7.8/10
23,518
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:

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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

In the beginning, a man plays a Taylor acoustic guitar. Taylor Guitars was established in 1974. 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

Referenced in Jack Taylor: The Magdalen Martyrs (2011) 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

 
From my experience with nuns - a somewhat restrained film
8 December 2010 | by See all my reviews

The Magdelene Sisters is a good portrayal of the very real behaviour of nuns. I am English and emigrated to Canada with my family. I attended a catholic school which was run by these social misfits, and from my very first day, I was persecuted for the following crimes: I had a short hair cut, my hand writing was not neat, I did not know the words to the Canadian national anthem, I had an English accent, I was good at drawing, I failed to smile at the right time during assembly, I slipped on some ice in the school grounds and hurt myself. etc., etc., etc. I was hit countless times during my few months there - before I left the horrible place. I was constantly referred to as "the green horn Englishman",mocked and imitated because of my accent, and belittled because I didn't know the Canadian national anthem, which we were required to sing every morning before lessons began - (I'd only been in the country weeks - I soon learned it). I was kept behind after school regularly because my handwriting was "unacceptable", causing me to miss my bus home (I had a long way to travel). I was once hit across the back of my head with the words "you write like a boy, you talk like a boy - you even look like a boy". I was eight years old. My sister, who was ten, received remarkably similar treatment. I was terrified to tell my parents because I thought they would speak to the nuns and I would be worse off. Instead they thankfully took my sister and me out of school after she admitted what was going on. I have nothing but contempt for these people. I feel that anything which exposes them as they really are can only be of value to society, above all, for the protection of children.


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