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The Secret of Roan Inish (1994)

PG  |   |  Drama, Family, Fantasy  |  3 February 1995 (USA)
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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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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeni Courtney ...
Pat Slowey ...
Dave Duffy ...
Oldest brother
Mairéad Ní Ghallchóir ...
Eugene McHugh ...
Bar Patron 1
Tony Rubini ...
Bar Patron 2
Mick Lally ...
Eileen Colgan ...
Richard Sheridan ...
Micheal MacCarthaigh ...
Fergal McElherron ...
Sean Michael
Brendan Conroy ...
Frankie McCafferty ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


Drama | Family | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

3 February 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le secret de Roan Inish  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)


$6,101,600 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Near the end of the film, when the seals push the cradle-boat back into the sea, you can clearly see a hand at the top left corner of the frame grab the cradle and pull it. See more »


Tadhg: I've no idea of the future, but I can see the past quite well. And the present, if the weather's clear.
See more »


Referenced in Siskel & Ebert: Episode dated 22 June 1996 (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

A quiet, magical and elegant movie. Timeless
28 May 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I happened to rent "The Secret of Roan Inish," when it was first out on video and it has been one of the best movie finds. This movie tells a captivating story with beautiful scenes of Ireland. It looks so realistic to me for the Irish culture and home-life. This movie is very quiet but never boring. It does not jump up and grab your attention or startle you, it just gradually lays out a very magical yet timeless story. It is a story about love, found and lost, and a little girl who refuses to believe that she has lost a beloved family member. It is told through her magical eyes and the Irish background and characters that cross her path easily come to life. I watch this movie whenever I need to relax and just get away from the everyday craziness of life. It is well worth the time. This movie reminds me of, "The Winter Guest," by Alan Rickman. It has a similar pace and feel to it. If you like this movie, you will probably enjoy, "The Winter Guest," as well.

20 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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