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The Secret of Roan Inish (1994)

10-year-old Fiona is sent to live with her grandparents in a small fishing village in Donegal, Ireland. She soon learns the local legend that an ancestor of hers married a Selkie - a seal ... See full summary »

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(book), (screenplay)
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1 win & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeni Courtney ...
Fiona
Pat Slowey ...
Priest
...
Jim
...
Oldest brother
Mairéad Ní Ghallchóir ...
Barmaid
Eugene McHugh ...
Bar Patron 1
Tony Rubini ...
Bar Patron 2
Mick Lally ...
Hugh
Eileen Colgan ...
Tess
Richard Sheridan ...
Eamon
Micheal MacCarthaigh ...
Schoolmaster
Fergal McElherron ...
Sean Michael
Brendan Conroy ...
Flynn
...
Tadhg
Frankie McCafferty ...
Tim
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Storyline

10-year-old Fiona is sent to live with her grandparents in a small fishing village in Donegal, Ireland. She soon learns the local legend that an ancestor of hers married a Selkie - a seal who can turn into a human. Years earlier, her baby brother washed out to sea in a cradle shaped like a boat; someone in the family believes the boy is being raised by the seals. Then Fiona catches sight of a naked little boy on the abandoned Isle of Roan Inish and takes an active role in uncovering he secret of Roan Inish. Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Between land and sea there is a place where myths are real. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Family | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some moments that may be disquieting to small children | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

3 February 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le secret de Roan Inish  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$6,101,600 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Stereo)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

During the storm on Roan Inish, there is a shot of the rocks holding down the roof moving quite a bit from the force of the wind. However, the rocks in the background of the cottage next door are absolutely still suggesting that the storm is completely man-made and the crew only had the wind machines on the one cottage. See more »

Quotes

Tess: Stuperstitious old man!
[goes to the fireplace to put out the peat-fire]
Tess: I rake this fire as the pure Christ rakes us all... with Mary at the foot and Brigid at the head. And may the eight brightest angels from the City of Grace preserve this house and all its people till the coming of the day.
[Crosses herself]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Siskel & Ebert: The Worst Films of 1995 (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

The most mystical movie I've ever seen!
30 November 2001 | by (Corpus Christi, Texas) – See all my reviews

Some people would label this a children's movie...and yet, it has all the mystery and beauty that accompanies films for adults who love poetry and traditional storytelling and classic literature. Watch this film, and you'll get a good idea of Irish tradition and life and their constant belief in legend and lore, which has made them into the wonderful and strong race that they are today. There is a deep sense of family...a truly strong family who has clearly had its ups and downs and yet has come out even stronger than before. A family that has been through generations of change, adapted, continues to change and yet still holds onto the traditions and stories along the way. Stories that others might assume are myth and faery tales. And stories that we know aren't anything but the truth woven into a magical tale.

In most Irish tales and legends I've read, there is a quest which keeps the main character(s) pushing forward through all the challenges of life. Fiona's store in this movie is no different. She's a little girl lost at the beginning when we meet her, wandering through the smog of the city to find some way to latch onto her father who is lost and sad with grief over a dead wife and a dead and missing baby boy. Her true quest begins when she is sent to live with her grandparents who still live by the sea. And the quest truly becomes a quest when she learns that her baby brother Jamie has been spotted on Roan Inish, the Island of the Seals where her family originated from.

The music weaves itself around the characters and the story to make it more complete than it would be without it. It is both peaceful and stirring, providing the background for the cultural ear. With the music and the intricate storytelling, one can become truly lost in this story. And truly a part of it.

If I had children, this is one movie I would have them watch over and over again. Like Disney's "Darby O'Gill and the Little People," this is a movie to entertain children of all ages.


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