Beloved Enemy
Beloved enemy.jpg
Directed byH. C. Potter
Written byJohn Balderston
Rose Franken
William Brown Meloney
Produced bySamuel Goldwyn
George Haight
StarringMerle Oberon
Brian Aherne
David Niven
CinematographyGregg Toland
Edited bySherman Todd
Music byAlfred Newman
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date
  • December 25, 1936 (1936-12-25)
Running time
90 minutes
CountryUnited States

Beloved Enemy is a 1936 American drama film directed by H.C. Potter and starring Merle Oberon, Brian Aherne, and David Niven. It was loosely based on the life of Michael Collins.


During the Irish War of Independence in 1921, Irish rebel leader Dennis Riordan (Aherne) and English aristocrat Helen Drummond (Oberon) meet and fall in love. Riordan is pursued, however, by British army officer Captain Preston (Niven).

The original movie ended with Riordan getting shot and killed, but did not do well at the box office. A happier ending was also filmed which has Riordan being shot but surviving; all subsequent versions have. The original cut has since been lost.

The movie has several comic relief scenes: after a raid on an IRA "safe house", British officers grumble about being not being able to find Riordan, who is in fact standing just behind them; when the Irish Delegation goes to a formal ball and is asked by the footman for their names to be announced, the delegation replies in Irish.