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The Fire Brigade (1926)

Terry O'Neill is the youngest of a family of Irish firefighters. He falls in love with Helen Corwin, but complications ensue when Terry learns that her father, a wealthy contractor, has cut... See full summary »


William Nigh


Kate Corbaley (story), Robert N. Lee (adaptation) | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
May McAvoy ... Helen Corwin
Charles Ray ... Terry O'Neil
Holmes Herbert ... James Corwin (as Holmes E. Herbert)
Tom O'Brien Tom O'Brien ... Joe O'Neil
Eugenie Besserer ... Mrs.O'Neil
Warner Richmond ... Jim O'Neil
Bert Woodruff ... Capt. O'Neil
Vivia Ogden Vivia Ogden ... Bridget
DeWitt Jennings ... Fire Chief Wallace
Dan Mason ... Peg Leg Murphy
Erwin Connelly Erwin Connelly ... Thomas Wainright
James Bradbury Sr. James Bradbury Sr. ... (as James Bradbury)


Terry O'Neill is the youngest of a family of Irish firefighters. He falls in love with Helen Corwin, but complications ensue when Terry learns that her father, a wealthy contractor, has cut costs by putting his buildings in danger of fire. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Do YOU Give the Firemen the Credit Due Them? SEE WHAT YOU OWE THEM (Print Ad- Daily News, ((Batavia, NY)) 24 February 1927) See more »









Release Date:

20 December 1926 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alarm See more »


Box Office


$249,556 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (2-strip Technicolor) (one sequence)| Color (Handschiegel Color) (some sequences)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The 2-strip Technicolor sequence, running 692 feet, occurs in reel #6, and depicts a costume party in a rose garden. Handschiegl spot-coloring was used in reels #9 & #10 during the climactic fire sequence. See more »


Featured in Hollywood (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

Charles Ray Is Excellent
12 December 2016 | by drednmSee all my reviews

This film chronicles a family of firefighters and a cooked contractor who builds firetraps.

Generations of O'Neils have proudly served as firefighters, with several men killed in the flames. Story starts with three brothers, all firefighters, working and living at home with their widowed mother and aging grandfather. They live and breath to fight fires. The problem is that there are so many of them. A local contractor is in league with a famed philanthropist to pay off the town council and win bids to erect shoddy public buildings.

As the youngest brother (Charles Ray) is about to finish his training and rookie status and join the force, a series of tragedies strike. He's also just met a girl (May McAvoy) who happens to be the daughter of the shady philanthropist. The O'Neils back the fire chief (DeWitt Jennings) in demanding the town council probe the building techniques being used, but of course the philanthropist has the political power. He also bans his daughter from seeing young O'Neil.

Trouble is surely brewing when the contractor (Holmes Herbert) wins the bid to build a new orphanage. Young O'Neil discovers the plans to cut corners, use cheap materials. and bypass firewalls and other safety methods. The finale showcases a spectacular fire and rescue attempts.

Charles Ray, pretty much forgotten today, is excellent as the headstrong firefighter. His character seems to be modeled on the wisecracker persona of William Haines. He's brash and silly, but in the end he is a hero. May McAvoy doesn't even appear until about 30 minutes into the film. She has little to do, even with a tacked on masquerade party which highlights her character. Holmes and Jennings are fine, and Eugenie Besserer is terrific as the mother. The spectacular fire scenes are quite memorable and superbly done. This is another film that should be on DVD.

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