The Molly Maguires

Synopsis: Life is rough in the coal mines of 1876 Pennsylvania. A secret group of Irish immigrant miners, known as the Molly Maguires, fights against the cruelty of the mining company with sabotage and murder. A detective, also an Irish emigrant, is hired to infiltrate the group and report on its members. But on which side do his sympathies lie?
Genre: Drama, History
Director(s): Martin Ritt
Production: Paramount Home Video
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
124 min


Interested in a run of the cards?

Nothing against it.

Penny poker, nickel on a pair.

Nothing like music to help

you forget your troubles.

He's out of tune.

Poor old scut,

can't tell the difference.

He's deaf as a post since

a load of coal fell on him in '56.

You visiting here?

- I'm looking for a job.

- Tens.

- In the mines?

- Right.

From your hands,

I'd say you've never dug coal.

- Right again.

- Tens bets a nickel.

- It's mine. Won the nickel.

- Beats me.

It's your deal.

It's terrible hard work down there.

Not the sort of work a man generally

comes seeking with hands like yours.

They're the only hands I've got.

You're cheating.

You're cheating.

- You're mistaken.

- I saw you, too.

Dealing from the bottom of the deck.

- I'd have dealt myself a better hand.

- You cheated.

There's no need for the false

accusations if it's a brawl you want.

Which one of you do I get?

Sorry I had to hit you so hard.

It was important to make it look real.

More sympathy for you.

Easier for them to accept you.

Nothing personal.

Well, you've made a good start.

The fight was a clever idea.

They'll respect you now.

About all they do respect around here

is a blow and a hard head.

This gang is crazy, McParlan.

They lost a strike,

think they can win with gunpowder.

That's not crazy, it's only Irish.

I don't find it amusing.

Well...'re Welsh, Captain.

Now, we know there is an organisation,

the Ancient Order of Hibernians.

Nothing wrong. They're legal.

The Irish looking after their own.

But inside them

there's another bunch, see,

using the Hibernians as cover,

calling themselves the Molly Maguires

after some gang of cut-throats

back in Ireland.

They're all over the coalfields.

I sent in agents at other mines,

had two found at the bottom of shafts

and one never found at all.

It's your turn here.

I'll do the job for you.

The leaders, that's who I want.

I think I know who they are.

I think they're here,

in this very town.

But thinking's not enough.

I got to get them red-handed.

Oh, you'll have them.

You treat them lightly,

you'll end up like my other men.

I didn't volunteer to fail.

I've failed enough

in this country already.

The streets haven't exactly

been paved with gold for me.

But I've had my fill

of empty pockets, Captain.

I'm tired of being

at the bottom of the barrel.

I'm tired of always looking up.

I want to look down.

I want the Molly Maguires.

Bring me the evidence, that's your job.

Get in with them and bring me enough

evidence so we can hang the bastards.

They'll let you out in the morning.

My satchel.

It was left behind

when I was carried out last night.

There's a train leaving in 20 minutes.

Where do I get a room around here?

What do you want?

I'll settle for a room.

Who are you?

I'm looking for work.

I need a place to stay.

They told me at the Emerald House

you had a room for rent.

- You were the one fighting last night.

- Not the one who started it.

What's your name?

James McKenna.

It's $1.50 a week, room and board.


You can smoke in here,

but not downstairs. My father's ailing.

Supper's at six. If you're late,

you'll not be served.

Please do your drinking in a saloon.

Excuse me, what's your name?

Miss Mary Raines.

Well, I'll try not to be too much

of a burden, Miss Mary Raines.

You'll be paying for it.

I'm looking for work.

- Any experience?

- A bit.

- Where are you from?

- Here, there.

Well, you look strong enough.

- Five o'clock tomorrow morning.

- Five o'clock.

Make sure you report sober.

Enough now, you're leaving me

nothing to wash.

- She's a good girl.

- I can see that.

Only one left now. I've buried a wife

and two sons. She's all that's left.

You're still left.

When did you first go down the mines?

Forty-two years ago.

First Ireland, and then here.

There's not many last that long.

There's always them

that's worse off than you.

I went down first when I was 12,

did you know that?

I've done what God intended for me.

I'll go to Him asking no favour.

I don't believe in going

before you're called.

- You're prattling too much.

- I'm only being polite.

You know what the doctor said.

It brings on the coughing.

Do you play dominoes?

- Do you play dominoes?

- Yes.

I'll tell you, you'd have better luck

with the Queen.

- That one's got ambitions.

- So have I.

There's pasties and tea for your lunch.

Thank you.

The tea'll be cold when you drink it,

but there's no way to keep it hot.

You needn't have risen this early

on my account.

I know, I'm paying for it.


Total wages for the week, $3.85. Next!

McKenna. James McKenna.

Aye, McKenna.

Coal mined:
14 cars

at 66 cents a car. Total: $9.24.


Two kegs of powder

at $2.50 a keg, $5.

Two gallons of oil

at 90 cents a gallon, $1.80.

Repair two broken drills, 30 cents.

Pickaxe, shovel,

cap and lantern, $1.90.

Total deductions: $9.

Total wages for the week:


Frank McAndrew.


Coal mined:
30 cars

at 66 cents a car: $19.80.

Three kegs of powder

at $2.50 a keg, $7.50.

Ground rental for a home, $2.

Groceries, $2.80.

Take care of them blisters.

- Try rubbing a little grease into them.

- I'll try that.

- Ulster, right?

- Right.

There's a way an Ulster man

has of speaking.

- Have you been long in America?

- Long enough.

I've not seen much of America.

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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