The Lad From Old Ireland

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


12 mins
Silent with English Intertitles

Terry (Sidney Olcott) , a poor Irish farmer, dreams of a better life and is tired of working the land. He decides to head west to build a better, more prosperous future in the USA.

He bids farewell to his darling Aileen (Gene Gauntier) but promises he will return to her some day when he has made his fortune.  In New York he finds work on a building site and quickly establishes himself in New York society until he eventually enters politics and becomes the mayor of the city’s Tammany Hall. Meanwhile, Aileen pines for him and, with little money left to her name, is soon to face eviction. Terry is faced with a decision – to forfeit all he has achieved in America to return home and help his beloved in her hour of need.

With sequences filmed in Ireland and in the United States (and indeed on board ship in between), this film is widely acknowledged as the first film ever made on two continents and is also regarded as the first film made by an American production company outside the USA.

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