IMDb > Orphans (1998)
Orphans
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Orphans (1998) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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Down 9% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer:
Peter Mullan (writer)
Contact:
View company contact information for Orphans on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
21 April 1999 (France) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Are YOUR parents a burden?
Plot:
Four siblings gathered together for their mother's funeral in Glasgow face individual torments over night during a tumultuous storm that rips the roof off the church. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
10 wins & 2 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(24 articles)
The top 25 underappreciated films of 2010
 (From Den of Geek. 26 February 2014, 2:57 AM, PST)

The top 30 underrated films of 2002
 (From Den of Geek. 11 December 2013, 9:31 AM, PST)

The top 25 underappreciated films of 1998
 (From Den of Geek. 13 November 2013, 5:23 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
Orphans: Ingeniously Funny See more (33 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Douglas Henshall ... Michael

Gary Lewis ... Thomas
Rosemarie Stevenson ... Sheila

Stephen McCole ... John
Ann Swan ... Mother of Family
Gilbert Martin ... Frank
Jan Wilson ... Sandra (Woman in Bar)
Lenny Mullan ... Julian (Bar Manager)
Malcolm Shields ... Duncan
June Brogan ... Mona
Paul Doonan ... Lenny (Duncan's brother)
Linda Jane Devlin ... Evelyn (Waitress in Bar) (as Linda Cuthbert)
Lex Keith ... Himself
Hugh Ferris ... Himself
Joel Strachan ... Neil (Lad in Toilet)
Tam White ... Alistair (Taxi Driver)
Vanya Eadie ... Maria (Receptionist at Evettes)
Dorothy Jane Stewart ... Margaret
Michael Mallon ... Rab (Cheeky Boy in Street)
Alan Gracie ... James (Cheeky Boy in Street)
Jim Twaddale ... Liam (Bus Driver)
Frank Gallagher ... Tanga
Eric Barlow ... Mr. Bell
Frances Carrigan ... Mrs. Bell
Judith A. Williams ... Amanda (Baby-sitter)
Michael Sharpe ... David (Michael's Son)
Laura O'Donnell ... Carole
Lee-Ann McCran ... Anne Marie (Paper-girl)
Debbie Welsh ... Melissa (Paper-girl)
Donna Chalmer ... Bernadette (Paper-girl)
Sarah Hepburn ... Louise (Carole's Sister)
Deirdre Davis ... Alison (Carole's Mum)
Sheila Donald ... Mrs. Finch
Martha Leishman ... Alice
Catherine Connell ... Angela (Michael's Daughter)
John Comerford ... Ed (Carole's Dad)
Stephen Docherty ... Alastair (Barman in Pub)

Alex Norton ... Hanson
Louise Dunn ... Moira (Woman Collecting)
Luke Coulter ... Paper Boy (In Pub)
Laurie Ventry ... Henry (In Basement)
Maureen Carr ... Minnie (In Basement)
Steven Singleton ... Seamus (In Basement)
Kate Brailsford ... Deaf Boy's Mum
Luka Kennedy ... Fraser (Deaf Boy)
Helen Devon ... Jessica (Woman in Tube)
Josie Aitken Sheridan ... Duncan's Baby
Seamus Ball ... Father Fitzgerald
Dave Anderson ... Uncle Ian
Robert W. Carr ... Mr. Leitch (Undertaker) (as Robert Carr)
Jenny Swan ... Aunt Geraldine
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

James Casey ... Peachy

Mary Jane Wells ... PC McGiffen (uncredited)
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Directed by
Peter Mullan 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Peter Mullan  writer

Produced by
Frances Higson .... producer
Paddy Higson .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Craig Armstrong 
 
Cinematography by
Grant Cameron 
 
Film Editing by
Colin Monie 
 
Casting by
Doreen Jones 
 
Production Design by
Campbell Gordon 
 
Art Direction by
Frances Connell 
 
Costume Design by
Lynn Aitken 
 
Makeup Department
Claire Davies .... makeup assistant
Sara Kramer .... makeup assistant
Anastasia Shirley .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Miara Martell .... production manager (as Martell)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Mark Goddard .... first assistant director
Guy Heeley .... second assistant director
Ted Mitchell .... assistant director: second unit
Michael Queen .... third assistant director (as Mike Queen)
 
Art Department
Paul Curren .... painter
Jim Davers .... dressing props
Caroline Grebbell .... art department assistant
Cliona Harkin .... assistant art director
Christopher Higson .... stand-by carpenter (as Chris Higson)
Mike Ireland .... prop buyer
Scott Keery .... props
Scott Keery .... stand-by props
William Maxwell .... stand-by stagehand
Alan Reid .... storyboard artist
David Reilly .... prop master
Alex Robertson .... carpenter
Tony Sheridan .... stand-by props
Danny Sumsion .... construction manager
Billy Wilson .... stand-by rigger
 
Sound Department
Peter Brill .... sound recordist
Felicity Cottrell .... foley artist
John Fitzgerald .... assistant dubbing mixer
Pat Hayes .... dubbing mixer
Lorraine Keiller .... dialogue editor
Bronek Korda .... additional adr artist
Alastair Mason .... sound trainee
Peter Murphy .... boom operator
Mike Prestwood Smith .... adr mixer
Mike Prestwood Smith .... adr recordist
Lionel Selwyn .... foley artist
Ted Swanscott .... foley recordist
Hilary Wyatt .... supervising dubbing editor
 
Special Effects by
Stuart Brisdon .... special effects supervisor
Nik Cooper .... special effects operator (as Nick Cooper)
Mark Haddenham .... special effects operator
Colin Tilley .... special effects operator
Mike Tilley .... special effects operator
 
Visual Effects by
Steve Corduroy .... model construction
Cliff Culley .... matte artist
Neil Culley .... model camera operator
Dick Dimbleby .... optical printer operator
Roy Field .... visual effects
 
Stunts
Stuart Clark .... assistant stunt coordinator (as Stuart Stark)
Danielle da Costa .... stunts
Nrinder Dhudwar .... stunts
Steve Griffin .... assistant stunt coordinator
Ray Nicholas .... stunts
Nick Powell .... stunt coordinator
Nick Wilkinson .... stunts
 
Camera and Electrical Department
John Adamson .... electrician
Stuart Bunting .... grip
Chris Burns .... focus puller: second unit
Eddie Burt .... grip
Fraser Campbell .... electrician
Oliver Cheesman .... camera operator: second unit
Kathy Friend .... focus puller: second unit
Joe Gormley .... camera trainee
Paul McGeachan .... best boy
Kirstin McMahon .... clapper loader
Alan McSheehy .... focus puller: second unit
Mark Ritchie .... gaffer
Jonathan Sykes .... focus puller
Garry Thomson .... electrician
Francis Todd .... focus puller
John Ward .... Steadicam operator
Alan Wylie .... still photographer
 
Casting Department
Lenny Mullan .... casting assistant
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Margie Fortune .... wardrobe supervisor
Carole Miller .... wardrobe assistant
 
Editorial Department
Giles Burgess .... third assistant editor
David Gibson .... first assistant editor
Lorraine Keiller .... second assistant editor
Sylvia Wheeler .... negative cutter
 
Music Department
Sarah Dolan .... music assistant
Sandy Dworniak .... music supervisor
Paul Hulme .... music engineer
Richard T. Norris .... music programmer
Roger Pollen .... orchestra contractor
 
Other crew
Gillian Berrie .... production coordinator
John Booth .... location manager
Neil Cairns .... trainee accountant
Louise Coulter .... production accountant
Emma Davie .... assistant to the company
Robert Etherson .... location assistant
Michael Higson .... location assistant
John McKain .... assistant accountant
Mark Murdoch .... floor runner (as Mark Murdock)
Emma Olver .... stand-in
Jessica Rundle .... production assistant
Bernard Shepherd .... armorer
Paul Shirley .... stand-in
Janis Watt .... script supervisor
Shirley Whiteside .... unit publicist
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
101 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
References Jean de Florette (1986)See more »
Soundtrack:
You Take the High RoadSee more »

FAQ

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
Orphans: Ingeniously Funny, 4 February 2011

With his third film as director Neds seeing release just recently, the previous two films of Peter Mullan were given a back-to-back television showing. I managed to catch his first, Orphans, having never before heard anything of it.

Meeting to mourn the loss of their mother, four Glaswegian siblings gather in a pub. When an inconsiderate group laugh at the lugubrious singing of the eldest, one of his brothers retorts physically and is stabbed. The remaining brother vows to avenge this whilst the handicapped sister finds herself stuck in a darkened alley, her wheelchair broken.

Orphans begins with a solemn scene, the four siblings gathered around their mother's coffin. Some gentle humour is created through the siblings' confusion at their elder's request that they place some hair in the coffin. This introduces us to the film's primary structure: scenes of genuine heartfelt drama lined with a subtle comedy to balance the mood. As things progress, we begin to see in increase in this comic factor, the film's clever blending of its contrasting elements creating a wonderful dichotomy. The true beauty of the film, however, is in its juxtaposition of its constituent elements. Many are the scenes which Mullan allows to play out, drawing us in with a barrage of riotous laughter, before effortlessly turning this on its head with a disarming simplicity and forcing us to comprehend the dramatic implications of the events unfolding before us. In a simple moment, we go from laughing at something to considering its grim seriousness. It is a stunning effect, one often attempted but rarely realised so fantastically as here. Mullan ends his scenes by inviting us to reconsider what we have just seen; we find ourselves looking at events with a melancholy when just moments ago they had us reduced to breathless laughter. He allows us to indulge ourselves in the fantastic comedy his writing engenders before showing us that these scenarios are in fact tremendously dark and dramatic. We may chuckle at Michael's determination to pass off his stab wound as an industrial accident, but we quickly reevaluate the true humour of this when we realise that he is slowly dying, his lightening pallor eventually quite frightening. This is just one example of the many such twists Mullan throws at us, showing himself to be as dramatically dark as he is ingeniously funny.

A truly fantastic combination of drama and comedy, done in a subversive way which forces us to reevaluate what we thought of a scene just seconds before, Orphans is a fantastic exploration of the closeness of drama and comedy. Splendidly supported by fantastic, hilarious, and realistically authentic Glaswegian performances, this film has certainly proclaimed Peter Mullan as a masterful director.

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