The McCourts of New York (1999)

TV Movie  |   |  Documentary  |  16 March 1999 (USA)
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An intriguing and entertaining portrait of the McCourt brothers of Limerick.



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Credited cast:
Alphie McCourt ...
Mike McCourt ...


An intriguing and entertaining portrait of the McCourt brothers, Frank, Mike, Alphie, and Malachy. Follow their arrival to New York from the slums of Limerick, and hear the tales which inspired the Pulitzer Prize-winning memoirs of their family, "Angela's Ashes" and "A Monk Swimming." Written by Ciaran O'Shea

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16 March 1999 (USA)  »

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Laughs, Tears, and More Than a Little Blarney
11 March 2003 | by (Washington D.C.) – See all my reviews

With so many creative documentaries available, it seems trite to call this one groundbreaking, but that's exactly the word I'll use.

The McCourts of New York is the story of four Irish brothers from Limerick who came to New York to live out their lives. But they are by no means a typical Irish family. Frank won the Pulitzer Prize for ANGELA'S ASHES and Malachy became a well-known New York bar owner and television actor. The others, Mike and Alphie, never became famous, but led interesting lives nonetheless.

The film chronicles their lives in the best manner of any story of Irishmen, by hearing the brothers tell their stories themselves. It is a documentary with no narrator; the brothers provide the commentary better than any screenwriter ever could.

Although the four are deservedly proud of the McCourt Clan, their lives were not all wine and roses. There were dark days too, and the audience is not spared those details. But even in darkness, the twinkle never leaves these brothers's eyes, even if it is the beginning of a tear.

The film will be a joy to anyone who loves a good Irish yarn, but especially those who are at least familiar with Frank McCourt's work. Read ANGELA'S ASHES, or at least rent the film, before checking this one out. Doing so will help bring the four into perspective.

Expect to laugh and cry, but never want it to end.

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