John Ford

It. tit.: La canzone della mamma; Sog.: dal romanzo di Rita Johnson Young; Scen.: Gertrude Orr; F.: Chester Lyons; Mo.: Katherine Hilliker, H. H. Caldwell; Int.: Belle Bennett (Ellen McHugh), Neil Hamilton (Brian McHugh), Philippe De Lacy (child Brian), Pat Somerset (Robert De Puyster), Victor McLaglen (Terrence O’Dowd), Ted McNamara (arpista di Wexford), John MacSweeney (Irish priest), Eulalie Jenson (Rachel van Studdiford), Constance Howard (Edith Cutting), Ethel Clayton (lady Cutting), William Platt (Pips), Jacques Rollens (mr Bellini), Rodney Hildebrand (father of Brian McHugh), Joyce Wirard (child Edith Cutting), Robert Parrish (bambino); Prod.: William Fox; Pri. pro.: 22 gennaio 1928. 35mm. L. or.: 7 reel; D.: 29’ a 24 f/s. (incomplete, reel 1, 2 e 5). Bn.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

Ford wrote an enthusiastic article for the “Film Daily” in June 1927 about how he planned to use music, including both Irish and American folk songs, in his film Mother Machree, originally shot as a silent. Unfortunately, only about twentynine minutes survives of this delightfuly stylized, highly expressionistic 1928 sentimental comedy drama about an Irish woman, Ellen McHugh (Belle Bennett), who has a series of fairy-tale-like misadventures (working in a circus and as a maid) on her way to being reunited with her grown son in New York. She encounters such outlandish characters as Terence O’Dowd, the Giant of Kilkenny (Victor McLaglen), who explains that he came to America because “the bottom dropped out of the giant business in Ireland”; Pips, the Dwarf of Munster (William Platt); and the Harper of Wexford (Ted McNamara), of whom O’Dowd says, “’Tis a queer face he has, but music in his soul.” Mother Machree was filmed in late 1926 but not released in its final form until October 1928 because of its retooling for sound, which included the addition of a synchronized musical track and sound effects and the on-screen singing of the popular title song.

(from Searching for John Ford)

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