In 1876 in the mines of Pennsylvania, miners are unprotected, exploited in a brazen manner for the good of industry in full development. The single solace in their misery, the feats of the “Molly Maguires”, secret society which avenges by violence injustice made to the workers.
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Was my mistake to avoid this one as long as I did--granted, a downbeat period piece about a company snitch infiltrating vigilante coal miners was always going to be a tough sell, but this dynamically directed, intelligently acted and written slice of Welcome-to-the-Machine wisdom deserved better than the box-office bomb it was apparently written off as at the time. "Are you free now?" indeed.