This week’s mystery movie was the 1959 film Shake Hands With the Devil, with James Cagney, Don Murray, Dana Wynter, Glynis Johns, Cyril Cusack, Harry Brogan, John Cairney, Lewis Casson, Richard Harris, William Hartnell, Niall MacGinnis, Ray McAnally, Clive Morton, Noel Purcell, Peter Reynolds, Christopher Rhodes, Alan White and introducing Marianne Benet. Michael Redgrave as the General, Sybil Thorndike as Lady Fitzhugh (both by special arrangement).
Photography by Erwin Hiller.
Production design and art direction by Tom Morahan.
Production supervisor Bill Kirby.
Editorial supervisor Gordon Pilkington.
Assistant director Chris Sutton.
Camera operator Ray Sturgess. Second unit photography Eric Besche.
Dubbing editor Rusty Coppleman. Special effects by Cliff Richardson and Roy Whybrow.
Continuity by Angela Martelli. Sound by L.B. Bulkeley and J.B. Smith.
Set decoration by Josie MacAvin. Wardrobe supervision by John McCorry. Makeup by Tony Szforzini. Hairstyles by Joan White.
Special military advisor Lt. Col. William O’Kelly, Irish Defense Force.
Ladies’ costume design by Irene Gilbert. Casting director Robert Lennard.
Photographed at the Ardmore Studios, Bray, Ireland and on actual Irish locations.
Music composed by William Alwyn. Played by the Sinfonia of London. Conducted by Muir Mathieson.
Executive producers George Glass and Walter Seltzer.
Produced and directed by Michael Anderson.
More on the history of the film is available from the AFI catalog.
Shake Hands With the Devil is available on DVD from Critics’ Choice Videos.
I picked Shake Hands With the Devil at random. It looked like a good movie and I’d never heard of it. I’m puzzled by Harrison’s Reports calling it “cliche-ridden,” as it seems fairly unusual to me. The main appeal to me is that it’s a complicated story with flawed characters on both sides. The black and white photography is gorgeous and it’s worth seeing the movie simple for the images. This is a different role for James Cagney and he pulls it off. Well worth your time.
Let’s see. Will Bosley Crowther hate it? Well, I’m guessing he will mostly hate it. Or fob it off on one of the alphabet critics on the scrub team.
Aha! While Bosley is praising Porgy and Bess (June 25, 1959), Howard Thompson draws Shake Hands With the Devil:
One of the fastest, toughest and most picturesque dramas about the Irish Revolution, Shake Hands With the Devil, opened yesterday at neighborhood theaters on a double bill and don’t ask us why. (Don’t ask us why the other half, The Mugger, was made at all).
A new Hollywood company, Pennebaker, has had the ripe judgment to cull this dandy adventure drama of Black-and-Tan strife from a new Irish film studio near Dublin with a spanking Irish-flavored cast headed by — who else? James Cagney.
Although the action is primarily seen through the eyes of a visiting American recruit, Don Murray, it is Mr. Cagney, as a university surgeon with the underground Republicans, who dominates the picture.
For Monday, we have a mystery woman. The inscription on the tombstone has been blacked out due to insufficient mysteriousness.
Update: This is Eithne Dunne.
For Tuesday, we have a mysterious chap. His companion, Back of the Head Guy, has been cropped out due to insufficient mysteriousness and will appear later.
Update: For Friday, adding Back of the Head Guy.
Update: This is Allan Cuthbertson and Don Murray as Back of the Head Guy.
For “Hm Wednesday,” we have a mystery guest in a splendid cap.
Update: This is Cyril Cusack.
Brain Trust roll call: Megan and Thom (mystery movie and both mystery guests), Jenny M. (Tuesday’s mysterious soldier), Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie and both mystery guests), Anne Papineau (Tuesday’s mysterious soldier), Sheila (Tuesday’s mystery soldier) and Sylvia E. (mystery movie, both mystery guests and cropped-out Back of the Head Guy).
Saluting Sylvia for her persistence after she ended up in the spam filter. Sorry!
For “Aha Thursday,” we have this mystery woman.
Update: This is Dana Wynter.
And this mystery fellow.
Update: This is Richard Harris.
Also this mystery fellow.
Update: This is Michael Redgrave.
Brain Trust roll call: Floyd Thursby (mystery movie, Tuesday’s mystery soldier and Wednesday’s mystery poet/fighter), Howard Mandelbaum (Wednesday’s mystery poet/fighter), Jenny M. (mystery movie, Wednesday’s mysterious poet/fighter), Mike Hawks (mystery movie, Tuesday’s mystery soldier and Wednesday’s mysterious poet/fighter), Sheila (mystery movie and Wednesday’s mysterious poet/fighter), Blackwing Jenny (mystery movie and Wednesday’s mystery poet/fighter) and Sylvia E. (Wednesday’s mystery poet/fighter).
For Friday, we have this mystery woman.
Update: This is Glynis Johns.
Also this mysterious fellow.
Update: This is Don Murray.
And this mystery fellow. He seems to have a gun. Looks like a Webley. There’s a lot of Webleys in this movie.
Update: This is James Cagney.
Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (mystery movie and all mystery guests), Beach Gal (mystery movie, all mystery guests and Back of the Head Guy), B.J. Merholz (mystery movie), Mike Hawks (Thursday’s mystery guests), Howard Mandelbaum (Thursday’s mystery guests), L.C. (mystery movie and mystery cast), Earl Boebert (Thursday’s mystery woman), Sylvia E. (Thursday’s mystery guests) and Benito (mystery movie and Thursday’s mystery guests).