The Colleen Bawn

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


42 mins
Silent with English Intertitles

The Colleen Bawn is an ambitious story which evolves from a simple rural tale to a complex narrative of social status, love, murder and deception.

The film is inspired by the true events of the 1819 murder of 15 year-old Ellen Scanlan in Co. Clare, and based on the 1860 play of the same name by Dion Boucicoult. On the brink of financial disaster, Mrs Cregan hatches a plan to regain her social status and wealth through an arranged marriage of her son, Hardress. His heart longs for a poor farmer’s daughter (The Colleen Bawn) and they decide to marry in secret. However, realising the impact this marriage has on his family’s fortune, he plans to free himself from this union by having his bride killed.

The film uses the beautiful rural locations of Co. Kerry to great advantage.

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