat. Then, they have to share their new compartment with lobsters intended for the bishop's golden jubilee. When they finally get off for some tea, they are left behind when the train finally departs.


Sean Curran (Donal Donnelly) awaits his execution by the British during the "Black and Tan War". This is very unpopular with the Irish public who consider him a hero. The British warden (Joseph O'Dea) allows two "nuns" (Doreen Madden and Maureen Cusack), one of them his grieving "sister", to visit him; the false sister (an American citizen) swaps clothes and places with him. Unsuspecting Police Sergeant Michael O'Hara (Denis O'Dea) helps the pair into a waiting carriage. He notices that one is wearing high heels, but thinks little of it.

The city is immediately sealed off as the manhunt for the fugitive begins. O'Hara is assigned to watch a section of the waterfront and daydreams of what he could do with the £500 bounty. Already conflicted by divided loyalties, he is visited by his overtly nationalistic wife (Eileen Crowe). Then, Curran shows up disguised as itinerant ballad singer Jimmy Walsh. O'Hara is suspicious and has him sing; Curran chooses the patriotic "The Rising of the Moon". Despite his unconvincing rendition, he manages to slip away on a boat sent for him while O'Hara bickers with his wife. When the policeman sees Curran getting away, he starts to raise the alarm, then reconsiders and starts singing "The Rising of the Moon" himself.


The Majesty of the Law[edit]

A Minute's Wait[edit]


  • Denis O'Dea as Police Sergeant Michael O'Hara
  • Eileen Crowe as Police Sergeant's Wife
  • Donal Donnelly as Sean Curran
  • Maureen Cusack as "Sister Mary Grace"
  • Doreen Madden as "Sister Matthias"
  • Joseph O'Dea as British Warden
  • Maureen Delany as Old Woman
  • Frank Lawton as British Officer
  • Edward Lexy as Quartermaster Sergeant

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Variety film review; June 12, 1957, p. 8.
  2. ^ Monthly Film Bulletin; 1957, p. 84
  3. ^ The Irish Filmography 1896-1996; Red Mountain Press (Dublin); 1996. p. 20
  4. ^ Harrison's Reports; July 13, 1957, p. 111.

External links[edit]