Ourselves Alone

Ourselves Alone is now being recognised as a historically important movie in Irish Film history and the Estate of Brian Desmond Hurst is seeking to work with the rights holder and other interested parties to see the full movie restored and rereleased although, at present, this is a long term aspiration.

Ourselves Alone was released in the USA as River of Unrest.

Ourselves Alone is a film depicting a love story set against the backdrop of the 1921 Irish War of Independence. The title is a translation of the Irish 'Sinn Fein'.

The film opens with an IRA ambush of a police convoy carrying two captured members of the IRA. Irish Police Inspector Hannay (John Lodge) and British Captain Wiltshire of the Royal Intelligence Corps (John Loder) both turn out to be in love with Maureen Elliot (Antionette Cellier) sister of the IRA leader. The IRA leader is subsequently shot by Wiltshire. Hannay realises that Maureen is in love with Wiltshire and, as a final gesture, takes the blame for shooting her brother himself. Maureen then helps Captain Wiltshire to escape an IRA trap.

Opening Weekend at the London Pavillion Cinema (Now the present day London Trocadero) for 'Ourselves Alone'

Courtesy of the Allan Smith Collection

Ourselves Alone was banned in Northern Ireland at the time of its release in 1936 although it has now achieved the recognition it deserved and is shown in museums and other public access points in Northern Ireland. It appears to have been misunderstood. At the time Hurst pointed out the original story had been written by an British army officer and Hurst claimed that the film was 'pro-British'.




Antoinette Cellier in Ourselves Alone (1936)


Photo courtesy of the BFI


Black and Tans with RIC in Ourselves Alone

IRA Ambush in 'Ourselves Alone'

Courtesy of the Allan Smith Collection

Courtesy of the Allan Smith Collection

Starring: John Lodge, John Lodger, Antoinette Cellier, Niall McGuiness, Clifford Evans


Opening sequence to Ourselves Alone (1936) This clip is provided with the kind permission of Canal and Image UK. 


Clip provided courtesy of the Irish Film Archive

Irish Film Institute
Set in 1921 as nationalists battle with the Royal Irish Constabulary and British Black and Tans, a young girl finds herself under terrible pressures; she is torn between loyalty to her brother, unbeknownst to her an IRA leader, her fiancé, a police inspector, and his comrade and rival in love, a British Army captain and Intelligence officer.  Banned in Northern Ireland on its release in 1936 a commemorative booklet written by Allan Esler Smith accompanies this 80th anniversary release which explores the background to Hurst’s breakthrough as a leading film director and the banning of his film in his native Northern Ireland.


Booklet accompanying the DVD release of Ourselves Alone
Booklet accompanying the DVD release of Ourselves Alone