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The Magdalene Sisters
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The Magdalene Sisters (2002) More at IMDbPro »

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The Magdalene Sisters -- A stirring, must-see motion picture critics called one of the best films of the year, THE MAGDALENE SISTERS is the triumphant story of three extraordinary women whose courage to defy a century of injustice would inspire a nation!
The Magdalene Sisters -- Trailer
The Magdalene Sisters -- US Home Video Trailer from Buena Vista Home Entertainment


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Down 8% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Peter Mullan (written by)
View company contact information for The Magdalene Sisters on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
29 August 2003 (USA) See more »
In a place that defied belief their only hope was each other. See more »
Three young Irish women struggle to maintain their spirits while they endure dehumanizing abuse as inmates of a Magdalene Sisters Asylum. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for BAFTA Film Award. Another 18 wins & 13 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Dirty washing in public See more (189 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Geraldine McEwan ... Sister Bridget

Anne-Marie Duff ... Margaret

Nora-Jane Noone ... Bernadette

Dorothy Duffy ... Rose / Patricia

Eileen Walsh ... Crispina

Mary Murray ... Una
Britta Smith ... Katy

Frances Healy ... Sister Jude
Eithne McGuinness ... Sister Clementine
Phyllis MacMahon ... Sister Augusta (as Phyllis McMahon)
Rebecca Walsh ... Josephine

Eamonn Owens ... Eamonn

Chris Patrick-Simpson ... Brendan (as Chris Simpson)
Sean Colgan ... Seamus
Daniel Costello ... Father Fitzroy
Kate Christie ... Dormitory Girl
Alison Goldie ... Dormitory Girl
Jemma Heath ... Dormitory Girl
Anita Hyslop ... Dormitory Girl
Marianne McGill ... Dormitory Girl
Leonna McGilligan ... Dormitory Girl
Claire McKenzie ... Dormitory Girl
Claire Murray ... Dormitory Girl
Lynsey Robson ... Dormitory Girl
Mariann Taylor ... Dormitory Girl
Julie Austin ... Theresa
Deirdre Davis ... Margaret's Mother
Ian Hanmore ... Margaret's Father
Pol McAdam ... Band Member at Wedding
Sean McDonagh ... Kevin
Sean Mackin ... Priest at Wedding
David Muldrew ... Band Member at Wedding
Ciaran Owens ... Young Eamonn
Kevin Shields ... Band Member at Wedding
Ashley Conroy ... Sonia

Pauline Goldsmith ... Mrs. Barton
Leanne Henderson ... Amy
Stephen Mallon ... Orphanage Boy 1
Jim Murray ... Orphanage Boy 2
Christopher Sheridan ... Orphanage Boy 3
Maureen Allan ... Rose's Mother
Laurie Ventry ... Father Doonigan
Jim Walsh ... Rose's Father
Fran Brennan ... Garda Sergeant
Gemma Burns ... Ruby
Daniel Emerson ... Crispina's Son - 2
Tracy Kearney ... Crispina's Sister

Stephen McCole ... Young Man in Car
Gareth Milne ... Psychiatric Nurse

Peter Mullan ... Mr. O'Connor
Julie Wilson Nimmo ... Girl with Baby (as Julie Nimmo)
Nick Powell ... Psychiatric Nurse
Allan Sharpe ... Archbishop
Callum Smith ... Crispina's Son - 1
Flynn Turner ... Crispina's Son - 3 (as Fynn Turner)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Leo Horsfield ... Groom (uncredited)

Directed by
Peter Mullan 
Writing credits
Peter Mullan (written by)

Produced by
Ed Guiney .... executive producer
Frances Higson .... producer
Paddy Higson .... line producer
Andrea Occhipinti .... executive producer: Eyescreen
Rod Stoneman .... executive producer: The Irish Film Board
Paul Trijbits .... executive producer
Alan J. Wands .... co-producer (as Alan J. 'Willy' Wands)
Original Music by
Craig Armstrong 
Cinematography by
Nigel Willoughby (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Colin Monie 
Casting by
Lenny Mullan 
Production Design by
Mark Leese 
Art Direction by
Caroline Grebbell 
Jean Kerr 
Costume Design by
Trisha Biggar 
Makeup Department
Candice Banks .... additional makeup artist
Carol Chambers .... additional makeup artist
Kate Elliot-Muir .... additional makeup artist (as Kate Elliot Muir)
Sindy Hely .... additional makeup artist
Dianne Jamieson .... makeup designer
Sylvie Francoise Kurz .... additional makeup artist
Fiona Maynard .... makeup artist
Catherine Muir .... additional makeup artist
Carole Reid .... makeup work experience
Karen Scott .... makeup trainee
Catherine Shirley .... additional makeup artist
Meg Speirs .... additional makeup artist
Stephanie Wedge .... makeup artist
Tracey Wells .... makeup artist
Production Management
Janet Riddoch .... production manager (as Janet S. Riddoch)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jill Dempsey .... second second assistant director: crowd
David Gilchrist .... first assistant director
Tommy Gormley .... additional first assistant director
Elaine Mackenzie .... third assistant director (as Elaine MacKenzie)
Michael Queen .... second assistant director
Susan Radcliffe .... trainee assistant director
Katie Rennie .... trainee assistant director
Art Department
Evelyn Barbour .... additional cash buyer
Mat Bergel .... stand-by props
Sandy Borthwick .... chargehand
Sandy Borthwick .... painter
Phil Bowen .... construction manager
Duncan Burns .... stagehand
Tristan Carlisle-Kitz .... stand-by props
Paul Cowan .... laborer
Stewart Cunningham .... dressing props
Sam Curren .... additional painter
Laura Donnelly .... assistant art director
Bobby Gee .... stand-by painter
Angus Gentleman .... additional props
Ewan Gillespie .... additional carpenter
Alec Graham .... additional carpenter
Jane Harvie .... apprentice painter
Emma Henderson .... cash buyer
Christopher Higson .... supervising carpenter (as Chris Higson)
John Hughes .... painter
Piero Jamieson .... additional props
Scott Keery .... props master
William Maxwell .... carpenter
Duncan McDevitt .... dressing props
Elaine McLenachan .... production buyer
Dennis Murphy .... carpenter
Alan Reid .... storyboard artist
Alex Robertson .... stand-by carpenter
David Weatherstone .... additional props
Rhona Wilson .... dressing props
Dawn Youll .... apprentice plasterer
Sound Department
Alan Collins .... sound facility manager: ardmore sound
Tony Cook .... boom operator
Felicity Cottrell .... foley artist
Debbie Dingwall .... additional boom operator
David Donaldson .... sound engineer
David Donaldson .... sound programming
Robert Farr .... adr re-recordist
Robert Farr .... foley re-recordist
John Fitzgerald .... sound re-recording mixer
Kahl Henderson .... dialogue editor
Tom Johnson .... sound re-recording mixer
Gayle Learmonth .... sound trainee
Douglas MacDougall .... supervising sound editor
Sandy Miller .... additional boom operator
Colin Nicolson .... sound recordist
Chris Sinclair .... foley editor
Ruth Sullivan .... foley artist
Special Effects by
Steve Breheney .... special effects supervisor (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Giles Livesey .... digital film colorist (uncredited)
Gareth Milne .... stunt performer
Nick Powell .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
David Bourke .... best boy
James Bourke .... rigging electricians mate
Charlie Crawford .... unit photographer
Bonnie Dempsey .... clapper loader
Andrew Ford .... camera operator: "b" camera
Alick Fraser .... focus puller: "b" camera
Tom Gates .... gaffer
Chris Gilbertson .... additional electrician
Katharine Higgs .... camera trainee
Alan Maxwell .... focus puller: "b" camera
Mickey May .... electrician
Drew Meldon .... key grip
Paul Murphy .... additional electrician
Sam Osborne .... focus puller
Ross Pearson .... stand-by rigger
Tim Proctor .... grip: "b" camera
Glenda Rome .... clapper loader: "b" camera
Jamie Summers .... electrician
Tony Wilcock .... rigging gaffer (as Tony Wilcocks)
Lorna Will .... camera operator: "b" camera
Casting Department
Victoria Beattie .... additional casting assistant (as Vicky Beattie)
Kara Johnston .... casting assistant
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Lee Dickson .... costume junior
Frank Gallacher .... additional costume assistant
Irene Godfrey .... costume assistant
Arnalie Harper Gow .... additional costume assistant (as Amalie Harper Gow)
Anne Matheson .... additional costume assistant
Tracy McGregor .... additional costume assistant
Michael Mooney .... costume supervisor
Marnie Ormiston .... key costumer
Claire Pettifer .... costume assistant
Ailsa Rendell .... additional costume junior
Alex Watherston .... additional costume assistant
Editorial Department
Giles Burgess .... first assistant film editor
Yvonne McDonald .... negative checker
Sonya Scott .... post-production secretary
Music Department
Craig Armstrong .... conductor
Craig Armstrong .... music arranger
Matt Dunkley .... additional orchestrator
Matt Dunkley .... conductor: Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Emma Ford .... music supervisor
Geoff Foster .... orchestra recordist
Geoff Foster .... score recordist
Royal Scottish National Orchestra .... orchestra
Transportation Department
Darren Bell .... facilities driver: Aeroshoot
Colin Crosbie .... unit driver
Gary Forsyth .... driver: camera truck
Graham Gordon .... driver: props
Graham Harrison .... facilities driver: Aeroshoot
David Love .... facilities driver: Aeroshoot
Gareth Reeve .... unit driver
Gordon Shillinglaw .... unit driver
Charlie Simpson .... facilities driver: Aeroshoot
Philip Twinberrow .... unit driver
Other crew
Helle Absalonsen .... working crew: Digital Film Lab
Vicci Allen .... working crew: Digital Film Lab (as Vicci Allan)
Beth Armstrong .... unit nurse
Mike Bolam .... location scout
Laurence Byrne .... trainee accountant
Susan Cairney .... unit nurse
Sarah Carswell .... production trainee
Gillian Clyde .... business affairs: Film Council's New Cinema Fund
John Cooney .... security: Atlas Security (as John Cooney)
Eric D'Souza .... working crew: Digital Film Lab (as Eric d'Souza)
Mark Devlin .... production coordinator
Brendan Diver .... caterer: Thistle Catering
Larry Eydmann .... health and safety advisor
Emma Ford .... assistant: Craig Armstrong
Helen Game .... chaperone
Cara Gavigan .... location scout (as Kara Gavigan)
David Havard .... insurance: AON
Carol-Anne Henderson .... pre-production assistant
Michael Higson .... location scout
John Hinchliffe .... working crew: Digital Film Lab (as John Hinschliffe)
Vince Holden .... production finance: Film Council's New Cinema Fund
Steve Humphries .... director: "Sex in a Cold Climate" which inspired this movie
Steve Humphries .... producer: "Sex in a Cold Climate" which inspired this movie
Christine Hunter .... unit nurse
Jacqueline Hurt .... lawyer: Olswang
Stephen Kane .... religious advisor
Jim Kerr .... developed with the financial assistance of
John Kirkham .... unit nurse
Robbie Kirkpatrick .... location assistant
Kris Kolodziejski .... working crew: Digital Film Lab
Susie Liggat .... physical production executive: Film Council's New Cinema Fund
Giles Livesey .... working crew: Digital Film Lab
Andrew Lowe .... business affairs: Temple Films
Barbara Lynch .... production secretary
Phyllis MacMahon .... religious advisor (as Phyllis McMahon)
Lucy Marr .... assistant accountant
Mark McBride .... production runner
Jill McCullough .... voice coach: Geraldine McEwan
Kenny McGhee .... unit nurse (as Kenny McGee)
Margaret McGowan .... chaperone
John McKain .... production accountant
Bronagh Murphy .... trainee script supervisor
Jim O'Donnell .... unit nurse
Michael Osborne .... additional runner
Frederico Piacentini .... caterer: Thistle Catering
Pat Rambaut .... script supervisor
Les Reilly .... caterer: Thistle Catering
Malcolm Ritchie .... financial executive: PFP Films
Andreas Rostock .... working crew: Digital Film Lab
Jessica Rundle .... pre-production assistant
Scott Russell .... caterer: Thistle Catering
Sam Smith .... working crew: Digital Film Lab
Richard Starkey .... unit nurse
Beverley Syme .... location manager
Alex Usborne .... production executive: Film Council's New Cinema Fund
Susan Waddell .... lawyer: Olswang
Jenny Williams .... pre-production assistant
Neil Ballantyne .... thanks: Summerlee Heritage Centre
John Booth .... thanks
David Brown .... thanks
Sonia Butterworth .... thanks
Leonard Crooks .... special thanks: Glasgow Film Office (as Lenny Crooks)
Belle Doyle .... thanks
Andrew Eaton .... thanks
Mike Fagan .... thanks
Jim Guthrie .... thanks
Graham Hawkins .... thanks
Jeffrey Honneiker .... thanks
Mags Horspool .... thanks (as Mags Horsepool)
Matt Hume .... thanks: Summerlee Heritage Centre
Mary Keane .... thanks
Darren Longthorne .... thanks
Ray Marston .... thanks (as Ray Marsden)
Eddie McGee .... thanks
Tracey McGee .... thanks
Celine McHugh .... thanks
Robert McNeilly .... thanks
Alexander Murray .... thanks
Irene Napier .... thanks
Claire Paterson .... thanks
Eddie Robinson .... thanks
Bob Robison .... thanks
Jane Roche .... thanks
Carole Sheridan .... thanks
Ian Somerville .... thanks
Bill Summers .... thanks
Ann Swan .... thanks
Katrin Swan .... thanks
Mairi Swan .... thanks
Paddy Swan .... thanks
Claire Wiles .... thanks: VFG
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for violence/cruelty, nudity, sexual content and language
119 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Peter Mullan has remarked that the film was initially made because victims of Magdalene Asylums had no closure. They had not received any recognition, compensation, or apology, and many remained lifelong devout Catholics.See more »
Plot holes: 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 in some six years.See more »
[first lines]
Margaret:Well, what is it you're wanting to show me? Come on, Kevin, what's the secret?
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Jack Taylor: The Magdalen Martyrs (2011) (TV)See more »
The Well Below the ValleySee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
30 out of 36 people found the following review useful.
Dirty washing in public, 4 March 2006
Author: Arthur Crown from United Kingdom

Peter Mullan's (2002) film is based primarily upon the TV documentary 'Sex in a Cold Climate' by Steve Humphries which was first aired on RTE (Ireland) and BBC (England) in 1998. The documentary records the recollections of four Irish women who spent their youth and a good proportion of their adult lives as involuntary guests of uncompromising Roman Catholic nuns.

The film is set in a particular example of this institution which, somewhat akin to the English workhouses of the late 19th and early 20th century, became established in Ireland after the Second World War. The Magdelene Laundries took their name from the biblical figure of Mary Magdalene, a 'fallen woman' whom Christ befriended.

We join the main heroines of the movie - Margarette (Anne-Marie Duff), Bernadette (Norah-Jane No one), Rose (Dorothy Duffy) and Crispina (Eileen Walsh) in cameo as their entrance scholarships for the Magdelene Laundry are being sat.

What's most uncomfortable about this part of the movie, is trying to work out what's going on. Trying to work out what it is that's being whispered and what will be the upshot of it, and why. At first, it seems like the soundtrack of the film and the contrast have failed. But before long, it becomes obvious that the soundtrack of the film and the contrast have succeeded. The dark and deafening silence surrounding the circumstances under which these young women are being consigned to the unwelcome stewardship of the Magdalene Sisters comes through loud and muted.

We follow their induction into the laundry by Sister Bridget (Geraldine McEwan), ably assisted by the Sisters Jude (Frances Healy), Clemantine (Eithne McGuinness) and Augusta (Phyllis MacMahon) who contrive with formally celibate gentlemen like Father Fitzroy (Daniel Costello) to represent a world in which God's greatest ideal is achieved through punishment and penitence.

As the film progresses, we begin to understand why it is no accident that these institutions should have been laundries. They could - after all - have been bakeries, dairies, canneries or places where mailbags are sewn.

With every garment that passes through the process, unmentionable filth is cleansed - if the Sisters are to be believed. And if the Sisters are to be believed, the sins of the teenagers and the route to Heaven is bound up in hot water, salt and flagellation.

And as we follow these unsaintly girls on their hapless journey, we finally learn that salvation is as straightforward as a letter we are not privileged to read and a brother who arrives with a suitcase - as if there is anything that anybody could possibly want to carry away from a place like this.

This film is a powerful elegy to the suffering of these unfortunate girls who, constrained to silence for so long, have finally found a voice.

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