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Dancing at Lughnasa (1998)

 -  Drama  -  13 November 1998 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 2,609 users  
Reviews: 43 user | 47 critic

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

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(play), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Dancing at Lughnasa (1998)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Narrator (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 ...
Sophie McLoughlin
Peter Gowen ...
Austin Morgan
...
Chemist
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Storyline

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 | motorcycle | spain | See All (138) »

Taglines:

Five sisters embrace the spirit of a people.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Official Sites:

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

13 November 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Dança das Paixões  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$83,759 (USA) (13 November 1998)

Gross:

$2,285,194 (USA) (9 April 1999)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The play originally opened in Dublin, Ireland in 1990. It opened on Broadway in New York City, New York, USA on 11 October 1991 and closed on 25 October 1992 after 436 performances. In the cast were Brid Brennan, who originated her role as Agnes and won 1992 Tony award as Best Featured Actress, and Gerard McSorley as the adult Michael, the narrator in the movie. The play also won a 1992 Tony award as best play. See more »

Quotes

Kate 'Kit' Mundy: Does Mr. Evans ever wonder how Christina cloths and feeds Michael? Does he ask her? Does Mr. Evans care? Beasts in fields have more concern for their young than that creature has.
Agnes 'Aggie' Mundy: Do you ever listen to yourself, Kate? You are such a damned righteous bitch! And his name is Gerry. Gerry. Gerry!
[Storms out of room]
Kate 'Kit' Mundy: [to Maggie] Don't I know his name is Gerry. What have I been calling him? Saint Patrick?
See more »

Soundtracks

Will You Come to Abyssinia
Words by Brian Friel
Sung a cappella by Sophie Thompson (uncredited)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Touching but suppressed
25 October 2006 | by (London, UK) – See all my reviews

A misfiring film. It has a truly exceptional cast and it is a great disappointment that it can't pack the punch that it promises.

My biggest gripe is that we're implicitly promised a big dance set-piece which never materialises. Obviously there is a mitigating dance sequence (which, like all sequences, is well played). The problem is that the family unit needs a sequence where they come, corporately, up against the outside. Whilst the familial tensions, aspirations and fears are played out in a string of scenes revolving around the cottage, the film needs a formal tipping point more critical than the drip-effect of their failing employment.

Meryl Streep has been, arguably, the finest female actor in the world for the past decade and it is a great credit to both her and her co-stars that she doesn't overbalance the ensemble. Despite their absorbing performances it doesn't work though - I'd say a fault of writers Brian Friel and Frank McGuiness. 4/10


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