Dancing at Lughnasa (1998)

PG  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  13 November 1998 (USA)
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Reviews: 44 user | 45 critic

Five unmarried sisters make the most of their simple existence in rural Ireland in the 1930s.



(play), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Narration by (voice)
Father Jack Mundy
Christina Mundy
Maggie Mundy
Rose Mundy
Brid Brennan ...
Agnes Mundy
Gerry Evans
Darrell Johnston ...
Michael Mundy
Danny Bradley
Father Carlin
Marie Mullen ...
Vera McLoughlin
Dawn Bradfield ...
Sophia McLoughlin
Peter Gowen ...
Austin Morgan


A young boy tells the story of growing up in a fatherless home with his unmarried mother and four spinster aunts in 1930's Ireland. Each of the five women, different from the other in temperament and capability, is the emotional support system, although at times reluctantly, for each other, with the eldest assuming the role of a 'somewhat meddling' overseer. But then into this comes an elderly brother, a priest too senile to perform his clerical functions, who has "come home to die" after a lifetime in Africa; as well, there also arrives the boy's father, riding up on a motorcycle, only to announce that he's on his way to Spain to fight against Franco. Nevertheless, life goes on for the five sisters, although undeniably affected by the presence of the two men, they continue to cope as a close-knit unit... until something happens that disrupts the very fabric of that cohesiveness beyond repair. Written by BOB STEBBINS <stebinsbob@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

boy | 1930s | ireland | time | motorcycle | See All (173) »


Five sisters embrace the spirit of a people.


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild language and thematic elements | See all certifications »


Official Sites:


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Release Date:

13 November 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Dança das Paixões  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£97,077 (UK) (25 September 1998)


$2,285,194 (USA) (9 April 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Original choices to star were Frances McDormand and Kate Winslet. See more »


The radio is one of the first ever made, so it's a tube radio, which would not be able to come on instantly like the later transistor radios; it would have needed a while to warm up before there would be any sound from it. See more »


Kate 'Kit' Mundy: You work hard at your job, you try to keep the home together but suddenly you realize that cracks are formin' everywhere. It's all about to collapse, Maggie. What I'm most worried about is Rose. If I lose my job, if this house is broken up, what'll become of our Rosie?
See more »


Featured in Dancing at Lughnasa: On Location (1998) See more »


Down by the Salley Gardens
Poem by William Butler Yeats (as W.B. Yeats) (1889)
Set to music by various composers
Sung a cappella by Sophie Thompson and her sisters (uncredited)
Sung by Dolores Keane during the end credits
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

superb film
19 December 1999 | by (somewhere in southern California) – See all my reviews

Not since "Steel Magnolias" have I seen a film that centralized dynamic female roles on the silver screen. It's rare, if not completely impossible these days that a movie is carried by female characters with male actors as "supportive" roles. This film not only does THAT, but does it SUPERBLY. That isn't to say that the male actors were not good in it. I'm merely saying the movie was carried by female roles rather than male ones -- an absolute delight to see. It is by far one of the best films I've seen all year and I recommend it to anyone who is 1. a Meryl Streep fan or 2. craving to see a divine film about extraordinary women.

9 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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