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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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)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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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

Slippery Sam is the greyhound who wins the race. See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

The Holly and the Ivy Girl
(Traditional)
Performed by The Cór Na Nog Rté Choir
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
One man vs Ireland
13 March 2004 | by (Nashville,TN) – See all my reviews

This is the story of how Desmond Doyle fought the Irish government to have his children (Evelyn, Dermot, and Maurice) released back into his custody. After his wife desserts him, leaving behind the children also, the government takes his children until such a time as the unmarried, currently unemployed Desi "can improve his circumstances". Much to his naive and broken heart's dismay, he later realizes that once the government has them, it intends to keep them from living in a paternal, one parent home. It tells the story of this man's journey becoming a better man and father. It also tells the story of the incidents behind the over turning of an unconstitutional law which had never been successfully challenged. Played brilliantly by Pierce Brosnan (who was born in Ireland) with Alan Bates taking on the role of the ex-barrister (retired) who changed the course of Irish family history. Sophie Vavasseur does an excellent job in the title role of Evelyn. Not over played or pretentious, this is a quiet must see for those who like to see real life with some happy endings.


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