The Molly Maguires 

Drama | English | 124 minutes


AThe Molly Maguires, established in 19th century Pennsylvania, was a secret organization of coal miners headed by Jack Kehoe. The bosses deducted so many “expenses” from the miner’s pay  they ended up with  mere  pittances.  Conditions in the mines were unhealthy and medical facilities were non-existent. Many coal miners died young of black lung disease.  The Molly Maguires used violence in their attempt to coerce the bosses to improve conditions. To combat the Molly Maguires, the bosses hired James McParlan to infiltrate The Molly Maguires and reveal the leaders. McParlan succeeded but the horrendous plight of the miners did not diminish. Side note: The United Mine Workers Union was formed on January 25, 1890.  Conditions began to improve  when from 1920 to 1960 the great John L. Lewis increased membership in the  Union to 800,000 miners.


Richard Harris (James McParlan)

Jack Kehoe (Sean Connery)
Why Stream This Film?
The lead sequence, almost 15 minutes, gives you a harrowing look at what life in the mines was like. The plight of the miners, working in unhealthy, dangerous conditions, forced them to take violent action to get the mine bosses to treat them more humanely. 
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 90%
  • Metacritic Score: 62
  • Academy Awards: Nominated, Best Art Direction and Set Direction
Ritt and screenwriter Walter Bernstein imbue their slow-burning tale of trust and betrayal with a hard purity – a big budget militant film that doesn’t end by flinching.
Nicolas Rapold


Unflinching honesty lends THE MOLLY MAGUIRES patience and power.
Geoff Boucher

Los Angeles Times

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