7.0/10
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Evelyn (2002)

PG | | Drama | 25 December 2002 (USA)
1953. Desmond Doyle is devastated when his wife abandons their family on the day after Christmas. His unemployment and the fact that there is no woman in the house to care for the children,... See full summary »

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2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Niall Beagan ...
Hugh McDonagh ...
Maurice Doyle (as Hugh Macdonagh)
...
Mairead Devlin ...
...
Claire Mullan ...
Alvaro Lucchesi ...
Garrett Keogh ...
District Judge
Daithi O'Suilleabhain ...
Brother Eustace (as Daithi O'Suillebhain)
Andrea Irvine ...
...
Karen Ardiff ...
...
...
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Storyline

1953. Desmond Doyle is devastated when his wife abandons their family on the day after Christmas. His unemployment and the fact that there is no woman in the house to care for the children, Evelyn, Dermot and Maurice, make it clear to the authorities that his is an untenable situation. The Irish courts put the Doyle children into Church-run orphanages. Although a sympathetic judge assures Desmond that he'll get his children back after he gets a job, he learns there's another barrier. During that time, Evelyn suffers abuse while Desmond goes to court to get his children back. A barmaid, her brother, her suitor, and a tippling footballer become Desmond's team. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The story of a father's love that changed a nation

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic material and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

25 December 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Disputa  »

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$65,344 (USA) (13 December 2002)

Gross:

$1,368,343 (USA) (31 January 2003)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Decades later, widespread shocking revelations and allegations about the extent of the abuse of children in the care of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, during this time in the 1950s, among other decades, and Religious organizations, have since given this film a much darker undercurrent than originally intended. See more »

Goofs

Though set in Dublin, all the establishing shots clearly show the city of Cork which bears no resemblance to Dublin. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dermot Doyle: Evelyn, did Jesus have a big sister?
Evelyn Doyle: No Dermot, he wasn't as lucky as you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Thanks to the residents of Whelen and O'Rahilly houses. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Evelyn: Behind the Scenes (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Sitting on Top of the World
Written by Van Morrison (as Morrison)
Performed by Van Morrison
Courtesy of Exile Productions Ltd.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Very Touching, Involving Story
24 August 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a wonderful movie.

I admit this movie is manipulative, and probably exaggerated for purposes of drama, but what based-on-a-true story movies aren't? At least it goes after the right things: a father having custody of his kids, rather than them being forced to live in an "institution."

The story is based a true situation in the mid 1950s Ireland in which, in the end, the Irish Constitution was amended because of this case. "Desmond Doyle" (Pierce Brosnan) is the loving father whose wife runs off one day with another man, leaving him with three little kids and little visible means of support. Since he didn't have enough finances, the government makes the kids wards of the state and places them in Catholic schools-homes (institutions?).

On that Catholic, or "religious," angle, you get a lot of positive and negative scenes here. You have a bad, nasty almost sadistic nun "Sister Brigid," but the others are fine caring ladies, as they should be. Overall, however, you see a lot of faith portrayed in this film and it's mostly good. Of course, that faith was more out in the open in the '50s than today, but it was inspiring to see in many parts.

Brosnan is excellent in the lead role, a man everyone can identify with: a loving but flawed man. He drinks too much, he swears, he doesn't have a steady job but he has great heart and has great determination to the right thing. One has no trouble rooting for him in this story. I think it's the best role he has ever played, far better than his superficial James Bond or thieves roles he normally plays.But nobody hits you as emotionally as little Evelyn (Sophie Vavasseur), one of Doyle's three kids and the one that is focused upon here. (The two little brothers are not given much screen time, for some reason.) Brosnan's allies in here - the two lawyers (played by Stephen Rea and Aiden Quinn) are likable as is Alan Bates who plays a rugged ex-barrister who winds up helping the team. Bates might have had the best role for the supporting actors.

This is such an involving story, one that you really care about the people, it can bring a tear or two in the end, but what's wrong with that? When you are finished watching this film, you feel good.


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