Mother Machree (1928) - Rotten Tomatoes

Mother Machree (1928)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Technically, Mother Machree was director John Ford's first sound film -- even though the sound was limited to a Fox Movietone musical score and sound-effects track. The story begins in a tiny Irish village at the turn of the century. Having lost her husband to a lightning storm, Ellen McHugh (Belle Bennett) vows to take her son Brian (Phillipe de Lacey) away from Ireland and bring him up in America. Upon her arrival in the States, Ellen is unable to secure a job, forcing her to accept employment as a fabricated "freak" with the carnival side show managed by rowdy Terrence O'Dowd (Victor McLaglen) Her meager earnings are hardly enough to finance her son's education, so Ellen tearfully allows the wealthy principal of the school to legally adopt her boy. As the years pass, Brian grows into manhood believing that his mother is dead. Now a lawyer (and now played by Neil Hamilton), Brian is unaware that his mother is working as a housekeeper in a ritzy 5th Avenue household. He falls in love with Rachel Van Studdiford (Eulalie Jensen), the girl whom Ellen has raised from infancy. Upon being introduced to Ellen's beloved "nanny," Brian is at last reunited with his mother -- just seconds before he is called away to serve in WWI. Unfortunately, Mother Machree, along with most of John Ford's silent films, apparently no longer exists.


Belle Bennett
as Ellen McHugh
Philippe De Lacy
as Brian as Child
Neil Hamilton
as Brian McHugh
Ted McNamara
as Harpist of Wexford
Eulalie Jensen
as Rachel van Studdiford
Constance Howard
as Edith Cutting
Ethel Clayton
as Mrs. Cutting
Joyce Wirard
as Edith Cutting as Child
Pat Somerset
as Robert De Puyster
John MacSweeney
as Irish priest
Jacques Rollens
as Signor Bellini
Rodney Hildebrand
as Brian McHugh, Sr.
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Critic Reviews for Mother Machree

All Critics (1)

John Wayne plays a cameo in John Ford's melodrama, in which the star is Victor McLaglen, but it marks the beginning of a long fruitful collaboartion with Ford

March 24, 2011 | Rating: B | Full Review…

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