Rory O’More

Irish Culture, Short Film, History
Directed by:
Sidney Olcott
Produced by:
The Kalem Film Company of America


12 mins
Silent with English Intertitles

Inspired by the character of Sir Rory O’Moore, leader of the 1641 Rebellion, this short drama re-imagines the dramatic story of Rory O’More’s (sic). The film depicts his capture and escape from British soldiers, and locates it in the Lakes of Killarney in 1798.

Rory flees from English soldiers after he is betrayed by an informer, Black William. He escapes thanks to the help of his sweetheart Kathleen, who distracts the officer in command with her feminine charm. He heads to the hills and then to the lakes with soldiers in hot pursuit. When he sees that one of the soldiers is in trouble he abandons his opportunity to escape and returns to save the soldier from drowning. He is captured, imprisoned and sentenced to death.

On the scaffold he declares ‘If to fight for Ireland be a crime, then I am guilty’. Black William demands the reward for his capture. But all is not lost. A sympathetic priest, Father O’Brien, loosens Rory’s bonds on the scaffold and he escapes to meet Kathleen and sail off to a new life in America.

The film, like the songs, poems and plays composed in his honour, celebrates the many deeds of valour and acts of kindness attributed to one of Ireland’s great rebels.

To see more of The O’Kalem Collection, click here.