7.8/10
23,885
193 user 157 critic

The Magdalene Sisters (2002)

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

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Writer:

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Sister Bridget
... Margaret
... Bernadette
... Rose / Patricia
... Crispina
... Una
Britta Smith ... Katy
Frances Healy ... Sister Jude
Eithne McGuinness ... Sister Clementine
... Sister Augusta (as Phyllis McMahon)
Rebecca Walsh ... Josephine
... Eamonn
... 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

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

Version of Sex in a Cold Climate (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

The Well Below the Valley
(uncredited)
Traditional Irish folksong
Sung by the priest at the wedding
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User Reviews

Very disturbing, very well made, very unfortunate story
4 October 2010 | by See all my reviews

As already well noted, this is a very well crafted film that captures and portrays some of the lowest possibilities of human endeavour. The movie has it's flaws, but drawing empathy from the viewer is not one of them and this it does so well that I was emotionally exhausted by the end of it.

The religious dimension of the film is an interesting one. Clearly people wanting opportunity for anti-Catholic or anti-religious diatribe would find plenty of fuel here, but I think the more reasonable viewer (religious or not) would see the issues raised for what they are - a perversion and distortion of Christian faith perpetuated and maintained by flawed institutional systems. In this vein, it's not necessarily an anti-religious film and not even anti-establishment as such, but it does show a terrible side of those things and, moreover, illustrate how human beings can take any ideology, belief system etc. and turn it to meet their own personal sadistic and evil ends.

A sad and horrible film and one that reminds us all of what not do to, how not to treat people and how we should be ever vigilant as a society against evil and cruelty no matter the guise it takes.


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