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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 »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Niall Beagan ...
Hugh McDonagh ...
Maurice Doyle (as Hugh Macdonagh)
Mairead Devlin ...
Charlotte Doyle
Claire Mullan ...
Mrs. Daisley
Alvaro Lucchesi ...
Garrett Keogh ...
Daithi O'Suilleabhain ...
Brother Eustace (as Daithi O'Suillebhain)
Andrea Irvine ...
Sister Theresa
Karen Ardiff ...
Sister Felicity
Father O'Malley


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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:


| | | |


Release Date:

25 December 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Disputa  »


Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$65,344, 15 December 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,483,975, 4 May 2003
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (TV)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Several 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 »


When the camera pans on to the accordionist it shows the accordionist playing a Saltarelle accordion which were only produced from 1984 onwards. See more »


[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 »


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

Pierce Brosnan can act!
4 December 2003 | by See all my reviews

I have to admit, I was skeptical and anxious to see Pierce Brosnan in a serious dramatic role. His characters are usually very debonair and have an air of superiority about them that makes him seem to be better than the rest of us. I was pleasantly surprised seeing his true to life performance as Desmond Doyle an unemployed father of two boys and a girl named Evelyn. Evelyn is the eldest of the three children and has a special bond with her father which is the basis of the whole movie. Pierce Brosnan plays his character with a delicacy and dedication in which you the viewer completely forget him as Pierce Brosnan and start to really believe that this is a documentary type movie and not a Hollywood production. As Pierce Brosnan is Irish by birth it is not surprising how well he can pull off a moderate Irish accent but it is still a bit shocking considering how English he usually seems when he is seen on-screen. Stephen Rea, Alan Bates, Aidan Quinn and Juliana Margulies round out the rest of the adult cast and all put in performances that are worthy of their talents. Juliana Margulies being an American born actress is able to portray an Irish woman with accent very convincingly. This movie is without a doubt one of the better films of 2002, it is unfortunate that it was not widely known as a potential Oscar favorite.

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