The quaint Irish lass of Annie Crawford's poem and Dion Boucicault's stage play came to the screen for the second time in 1919, courtesy of Theda Bara. No longer in the bloom of youth, the famous vamp was perhaps not the obvious choice to play the young innocent forced into a loveless marriage by the fiendish Squire of Tralee (Marc MacDermott). The formidable MacDermott was well cast as the Squire, but Bara's jubilant "the best role I've ever had" was rather laughable. However, with a new director, Englishman Charles J. Brabin, and a more lavish budget than afforded her latest vehicles, Bara was hopeful of success. Unfortunately, both The Central Council of Irish Associations and The Friends of Irish Freedom objected to the film depicting a poverty ridden Ireland. The fact that the beloved Mavourneen was played by an infamous American Jew didn't help matters, and Kathleen Mavourneen turned into an unmitigated disaster. In the midst of all the controversy, however, Bara married her director, a union that would last a lifetime.
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