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Angelas Ashes

3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 149.50
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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Captures the hardships, misses the humor and spirit March 18 2002
Angela's Ashes is based on Frank McCourt's best-selling memoir about growing up in the 1930s in a poverty stricken family in Limerick, Ireland. The movie tries valiantly to be faithful to the book, and even the author has been endlessly quoted as to how fine an adaptation it is. Yet something has been lost in transition, and sadly it is much of McCourt's dark and often rude humor, which is one of two elements that made the book so readable. The other element was his writing style, which is marvelous. I will return to the humor issue later.
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Angela's Ashes unplayable Feb. 1 2012
I thought it might be my player, so I ordered a second when the first was unplayable. The second Angela's ashes was unplayable as well. I got a couple friends to try on their players and no, no play. Then I found out it's because it from the UK, so unplayable!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not Much About Angela March 4 2003
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Angeles Ashes is a good movie and book. I appreciate any depiction of Ireland. However,if you are going to title a book and movie "Angela's Ashes," is it not reasonable to expect Angela to be more than a prop for all of the male roles in the story? According to Frank McCort, there is no sadder story than one about growing up Irish Catholic at that time in history. My bias from an immigrant Irish Catholic family is to believe this. But what about growing up Irish, Catholic and female? I would expect at least a fair gender balance in a book winning the Pulitzer Prize. My real issue with a big budget movie production of Angela's Ashes telling about hard times in 1930's Ireland is that it came out at the same time that a small budget, independent, gutsey Scottish film called "Rat Catcher" came out. Few people outside of Scotland know of this film, a real gem of story telling about 1970's Scotland during the trash collection strike and the Army being brought in as scab labor. What is it like to grow up in the tenements with a nearby canal where kids drown on a regular basis? Frank McCort made it out of hard times, and it is to his good credit. Rat Catcher is more devasting on this point, as the slums of Scotland do not always allow escape. I have to admit that I had to turn on the English captions to understand the Scottish way of speaking English. However, it was a delight in hear this unique accent. I honor the hardship of both Celtic cultures. My other disappointment in Angela's Ashes is the exclusion of traditional Irish folk music. Is it not fair to expect a few musicians in all the pubs Frank's father drank at in the movie? Pub music is as common as playing darts or drinking Guinness. There is also a wealth of talent to draw from.
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My wife and I rented the video of, Angela's Ashes. I had read the book and it's sequel, 'Tis, both by Frank McCourt. It's an autobiography, about growing up in the direst poverty in Brooklyn and Ireland.
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.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars very true events german Nazi jewish story very sad what they had to go...
very true events german Nazi jewish story very sad what they had to go through the jewish people good to have
Published 29 days ago by Federico Martone
1.0 out of 5 stars unplayable format
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 more
Published 5 months ago by Kathy Holler
1.0 out of 5 stars I wish I would have read the reviews before
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 more
Published 7 months ago by Dawn
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor Product
Bought this movie for my brother, but he was unable to watch it because it would not play on his DVD. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Rae-Lyn Loroff
1.0 out of 5 stars not happy
i couldnt play this movie because of the region i live in ..... i was not aware of different regions related to DVD's .. Read more
Published 20 months ago by april greer
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Compatible
I ordered the dvd, but upon playing it was unplayable. My dvd players oth said wrong region. I was dissappointed and had to send it back, now I am awaiting a refund. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Scarlett C
1.0 out of 5 stars Sent from the U.S. to Canada in UK format!
I was very unhappy with this shipment. I love this movie and was very excited to receive the item within about 2 weeks of ordering it. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Lesley F
4.0 out of 5 stars Does justice enough for me!
Overall, I think the film does justice to the book as justice as a film can do. Obviously, the film cannot convey the powerful emotion though to the viewer as well as the book... Read more
Published on Jan. 12 2004 by ashley stillman- fosta
2.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre movie of a classic book! READ THE BOOK!
Emily Watson is one of my favorite screen actresses and here she does not disappoint. She gives a wonderfully undertated performance. Read more
Published on Dec 4 2003 by E. Karas
I have not read the eponymous book, and after watching this despondent drivel I probably won't. One can just hope that the book did a more honest job of potraying Angela's... Read more
Published on Nov. 22 2003 by Shashank Tripathi
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