The Informer (1935 film)

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The Informer
The Informer poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJohn Ford
Produced byJohn Ford
Written byDudley Nichols
StarringVictor McLaglen
Heather Angel
Preston Foster
Margot Grahame
Wallace Ford
Una O'Connor
Music byMax Steiner
CinematographyJoseph H. August
Editing byGeorge Hively
StudioRKO Radio Pictures
Distributed byRKO Radio Pictures
Release dates1935 (1935)
Running time91 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$243,000[1]
Box office$950,000[1]
 
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The Informer
The Informer poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJohn Ford
Produced byJohn Ford
Written byDudley Nichols
StarringVictor McLaglen
Heather Angel
Preston Foster
Margot Grahame
Wallace Ford
Una O'Connor
Music byMax Steiner
CinematographyJoseph H. August
Editing byGeorge Hively
StudioRKO Radio Pictures
Distributed byRKO Radio Pictures
Release dates1935 (1935)
Running time91 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$243,000[1]
Box office$950,000[1]

The Informer is a 1935 dramatic film, released by RKO. The plot concerns the underside of the Irish War of Independence, set in 1922. It stars Victor McLaglen, Heather Angel, Preston Foster, Margot Grahame, Wallace Ford, Una O'Connor and J. M. Kerrigan. The screenplay was written by Dudley Nichols from the novel The Informer by Liam O'Flaherty. It was directed by John Ford. The novel had previously been adapted for a British film The Informer (1929).

Plot[edit]

In 1922 Dublin, Gypo Nolan (Victor McLaglen) has been kicked out of the outlaw Irish Republican Army (IRA) for not executing a Black and Tan who killed an IRA man. He becomes angry when he sees his streetwalker girlfriend Katie Madden (Margot Grahame) trying to pick up a customer. After he throws the man into the street, Katie laments that she does not have £10 for passage to America to start afresh.

Gypo later runs into his friend and IRA comrade Frankie McPhillip (Wallace Ford), a fugitive with a £20 bounty on his head. Frankie, tired of hiding for six months, is on his way home to visit his mother (Una O'Connor) and sister (Heather Angel) under cover of the foggy night. The slow-witted Gypo decides to turn informer. When the Black and Tans come for him, Frankie is killed in the ensuing gunfight. The British contemptuously give Gypo his blood money and let him go.

Gypo subsequently buys a bottle of whiskey and confides in Katie that he obtained money by beating up an American sailor. He goes to Frankie's wake, and acts suspiciously when coins fall out of his pocket. The men there tell him that they do not suspect Gypo of informing, but then he then meets with several of his IRA comrades, who wonder who informed on Frankie. Gypo claims it was a man named Mulligan (Donald Meek). Though Gypo is drunk and talking nonsense, the others begin to suspect him but do not have enough evidence as yet. Gypo leaves and give out £1 notes to a blind man and some bar patrons, but people wonder why he had such a sudden influx of cash. Meanwhile, Frankie's sister tells the IRA that the only person Frankie talked to that day was Gypo, and the men intend to hold an inquest into the death.

Gypo goes to an upper-class party to look for Katie, but gets drunk rounds of drinks. However, Gypo is taken away by his former IRA comrades when they figure out it was him. He is taken to a kangaroo court, where Mulligan is questioned and is accused once again by Gypo. However, the comrades do not believe him, and give him a detailed accounting of where he spent his entire £20 reward. Gypo then confesses to ratting out Frankie.

Gypo is locked up, but before he can be executed, he escapes through a hole in the ceiling. He runs to Katie's apartment, where he tells her that he informed on Frankie. Katie goes to see the commissioner who presided over the trial, Dan Gallagher (Preston Foster), to beg him to leave Gypo alone. Gallagher says he cannot do anything, and Gypo can possibly turn in the entire organization to the police if he is allowed to live. However, other IRA members go to the apartment and shoot Gypo. Gypo wanders into a church where Frankie's mother is praying and begs forgiveness. She does forgive him, and Gypo dies on the floor of the church.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

The film was popular at the box office and earned a profit of $325,000.[1]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Academy Awards – 1935[edit]

The film was nominated for six Academy Awards, winning four. McLaglen won Best Actor for his portrayal of Gypo Nolan, beating out Charles Laughton, Clark Gable, and Franchot Tone for the better-remembered Mutiny on the Bounty, and Ford won Best Director. Dudley Nichols won Best Writing, Screenplay, but turned it down because of union disagreements. It was the first time an Oscar was declined.[2] The film also won the Oscar for Best Score; Max Steiner won for the first time. The film was nominated for Outstanding Production,[3] as well as for Best Film Editing.

AwardResultWinner
Outstanding ProductionNominatedRKO Radio (John Ford, Producer)
Winner was Mutiny on the Bounty (MGM) (Irving Thalberg and Albert Lewin, Producers)
Best DirectorWonJohn Ford
Best ActorWonVictor McLaglen
Best Writing, ScreenplayWonDudley Nichols
Best Film EditingNominatedGeorge Hively
Winner was Ralph DawsonA Midsummer Night's Dream
Best Music (Scoring)WonMax Steiner

The film's other awards and nominations:

Adaptations in other media[edit]

The Informer was adapted as a radio play on the July 10, 1944, and October 17, 1950, episodes of The Screen Guild Theater, the March 28, 1948, episode of the Ford Theatre. On the Academy Award Theater's May 25, 1946, episode, McLaglen reprised his role.

Trivia[edit]

A presentation copy of the script, originally presented to a Seymour Roman and signed by many of the prominent cast and crew, was ostensibly found in Madison, Wisconsin among items being cleaned out of an apartment by a landlord. It was brought to the Antiques Roadshow and was appraised for $4,000–$5,000.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Jewel, Richard. 'RKO Film Grosses: 1931-1951', Historical Journal of Film Radio and Television, Vol 14 No 1, 1994, p55.<--publisher & place?-->
  2. ^ http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/118398
  3. ^ "Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science". Academy. Retrieved 2008-03-28. 
  4. ^ http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/archive/200504A33.html

External links[edit]