In America (2002)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  6 February 2004 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 35,807 users   Metascore: 76/100
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A family of Irish immigrants adjust to life on the mean streets of Hell's Kitchen while also grieving the death of a child.


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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 26 wins & 48 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Emma Bolger ...
Immigration Officer #1
Immigration Officer #2
Ciaran Cronin ...
Papo (as Juan Hernandez)
Nye Heron ...
Blind Man
Jason Salkey ...
Sara James ...
Papo's Girlfriend
Bob Gallico ...
Theatre Director
Assistant Theatre Director


Following the tragic death of their five-year-old son Frankie, Irish couple Johnny and Sarah Sullivan and their remaining two offspring, 10 year old Christy Sullivan and 5 year old Ariel Sullivan, emigrate illegally to the United States via Canada with little in their pockets. Their final destination is Manhattan where Johnny hopes to work as a stage actor. They move into a unit in a run town tenement housed primarily with drug addicts, transvestites and one tenant coined "the man who screams". They do whatever they can to eke out a supportive family environment in this difficult situation, the support which ultimately extends to those around them, most specifically "the screamer" who turns out to be an African-American artist named Mateo with AIDS. But the memory of Frankie hangs over the family in good and bad ways, especially as Sarah learns she's pregnant. Christy, who records their life's goings-on with her beloved camcorder, believes that the angel of Frankie has granted her ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexuality, drug references, brief violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






| |

Release Date:

6 February 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tierra de sueños  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£284,259 (UK) (31 October 2003)


$15,539,266 (USA) (4 June 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Jim Sheridan said in interview that the character of Frankie, the dead son, was based Frankie Sheridan, his late brother. The film is dedicated to this Frankie in closing credits. See more »


In the ball throwing scene at the carnival, as Johnny throws the last ball and the camera goes to a blurry slow-motion movement, you can see that the ball is still in his hand as it goes down yet a ball is seen entering the hole. See more »


[first lines]
Christy: [voiceover] There's some things you should wish for and some things you shouldn't. That's what my little brother Frankie told me. He told me I only had three wishes, and I looked into his eyes, and I don't know why I believed him.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Special thanks to ... staff and patients at Grangegorman, Dublin, ... residents of Parnell Street, Dublin ... See more »


Featured in 10th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (2004) See more »


When the Saints Go Marching In
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

25 October 2004 | by See all my reviews

I love this little film. I was pregnant at the time when I saw it with my husband who is from Ireland. We both enjoyed the film for it's romance, it's humanity, and qualities that were so earthy and yet somehow ethereal. It was both beautiful and moving--one of those rare finds that illuminates, truth, beauty, and the honesty that art can evoke. Art--especially the theater and cinema has the power to inspire and can be so powerful. This film is living proof of that. The film has an integrity and a quality of strength that few films ever capture. It is my dream to both create and perform in little films like this. I want to inspire and create something that makes a spiritual leap--something that lasts and endures for all time because of its quality of a diamond in the rough. If you want to see something a bit unusual, though provoking, emotional, and rare--see this film.

90 of 112 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
'Set in the 80s' just based on one thing? megacult88
Ireland and Canada not good enough for them? iannisbet
Health insurance situation not realistic downtownblah
Anachronistic flaw, movie sucks, etc... jalstroemeria
Sarah Bolger Advent_Delirium
Frankie's ghost? moodoom
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