The Molly Maguires Review

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A detecitve hired to infiltrate the striking coalminers of Pennsylvania in the 1800s and rout out troublemakers finds his loyalties tested when he witnesses the conditions


Sean Connery leads a secret society of Irish immigrant workers in violent protest against conditions in the Pennsylvanian coalmines of the 1870s. Hired to infiltrate their ranks, Richard Harris plays the detective whose loyalties become divided once he sees the exploitation for himself.

Based on real events, largely shot in the original locations and exquisitely photographed by James Wong Howe, Martin Ritt's sombre, elegiac saga was a box office bomb (failing to make enough to cover even Connery's fee domestically) but the two leads - ably assisted by Samantha Eggar and Frank Finlay - do a fine job with the humourless script.

Dour script but sterling performances from the two male leads, this is basically watchable if you're interested in the subject