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Dancing at Lughnasa (1998)

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Five unmarried sisters make the most of their simple existence in rural Ireland in the 1930s.

Director:

Pat O'Connor

Writers:

Brian Friel (play), Frank McGuinness (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gerard McSorley ... Narration by (voice)
Meryl Streep ... Kate Mundy
Michael Gambon ... Father Jack Mundy
Catherine McCormack ... Christina Mundy
Kathy Burke ... Maggie Mundy
Sophie Thompson ... Rose Mundy
Brid Brennan ... Agnes Mundy
Rhys Ifans ... Gerry Evans
Darrell Johnston Darrell Johnston ... Michael Mundy
Lorcan Cranitch ... Danny Bradley
John Kavanagh ... Father Carlin
Marie Mullen Marie Mullen ... Vera McLoughlin
Dawn Bradfield Dawn Bradfield ... Sophia McLoughlin
Peter Gowen ... Austin Morgan
Kate O'Toole Kate O'Toole ... Chemist
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Storyline

A young boy tells the story of growing up in a fatherless home with his unmarried mother and four spinster aunts in 1930's Ireland. Each of the five women, different from the other in temperament and capability, is the emotional support system, although at times reluctantly, for each other, with the eldest assuming the role of a 'somewhat meddling' overseer. But then into this comes an elderly brother, a priest too senile to perform his clerical functions, who has "come home to die" after a lifetime in Africa; as well, there also arrives the boy's father, riding up on a motorcycle, only to announce that he's on his way to Spain to fight against Franco. Nevertheless, life goes on for the five sisters, although undeniably affected by the presence of the two men, they continue to cope as a close-knit unit... until something happens that disrupts the very fabric of that cohesiveness beyond repair. Written by BOB STEBBINS <stebinsbob@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

boy | 1930s | ireland | time | motorcycle | See All (174) »

Taglines:

Five sisters embrace the spirit of a people.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild language and thematic elements | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Sony Pictures Classics

Country:

Ireland | UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 November 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bailando entre sueños See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£97,077 (United Kingdom), 27 September 1998, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$83,759, 15 November 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,285,194, 11 April 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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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

The film takes place in August 1936. See more »

Goofs

The song 'The homes of Donegal' was written in 1955 while the movie was set in the 30s. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narration by: When I cast my mind back to that summer of 1936, different kinds of memories offer themselves to me. We got our first wireless set that summer. Well, a sort of a set, and it obsessed us. We called it Lugh, after the old pagan god of the harvest, and his festival was Lughnasa, a time of music and dance. Then my mother's brother, my uncle Jack came home from Africa for the first time in twenty five years. He was the oldest in the family, and the only boy.
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Crazy Credits

During the opening credits, stills of African tribal dances and of Jack as priest in Africa are shown. See more »

Connections

Featured in Dancing at Lughnasa: On Location (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

"The Isle of Capri' (1934)
Music by Will Grosz (as William Grosz)
Lyrics by Jimmy Kennedy
Sung a cappella by Rhys Ifans and danced by him and Catherine McCormack (uncredited)
Reprised a cappella by Kathy Burke (uncredited)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

clinically depressed film fans rejoice!
11 January 2000 | by mark.gibbensSee all my reviews

Contemplating suicide? This is just the film for you. It will either put you completely over the top, or convince you that however bad you feel, you might as well live because there are others who are much, much worse off. This is the crushingly sad tale of 5 Irish sisters, each of whom appears to have screwed up any and all chances for personal happiness. Now, stuck together in permanent spinsterhood and extreme poverty, they face economic and personal disaster. Unfortunately, rather than being moved by their plight, I found myself increasingly irritated by their passive reaction to it. Oh yes, if the tragic sisters are not sufficient, there is also the demented, dying brother to cheer things up. Maybe things were really that bad in depression era Ireland. I sincerely hope not. 2 1/2 stars for the scenery and acting.


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