7.8/10
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193 user 156 critic

The Magdalene Sisters (2002)

R | | Drama | 29 August 2003 (USA)
Three young Irish women struggle to maintain their spirits while they endure dehumanizing abuse as inmates of a Magdalene Sisters Asylum.

Director:

Writer:

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ON DISC
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 18 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Una
Britta Smith ...
Frances Healy ...
Sister Jude
Eithne McGuinness ...
Sister Clementine
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Sister Augusta (as Phyllis McMahon)
Rebecca Walsh ...
...
Eamonn
Chris Patrick-Simpson ...
Brendan (as Chris Simpson)
Sean Colgan ...
Seamus
Daniel Costello ...
Father Fitzroy
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Storyline

A thoroughly mind-provoking film about 3 young women who, under tragic circumstances, see themselves cast away to a Magdalene Asylum for young women in 1964. One of many like institutions, the asylums are run like prisons and young girls are forced to do workhouse laundry and hard labor. The asylum, one of many that existed in theocratic Catholic Ireland, is for supposedly 'fallen' women. Here, young girls are imprisoned indefinitely and endure agonizing punishments and a long, harsh working system which leaves them physically drained and mentally damaged. As the girls bond together, it soon becomes clear that the only way out of the Magdalene convent is to escape, but with twisted Sister Bridget running the wing, any chances seem limited... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In a place that defied belief their only hope was each other. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence/cruelty, nudity, sexual content and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

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Release Date:

29 August 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die unbarmherzigen Schwestern  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£88,315 (United Kingdom), 1 November 2002, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$84,553, 3 August 2003, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,890,878, 23 November 2003

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$15,722,258, 6 November 2003
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film shows the asylum experimenting with washing machines. The widespread adaptation of the household appliance would become a significant factor to the asylums' economic viability being fatally undermined and led to their ultimate closure. See more »

Goofs

When Margaret's brother shows up to take his sister home, he not only knows his way around the facility, but knows exactly which room everyone is in, despite having never set foot in the place. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Margaret: Well, what is it you're wanting to show me? Come on, Kevin, what's the secret?
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Crazy Credits

Thanks to ... Andy and Marco at Edit-Hire Post Production Services ... all at the Glasgow Film Theatre ... Lee at Lynx ... all the gardeners ... the people of Dumfries ... and all at VFG. See more »

Connections

Featured in The 2004 IFP/West Independent Spirit Awards (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
(uncredited)
Traditional Christmas carol
Sung off-screen by an unidentified man (possibly Ford Kiernan) with chorus
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User Reviews

The wardens were dressed as nuns, and the inmates were only children.
9 August 2004 | by See all my reviews

'The Magdalene Sisters' would be a preposterous story, were it not factual. The actual names and circumstances appear to have been changed for the screenplay, but the original 50-minute documentary, filmed likely in the mid 1990s, tells us that everything, and more, happened to these children, virtually imprisoned for such things as having a child out of wedlock, or being sexually assaulted, or simply happening to look pretty. With no way out, they were forced to work long hours for no pay, operating the Magdalene Sisters' commercial laundry business, the last one until 1996. As one character, the old nun, explains, a strong Ireland requires that its men remain strong, so we have to remove temptation. The critic Ebert has a complete review. The only relevant "extra" on the DVD is the documentary, which features old photos and film, plus remarkable interviews with ladies who had been in a Magdalene Sisters asylum in the 1940s through the 1960s, including the three ladies around whom the movie's three main characters were built. A very gripping movie, well-acted.


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