The Fighting Prince of Donegal

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The Fighting Prince of Donegal
The Fighting Prince of Donegal poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Michael O'Herlihy
Written by Robert Westerby,
Robert T. Reilly
Produced by Walt Disney
Starring Peter McEnery,
Susan Hampshire,
Tom Adams
Cinematography Arthur Ibbetson
Edited byPeter Boita
Music by George Bruns
Distributed by Buena Vista Distribution
Release date
October 1, 1966
Running time
110 minutes
CountriesUnited Kingdom
United States

The Fighting Prince of Donegal is a 1966 adventure film starring Peter McEnery and Susan Hampshire, based on the novel Red Hugh: Prince of Donegal by Robert T. Reilly. It was released by the Buena Vista Distribution Company.



Set in the late 1580s, the film very loosely follows the real-life exploits of the 16th-century Irish prince Hugh Roe "Red Hugh" O'Donnell. The story begins when Hugh's father, the Chief of the Name, dies, leaving his son as Chief of Clan O'Donnell. With his accession to the throne, an Irish prophecy is seemingly fulfilled which promises independence from Elizabethan and English rule. In response, the Queen's Lord Lieutenant abducts him and imprisons him in Dublin Castle as a hostage for the Clan's good behavior. After a daring escape, he flies across Ireland with the sons of Hugh Roe O'Neill.

The O'Donnell lords see this occurrence as the opportunity to strike back at the foreigners by force, but Hugh convinces them the right plan is to band together with the other clans of the island, and bargain for their freedom from a position of strength. As he prepares for battle, O'Donnell also courts the beautiful Kathleen McSweeney, to further augment the clans of Ireland.



Critical reception was split on Fighting Prince between those who thought it clichéd and oversimplified ( Variety and Time) and those who accepted it as unpretentious fun (the New York Herald Tribune and The New York Times ).

The film did not do well at the box office. [1]

Comic book adaption

Home Media

The Fighting Prince Of Donegal was released on DVD as a Disney Movie Club Exclusive on February 13, 2007. The DVD is now out-of-print. As of March 5, 2023, it has yet to be released on Blu-Ray.

See also

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  1. Maltin, Leonard. The Disney Films. Bonanza Press, 1978, page 244.
  2. "Gold Key: Walt Disney Presents The Fighting Prince of Donegal". Grand Comics Database.