Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

05 March 2012

The Briefest of Reviews from 1970

Wow. Martin Ritt's The Molly Maguires is the undiscovered gem of 1970. Like Cromwell it stars Richard Harris and Frank Finlay, with additional superb performances from Samantha Eggar and (even more importantly) Sean Connery. The molly maguires are a gang of saboteurs who work in the coal mines of nineteenth-century America. They are exploited, beaten down, and killed by the men who run the mines, and so they fight back: violence with violence. Ritt's film is a smart one, but I also found it deeply moving. Henry Mancini's score is haunting and beautiful, and the filmmaking is excellent.