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After falling to succeed in New York, the McCourt family was forced to return to Ireland in 1935. Frank notes that they may be the only Irish family in history who immigrated back to that [then] miserably poor nation with it's [still] warring Protestants and Catholics. Within three years, the family loses three children to disease. When they first move back, they live in one room. When they finally get a rundown two-story row house, its front door opens onto the communal outhouse. It rains a lot in Limerick, and water runs into the first floor most of the year. The family resorts to living upstairs.
Dad [Robert Carlyse] has difficulty finding work, and the family lives on the dole [welfare]. The cards are stacked against Dad. He is a Protestant in a Catholic town, he is full of pride, and he drinks. On the rare occasions he finds work, he drinks the pay away and ends up getting fired. He is the primary reason the family is so poor. Carlyse plays him as an intelligent, affable but weak man. Much has been made about this character. How could any father and husband sit by and see his family suffer so much? Carlyse said in an interview that he finally decided to play Dad as what he must have been - an alcoholic.Read more ›
Although the book showed the bleakest of poverty, I thought it was wildly funny on the whole. The movie focused more on the sad aspects alone. The frequent black and white footage of the dark and gloomy rain soaked lanes of Irish cities cast a black mood over me. Living conditions were one step better than living in a dumpster. I can see where, to a naïve viewer unfamiliar with the ways things were, the conditions might seem funny at first. They are so extreme; one couldn't possibly believe that people actually lived like that. It must be a joke! But millions of Irish grew up just like that and many died under the conditions, without ever growing up.
The institutional church and all authority come out looking pretty bad. There are the priests and brothers who slam doors in their faces when they go to them for help. When Frank gets a job delivering telegrams, he finds out that at the houses of the Religious they don't give tips to poor boys that deliver telegrams.
There's an overfed priest handing out leftover food from the rectory table to destitute women at the back door. Going before the government Dole board and the St. Vincent DePaul Society is a humiliating, dehumanizing experience. The school-teachers are mostly hostile and domineering. Corporal punishment is the norm.
Priests rain down fire and brimstone from the pulpits. They threaten eternal damnation to the fires of hell for sins of sexual impurity, to boys who have had multiple brothers and sisters die of hunger and disease and who are so hungry they lick the grease off newspapers used to wrap food.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
The item did not work in my machine. Apparently 'Region 2' DVDs do not work in North America. It seems to me that you should check into this matter, to not disappoint many more... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Randy Lieb
I never got to see this ended seeing it on Netflix. Item was another language and im stuck with it.Published 16 months ago by Elaine Cote
very true events german Nazi jewish story very sad what they had to go through the jewish people good to havePublished 16 months ago by Federico Martone
I also got taken in by this...I don't understand how this seller could think most of us as familiar with what 'Region 2' implies. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Kathy Holler
I did not read the reviews and bought the this.I can not play it on my tv as it says wrong region I can play it on my portable dvd player but the guality is not great. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Dawn
Bought this movie for my brother, but he was unable to watch it because it would not play on his DVD. Read morePublished on March 15 2013 by Rae-Lyn Loroff
i couldnt play this movie because of the region i live in ..... i was not aware of different regions related to DVD's .. Read morePublished on Feb. 24 2013 by april greer
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