7.7/10
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196 user 158 critic

The Magdalene Sisters (2002)

R | | Drama | 29 August 2003 (USA)
Trailer
1:20 | Trailer
Three young Irish women struggle to maintain their spirits while they endure dehumanizing abuse as inmates of a Magdalene Sisters Asylum.

Director:

Peter Mullan

Writer:

Peter Mullan
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 18 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Geraldine McEwan ... Sister Bridget
Anne-Marie Duff ... Margaret
Nora-Jane Noone ... Bernadette
Dorothy Duffy ... Rose / Patricia
Eileen Walsh ... Crispina
Mary Murray ... Una
Britta Smith Britta Smith ... Katy
Frances Healy Frances Healy ... Sister Jude
Eithne McGuinness Eithne McGuinness ... Sister Clementine
Phyllis MacMahon ... Sister Augusta (as Phyllis McMahon)
Rebecca Walsh Rebecca Walsh ... Josephine
Eamonn Owens ... Eamonn
Chris Patrick-Simpson ... Brendan (as Chris Simpson)
Sean Colgan Sean Colgan ... Seamus
Daniel Costello Daniel Costello ... Father Fitzroy
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Storyline

A thoroughly mind-provoking film about 3 young women who, under tragic circumstances, see themselves cast away to a Magdalene Asylum for young women in 1964. One of many like institutions, the asylums are run like prisons and young girls are forced to do workhouse laundry and hard labor. The asylum, one of many that existed in theocratic Catholic Ireland, is for supposedly 'fallen' women. Here, young girls are imprisoned indefinitely and endure agonizing punishments and a long, harsh working system which leaves them physically drained and mentally damaged. As the girls bond together, it soon becomes clear that the only way out of the Magdalene convent is to escape, but with twisted Sister Bridget running the wing, any chances seem limited... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The triumphant story of three women who found the courage to defy a century of injustice. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence/cruelty, nudity, sexual content and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Ireland | UK

Language:

English | Latin

Release Date:

29 August 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die unbarmherzigen Schwestern See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$84,553, 3 August 2003

Gross USA:

$4,890,878

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$21,107,578
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Vanessa Redgrave was cast as Sister Bridget, but dropped out due to her mother Rachel Kempson's ill health. See more »

Goofs

When Margaret's brother shows up to take his sister home, he not only knows his way around the facility, but knows exactly which room everyone is in, despite having never set foot in the place. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Margaret: Well, what is it you're wanting to show me? Come on, Kevin, what's the secret?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Thanks to ... Andy and Marco at Edit-Hire Post Production Services ... all at the Glasgow Film Theatre ... Lee at Lynx ... all the gardeners ... the people of Dumfries ... and all at VFG. See more »

Connections

Featured in The 2004 IFP/West Independent Spirit Awards (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Amazing Grace
(uncredited)
Written by John Newton
See more »

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User Reviews

Very disturbing, very well made, very unfortunate story
4 October 2010 | by Joe TSee all my reviews

As already well noted, this is a very well crafted film that captures and portrays some of the lowest possibilities of human endeavour. The movie has it's flaws, but drawing empathy from the viewer is not one of them and this it does so well that I was emotionally exhausted by the end of it.

The religious dimension of the film is an interesting one. Clearly people wanting opportunity for anti-Catholic or anti-religious diatribe would find plenty of fuel here, but I think the more reasonable viewer (religious or not) would see the issues raised for what they are - a perversion and distortion of Christian faith perpetuated and maintained by flawed institutional systems. In this vein, it's not necessarily an anti-religious film and not even anti-establishment as such, but it does show a terrible side of those things and, moreover, illustrate how human beings can take any ideology, belief system etc. and turn it to meet their own personal sadistic and evil ends.

A sad and horrible film and one that reminds us all of what not do to, how not to treat people and how we should be ever vigilant as a society against evil and cruelty no matter the guise it takes.


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