-- approximate times given are marked from the beginning of the film not the video tape --
0:00:00 Opening Shots
The sun. A coal mine’s external activities. (0:02:36) Internal activities in the mine shaft. The Mollies Maguires (John "Black Jack" Kehoe, Frank McAndrew, Thomas Dougherty, and Frazier) as well as other miners are seen working. (0:05:02) A whistle sounds. Black Jack Kehoe rings a bell. The men stop working, all exhausted. The Mollies stay behind with a few fringe members that are not seen again. (0:06:13) They begin setting powder charges. (0:09.00) The Mollies load up onto a trolley with other miners and are pulled to the surface. The Mollies stroll home and drift off one at a time. Black Jack Kehoe is the last one shown. (0:10:19) The mine explodes.
0:10:29 External shots of Mine
Roll credits in the fire of the explosion. A long introduction comes to an end.
0:12:09 Train Platform
A policeman stands on the platform. James McParlan arrives by train.
0:13:53 Inside Tavern
James McParlan (a.k.a. McKenna) enters as a stranger. Everyone quiets immediately, eyeing him. He orders a pint of lager. The noise level picks up again. (0:15:55) Frazier makes eyes with Black Jack Kehoe and asks McParlan if he wants to play cards. McParlan, now to be called McKenna, accepts. Small talk with Frazier and Dougherty reveals McKenna’s desire to work a coal mining job -- "with hands like his?" -- "the only hands he’s got" (paraphrazed). (0:17:15) Frazier accuses McKenna of cheating and a fight ensues (0:17:40). (0:18:47) Cops enter with the Welsh Captain Davies who belts McKenna in the head with his baton. (0:19:05) McKenna and Captain Davies are in the police compound talking of a lost strike which was made up for with powder (opening scene). The captain begins talking about the plan to infiltrate the Molly Maguires. (0:21:51) "Bring me enough evidence so I can hang the bastards."
0:22:38 The Tavern, next day
McKenna enters the tavern where he was the night before looking for his satchel which was lost in the fight. He asks the bartender where he can attain a room.
0:23:35 Mary Raines' House
McKenna enters Ms. Mary Raines' house, meeting her and her father, Mr. Raines. She will give him room and board. He will pay for it.
0:25:29 Coal Mining Office
McKenna seeks work. "Five tomorrow morning. Make sure you report sober."
0:26:05 Raines’ House
Mary Raines and McKenna talk about life. McKenna is smitten with love. (0:27:10) Mary begins to sing. Mr. Raines and McKenna begin to play dominoes. McKenna sings along with Mary. Mr. Raines, it is shown, is dying of black lung. (0:28:00) Mary Raines is there in the morning to give McKenna his breakfast and lunch.
McKenna goes on to work in the mine.
0:29:55 The Mine
McKenna works hard.
0:32:38 The Pay line
Children are waiting at the end of the pay line while a supervisor rattles off amounts of money followed by deductions. (0:33:38) McKenna makes $9.24 only to be deducted to 24 cents. (0: 34:17) Frank McAndrew and Black Jack are witnesses standing behind him.
0:34:38 The Tavern
McAndrew offers camaraderie to McKenna who is sitting alone. McAndrew is obviously checking him out for information. (0:36:06) McKenna pays him no mind. (0:36:17) Black Jack enters and the four Mollies exit, McAndrews alone and Frazier with Dougherty.
Father O’Connor talks out against violence and the Mollies Maguires. (0:39:47) After church, McKenna meets O’Connor, with Mary Raines introducing them. (0:40:19) Black Jack, with Mrs. Kehoe, is insinuated by the priest as a troublemaker. (0:40:26) Mary Raines and McKenna are shown walking home together, talking about Black Jack. Mary Raines thinks him to be a fool.
0:41:00 Inside the Mines
Black Jack interrogates McKenna. McKenna doesn’t talk. (0:42:44) Frazier and Dougherty fake Black Jack saving McKenna’s life by opening a coal holding tank. Black Jack dives and knocks McKenna out of the way as coal buries where he once stood.
0:43:16 On the Streets
On the way home, McKenna befriends Black Jack, telling him he’s wanted for murder in Buffalo.
(0:45:13) "It’s not just jail I’m trying to avoid. It’s the hang man.”
0:45:35 Kehoe’s House
Black Jack greets his wife, Mrs. Kehoe, who tells him not to get too fond of McKenna. She scrubs his coal covered neck.
0:46:38 In the Mines
The Molly Maguires -- Dougherty, McAndrew, Black Jack, and Frazier -- discuss McKenna’s role as a potential spy or a potential member. ((0:47:03) Black Jack: Only one way to make sure. Frazier: How Jack? How? Black Jack: Use him.
0: 48:05 Rugby Field
A rugby game takes place between “Tamaqua vs. Home." The Mollies are the home team. (0:49:41) Tom Dougherty and a Welshman from Tamaqua, Taffey, argue over a woman, who stands to one side; the situation is explained through dialogue that she will celebrate with the winning team’s representative. Rugby Game continues. Black Jack pins the winning point. (0:50:40) Taffey won’t let the girl go off with Dougherty. Tension builds. (0:51:21) McAndrews accepts the silver cup from Gowen. Celebration continues. (0:51:56) Mary Raines and McKenna discuss Gowen, an Irish Protestant who has succeeded at capitalism’s game, by becoming a mine owner. (0:52:30) Shots ring out from Taffey’s gun as Dougherty wrestles with his wrist. A brawl ensues. The other Mollies are seen trying to break it up. (0:53:56) The police are beating Dougherty in the gut with a rifle butt. (0:53:39) The police end the brawl by shooting their rifles in the air. Captain Davies says, “Clear the field. Everybody go home.” McKenna tells Mary Raines to go home. (0: 54:20) The Mollies are comforting a very beaten Dougherty. Black Jack tells them to relax. Dougherty wants revenge on Taffey and the “peeler,” the policeman, who beat him. McKenna stands in on the dialogue and Black Jack insinuates that McKenna must beat the cop in order to prove himself loyal to their tribe.
0:55:22 Night Street
A policeman walks alone on his beat. He gets pulled into a dark alleyway by a mysterious pair of arms (McKenna).
0:55:44 Post-Working Day at the Mines
McKenna meets Capt. Davies who asks about the beaten officer. Davies: Don’t forget what side you’re on. McKenna: I could always tell the buttered side from the dry.
0:58:25 Night at Mary Raines’ House
McKenna and Mr. Raines play dominoes. (0:58:43) Black Jack enters, meeting Mr. Raines and McKenna. (0:59:30) The rest of the Mollies enter after some small talk. Black Jack puts Mr. Raines to bed. Mary Raines goes upstairs. (1:00:21) Black Jack initiates the rites of the Ancient Order of Hibernians on McKenna. (1:01:15) They all get drunk except Black Jack. They teach McKenna the codes, signs, and signals. (1:02:22) “He don’t touch it himself,” says Frazier. (1:03:09) As McKenna stumbles to sleep, he talks to Mary Raines at the top of the stairs. He invites her to the city, persuading her.
1:04:02 In the Mines
McKenna smashes his own fingers to get a day off of work.
McKenna is on the train with Mary Raines, on the way to the city. Romance.
They are in the city.
1:05:56 Hat Shop
McKenna is going to buy her a hat.
1:06:30 Day Street
McKenna meets Captain Davies. He tells him the names of his contacts: McAndrew, Dougherty, Frazier, Kehoe. The captain gives McKenna money because he told the Mollies he was going to pass off some counterfeit bills.
1:07:42 Night at Mary Raines’ House
Mary Raines and McKenna kiss. Mary Raines wants a better lifestyle -- more than a miner. She won’t give him her heart (or her body).
1:09:55 At the Mines
Children working, sifting through the coal for impurities and sizing it. McKenna is there, doing the children’s work. The loading of a train.
1:12:20 Railroad Tracks
Black Jack and Frazier run along side the tracks. They set a powder charge under a track as a train comes along, loaded with coal. (1:13:34) The train explodes.
1:13:40 Night in the Tavern
McKenna sits with the Mollies, drinking. Captain Davies walks in and straight for McKenna, asking about a “queer” bill, telling him to watch out. Black Jack says, “No more of this,” ripping up the fake note.
1:14:43 Frazier’s House
The Hibernians meet. Black Jack runs the meeting. After the meeting, the Molly Maguires stay, inviting McKenna. (1:15:54) McKenna is brought in and accepted as a Molly. Black Jack begins talking about a Shenandoah superintendent who is mistreating miners. They’ve been asked to “make an impression” -- to kill the man. Deliberation ensues. (1:17:47) Dougherty and Frazier vote to kill him. Black Jack and McAndrew vote to bash him. McKenna votes to kill him, ending the tie.
1:19:03 Shenandoah Train Station
Black Jack, Frazier, and McKenna arrive at Shenandoah by train.
There is a shoot-out with the police; they are waiting for them at the superintendent’s barn. The superintendent is wounded. Police are shot and beaten. McKenna goes back to save Frazier who is wounded in the arm and pinned down by gunfire.
1:20:44 Frazier’s House That Night
Frazier is getting fixed up by his wife. Black Jack, Frazier, and McKenna talk about potential outcome of the shooting. (1:22:17) Black Jack and McKenna talk on the way home about "all for one and one for all." They are becoming friends, in a solemn, honest way. As thick as thieves.
1:23:29 The Mines
The police captain pulls miners after work off of the trolley which pulls them up from the depths, including the Mollies.
1:23:52 Police Compound
They are being interrogated one at a time. (1:24:12) Captain Davies talks with McKenna; Mary Raines has lied for his alibi. There is not one shred of proof that anyone there has done anything because the whole town has lied for the Mollies. McKenna and Captain Davies talk; McKenna reveals he did it with Kehoe and Frazier. (1:25:52) Captain Davies hits McKenna over the head. “I can’t send you back unmarked.”
1:26:18 In the Mines
Black Jack and Frazier are eating their lunch. A stranger tells Black Jack who tells Frazier that the superintendent is dead.
People file in.
1:27:17 In the Country
McKenna and Mary Raines go for a walk.
Mary Raines and McKenna fight about morality and the ways things in the world are. He is trying for her with riddles, an old way for a man to catch a woman, but she knows all of them. "Decency is not for the poor." They fight, sort of. Romantic ending of scene with the insinuation that they physically engaged one another sexually.
1:32:36 Frazier’s Bedroom
People with police trousers showing out of their overcoats barge into Frazier’s house and shoot him and his wife dead. The baby screams.
Father O’Connor gives Frazier and his wives’ eulogy.
1:34:04 Kehoe’s House
Mollies meet, minus Frazier. They argue whether or not they should go after the police. Dougherty is for it. McKenna is against it and lays down the points. Black Jack is stubborn. McKenna argues. Black Jack puts his foot down. He is sick of running and hiding and laying low. He wants to fight them.
1:35:51 The Police Compound
The Mollies approach the police headquarters. Only to get ambushed. Black Jack, McAndrews, and McKenna fight their way to freedom, but the police get Dougherty.
McKenna meets CaptainDavies. Kehoe is who the captain wants. McKenna tells the captain that he’ll have him.
1:39:05 In the Mine
There are calls for Kehoe.
1:39:23 Mary Raines’ House
She tells Kehoe, who runs up, that the old man is dying. The priest is inside. Father O’Connor tells Black Jack that Dougherty’s being tried for the murder of the superintendent and is as good as dead. He tells Kehoe that there is an informer in their midst. He pleads with Black Jack to return to the church. “Sin at the start. Grace at the end. Bowing your head in between. I can’t accept that, Father.” Father O’Connor replies, “Then you’ll die in sin.” (1:42:13) Kehoe leaves as Father O’Connor gives the old man the last rights.
1:43:20 Mary Raines’ House
At the wake for Mr. Raines, women are in one room wailing like banshees. Drunk men are in the other room, laughing and talking. (1:43:50) McKenna and Black Jack talk about life and the fiery nature of their souls, only how McKenna is more reasonable and Black Jack is more fiery. Black Jack talks about Mr. Raines. “43 years in the pits and not even an echo in the air.” (1:45:44) Black Jack freaks out, screaming at the old man’s corpse. (1:47:00) McAndrew says, ‘They haven’t even left him a proper suit to be buried in.’
1:47:25 Night Street
Black Jack goes down to the store to steal a suit. People follow.
Black Jack breaks into the store. McAndrew steals the suit. McKenna looks on as Black Jack rips up the store, throwing clothes to the gathered crowd. (1:49:16) McKenna begins wrecking the place. Black Jack follows suit. (1:50:30) They set a blaze to the store.
Mary Raines stops and silently communicates to Mrs. Kehoe, who is working in her garden.
1:51:20 Field to Mines / Mines
The remaining Molly Maguires -- McAndrew, Black Jack, and McKenna -- are going to blow up the mine, but when they open the explosives shed to gain access to the powder, the police rush out and arrest them (1:52:44).
John Kehoe, Frank McAndrew, and Thomas Dougherty are in court and are charged with the murder of John W. Jones, the superintendent. (1:54:10) McKenna takes the stand. His identity as James McParlan is revealed. (1:54:35) His position as a detective is declared as well. (1:54:52) Dougherty rushes him, but is held back by the bailiff. (1:55:18) The jury comes in, pronouncing “Guilty”. (1:55:32) The three are sentenced to execution by hanging. (1:55:00) Coming out of the witness room, the captain tells McParlan / McKenna he’ll get over it. McKenna says he knows, he just “needs to get high enough.” There is a potential promotion he might get in Denver. (1:56:20) The courtroom is clear except for Mary Raines. She tells McParlan she’s sorry he was an informer and that now, she really doesn’t like him.
McParlan / McKenna visits Black Jack in his cell. McParlan asks why. Black Jack: There’s them on top and them below. Push up. Push down. Who’s got more push, that’s all that counts. McParlan: They always had more. The two reminisce about the past. McParlan enjoyed all the criminal activity. They joke. (2:01:15) McParlan tells Black Jack that he made his sound; no regrets there. (2:01:27) In a powerful ending, Black Jack tells him he’s come here for absolution; not forgiveness, that he can get from a woman, but that he has come here for punishment. “You need to be freed from what you’ve done. So that you can get on with your new life. Suppose it’s my Christian heart, but I could never stand a man bearing a cross.” Black Jack attacks McParlan and is beaten down by the cops. “Are you free now?” asks Black Jack. “I’m much obliged,” returns McParlan. (2:02:40) “You’ll never be free. There isn’t a punishment this side of hell can free you from what you’ve done.” In closing, McParlan says, “See you in hell.”
2:03:20 Prison Courtyard
On McParlan’s way out, a hangman tests the mechanics of the gallows. McParlan walks through as the middle of three platforms goes “shunk,” leaving a sand bag hanging on a tightened noose.
Copyright (c) 1999 by Peter A. Weisman, Undergraduate at Lehigh University.
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