Intertitle 1. [INDISTINCT]
The Film Company of Ireland, Ltd. announces that Knocknagow is produced by arrangement with JAMES DUFFY & CO. Ltd. / Copyright Owners / Dublin. Copyright 1918 by ELLEN SULLIVAN.
Produced by the FILM COMPANY OF IRELAND IN IRELAND by Irish Men and Women.
As this old tale unfolds there are waiting you neither soul stirring thrills nor sensational climaxes. We ask you to ramble with us through the summer days of long ago. Come back in spirit to the time when our great grandfathers faced a world that had little to offer. We turn back the pages of time to the Ireland of “48” when Irish smiles broke through every cloud of oppression.
This story, in a series of episodes, depicts the joys and sorrows of the simple kindly folk who lived in the homes of Tipperary seventy years ago.
[POEM] “Yet meet him in his cabin rude /
Or dancing with his dark haired Mary /
You’d swear they knew no other mood / But mirth and love in Tipperary.”
“Yet meet him in his cabin rude.
Or dancing with his dark haired Mary,
You’d swear they knew no other mood,
But mirth and love in Tipperary.”
Intertitle 9.They speak friendly greetings one day in old Kilthubber, not seeing the cloud in their sky, which, as yet lies low on the horizon.
Mat Donovan, affectionately known as “Mat the Thrasher,” with a heart as stout as his arm, was the finest lad in the county.
Mat Donovan… Mr Brian Magowan.
[SONG] “To reap and plow and sow and mow, / And be a farmer’s boy.”
There was gentle Mary Kearney.
Mary Kearney—Miss Nora Clancy.
Daughter of Maurice and Mrs. Kearney, prosperous tenants on the Butler estate.
Maurice Kearney—Mr. Dermod O’Dowd
Mrs. Kearney—Miss Peg Casey.
One day, while with her mother at Tramore, Mary meets Arthur O’Connor, who is studying theology.
Arthur O’Connor—Mr. Fred O’Donovan.
And from that time on, the only thing heavenly that Arthur studied was the blue in Mary’s eye.
“She is the sweetest girl in Ireland, Arthur, struggling with the poor about her, and making their troubles her own.”
Father O’Carroll—Valentine Roberts.
Arthur watches Mary from the window, with the thought of a different future, as his mother talks.
“It’s that girl who has disturbed his mind.”
Mrs. O’Connor confides to Father O’Carroll that her heart is set on Arthur entering the Church.
“The Kearneys live beyond that house.”
“He’s the young man, Barney, that had his heart in his eyes when he saw our Miss Mary at Tramore.”
He came to her in the garden, and there was in the hearts of both, the hearts’ one song.
The Knocknagow drum ushers in Christmas morning.
Henry Lowe, nephew to Sir Garrett Butler, the new landlord, is the guest of the Kearney’s at the Christmas morning Mass.
Breakfast in the Kearney home.
Arthur gives Barney a letter for Mary, in which he asks that she come to her window, if she has any interest in him, as he leaves Knocknagow.
Barney forgets to deliver the letter, in the good company he finds in the Kearney kitchen.
“That’s the ugliest foot in Ireland, Barney.”
“I’ll bet the price of a pint it isn’t.”
Barney shows his second foot and wins.
Not knowing that Barney has failed to deliver his note, Arthur waits in vain for Mary’s face at the window.
Mary, all unconscious, makes one of the happy circle, who give welcome to Henry Lowe, the young aristocrat.
Mr Kearney: “Sir Garrett refers me to Pender, and this nephew confirms my fears that Pender is becoming absolute master here. It’s bad news for the poor tenants, and perhaps those of us more fortunate.”
“It’s nothing to worry about, my dear.”
Arthur finally despairs and ends his long wait at the window.
A late delivery.
[LETTER] Dear Mary, I am going away and am giving up all thoughts of becoming a priest. If you have any interest in me or my new plans let me see your face at your window to-day as I depart. Arthur O’Connor.
Though times were bad there would have been happy homes in Tipperary, were it not for the one black cloud that made every song die in the heart, and hush on the lips.
PENDER. Land agent on the Butler estate, who hoped to drive the tenants one by one from the country to have cattle instead of people on the land.
PENDER — J.M. Carre.
“The cattle are more important, Sir.”
Phil Lahy’s only weakness led him to seek “Nourishment” from imaginary ills out of a certain black bottle.
“Phil, you may as well finish Mat’s new coat, He’ll want it for Ned Brophy’s wedding.”
“Honor, I look very bad. It’s a little nourishment I want.”
“Sure, I’ve a bad pain, Miss Mary.”
Honor shows Mary the kind of nourishment Phil wants and Mary beguiles him away from temptation.
[SONG] Come all you airy bachelors, / A warning take by me —
Phil takes nourishment after all, while he finishes Mat’s coat for the wedding.
“You’ll be the best dressed man at the wedding, Mat.”
Pender, the evictor, casts gloom into the humble home.
“A light, damn you!”
“You’re a blackguard, sir, and you’ll not speak amiss to a decent woman.”
“Donovan, you’ve laid your hand on me and I’ll crush you. Bear me well in mind, I’ll crush and break you!”
A bit of diplomacy.
Phil, with a dry tongue, seeks “Another little Cruiskeen Lawn.”
Lowe, of proud lineage, lays his heart at feet of the Irish farmer’s daughter.
While Mary, with her thoughts on the lad who waited in vain at the window, softly says him nay.
Arthur confides to Father O’Carroll that he has no vocation for the Priesthood.
“Take up medicine, my boy. It’s a grand field and offers a noble life to you.”
The good priest offers the savings of years to educate the lad he loves.
Arthur, though of high spirit, accepts the help, feeling confidant of a full life of good work.
Mat leads the Knock-na-gow boys in a hurling match.
Captain French, who had won great honors as an athlete in London, challenges Mat to the throwing of the hammer.
The Captain’s great throw.
Mat leads by inches.
The Captain retaliates with a new mark.
“He’s a fine man and ’tis a pity to beat him, but for the honour of old Knock-na-gow, I must win!”
“Mat wins —
Tommy tells Nora, that Billy is coming, and the angel invalid smiles her welcome.
“Take this gun, Wattletoes, to Mat Donovan and have him repair it, off on your way, sir, and no loitering.”
“A gun to Donovan, I wonder how I can turn this to account? I wonder?”
Barney, with an eye for the fair, stops to entertain Peg Brady, and again forgets his business.
PEG BRADY—Miss Moira Breffni.
Peg has a good stroke.
“We are beginning to-day the evictions of Knock-na-gow, Darby, so get your bailiffs.”
“You can keep my fields, Pender, but you cannot evict me. I hold my house in freehold.”
“Easy now, Donovan, no violence, I entreat you, no violence.”
“There will be a stern reckoning for this one day, Pender, if not in our time, then when other men will know how to deal with this oppression.”
“My God! Pender and the bailiffs are at our door.”
Out into the cold roadside he drove them in the name of Christian and benevolent law.
Mat, unconscious of the clouds gathering about him, takes charge of the wedding festivities.
The Kearneys do honour to the happy event.
The Dance in the Barn.
To the Bride and Groom, “Long life and happiness to the Brophys.”
The Brians homeless and hungry.
Mick leaves his wife and child to get food.
What hard fate denies even poverty’s crumb to a man, in his own country.
Mick finds a gun instead of food.
“I’ll kill that man Pender! By my Maker, I’ll kill him!”
Mick, with murder in his heart, looks in the Lahy window in passing.
He sees the spiritual face of poor Nora Lahy, telling, one by one, her beads.
Pender watches and recognizes the gun.
“Clean hands I’ll keep. God help me and mine.”
In the meantime Nellie Donovan, Mat’s sister, comes to the help of the Brians.
“Look! Look! Mr. Kearney, Pender is evicting Hogan and sure his boy, Jimmy Hogan has been named for bravery in the Queen’s Army.”
Hogan—“It wasn’t me, sir, that fired. I’ve never handled a gun.”
“Did you hear what he said? He never fired a gun — a safe man — a very safe man to evict.”
“God knows which one of us may have his turn next. Bring your wife and child to my place, Mick, you’ll find shelter and food there.”
Billy lingers near Nora, whose strength is failing day by day.
Father O’Carroll visits his poor parishioners.
Alone in his cottage, while at his simple meal, Billy realizes the girl he loves is slowly dying.
His thoughts go back to the day when in the joy of life, they crossed the “Anner” together.
Billy Heffernan, one day while in Clonmel, meets the Dragoon who courted Bessie Morris in Dublin a year before.
“Will you bring this package from me to Bessie Morris?”
Billy, knowing that his friend Mat loves Bessie, becomes the reluctant messenger.
Mary with her friends in the Kearney garden.
Bessie, pleased with the gold ear drops, shows them to Mary who gently reproves the sewing girl.
“Mat Donovan is worth twenty such men as this Dragoon, Bessie.”
Peg Brady, anxious to separate Mat and Bessie, works on Mat’s feelings by showing an old letter written by the Dragoon to Bessie long ago, Mat believing it relates to the present.
[LETTER] Dear Bessie, Meet me at the usual place to-night. I have something I wish to tell you, and ….
“You’re not to meet that soldier again, Bessie.”
“You’ve no right to say who I’ll meet, Mat.”
“If that’s your mind, then I’m off to America.”
The Thrasher in action.
Pender watches Mat punishing the Dragoon.
Mary Kearney listens to Bessie Morris and comforts her.
“Mat is unjust, Miss Mary, I never encouraged that soldier man since I met him in Dublin, over a year ago.”
Pender plans to rob himself of Sir Garrett Butler’s rents.
Mat leaving home for America.
Brother and sister.
Making evidence of a crime.
“What curse is on this land of ours, when men like Mat Donovan are forced from its shores.”
Pender, realizing that Mat is leaving the country, decides to charge the young peasant with crime.
“We will fasten robbery on this Donovan. I’ll not have him escape me. £100 for you, half now, and the remainder when we have him in Clonmel jail.”
Good-bye, dear Ireland, you are a rich and rare land altho’ poverty is forced upon you.
Pender and the Dragoon charge Mat Donovan with a robbery that never took place.
Off for America.
Mat and Barney part.
Pender describes for the magistrate, how he was supposed to have been robbed.
Barney is shanghied.
Collecting the evidence.
“The man who robbed me carried your gun.”
“Where is Barney? He probably could explain.”
Sir Garrett Butler, in far away Italy, describes to his daughter that Knock-na-gow is a place of sunshine and happiness.
Henry Lowe—“You are wrong, Uncle, the man who acts on your authority is driving the poor from their hovels in Knock-na-gow, that they may perish by the roadside.”
“In your name and under your authority, women and children are thrown by the wayside, while their poor homes are burnt to the ground.”
Mat, arrested in Liverpool, is brought back to face Pender’s charge.
“Pender says, that the man who robbed him carried Maurice Kearney’s gun.”
“Alas, Mat, Barney Broderick has disappeared and no one knows where to find him.”
The death shadow in the Lahy cottage.
By the side of his dying girl, Phil Lahy swears never to touch drink again.
Nora Lahy hears a call and the linnet that never sang before, sends forth its thrilling notes.
As the song of the linnet ceased, Nora Lahey [sic] was among her kindred angels.
“I loved her Nellie, ah, how I loved her!”
“Sure, I know Billy, we all loved her.”
It’s Christmas again, but Mat is in Clonmel jail.
Mary is given Nora’s old chair.
“If this window only faced old Slievenamon, Billy, I could stand this imprisonment better.”
“I’m going to my father in America, Miss Mary, will you tell Mat one day, that I always believed in him and that I know he is innocent!”
Barney Broderick back on land enjoys a peep-show.
Billy Heffernan’s capture.
The captive Barney back in Knock-na-gow.
Barney explains how he lost the gun.
“Mat Donovan is out.”
The welcome home.
“FELLOW IRISHMEN. Let us take to heart the lesson in the vindication of Mat Donovan’s honor and in the proof of his innocence. We must cultivate under every dire circumstance, patience and fortitude to outlive every slander and to rise above every adversity. We are a moral people, above crime, and a clean-hearted race must eventually come into its own, no matter how long the journey, no matter how hard the road.”
Mary delivers Bessie’s message to Mat.
“Three cheers for Mat Donovan.”
Mat—“And three cheers, boys, for Maurice Kearney, never too prosperous to stand by his own country and people.”
Peg confesses to Mat, that through jealousy, she deceived him about Bessie with an old Dublin letter.
Barney consoles Peg.
Pender, unconscious that his star is setting, pursues the business of driving the people.
“I’ve evicted the humble ones, and now, damn you, Kearney, it’s your turn to follow the beggarly tribe.”
“Here’s your money, man, you cannot mean to take the home of my father’s [sic] from me?”
“Too late — you must go.”
And then the absentee landlord arrived.
“The men of your class, Sir, are guilty of starving a people in the midst of plenty.”
And so one day with peace in their hearts Arthur and Mary look out on Slievenamon under whose shadow they will live together their lives.
In the name of the law.
On the boat for Liverpool.
Mat, step by step, traces Bessie Morris to America, and meets the Lahys, who tell him that she lives in the “far West.”
In a pretentious home he found her.
“I thought Bessie, you might be in danger in this new strange land, but sure with your father’s roof above your head and this fine home, I was a foolish man, and—so—good-bye.”
“But, ah, Mat, you’ve something to say to me that I want to hear.”
“I’m a humble workman, Bessie.”
“You’ve a nobleman’s heart, Mat and …”
So back to Ireland Mat brought Bessie as his Bride.
“’Tis here in dear Ireland we will grow old together, dear wife. I may not clothe you in fine gowns but I’ll wear you always in my heart.”
The O’Connors, one fine day way back in dear old Tipperary, call on Mr. and Mrs. Mat Donovan.
Knocknagow is no more, but there are still happy homes in Tipperary—thank God.