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Raining Stones


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Product Details

  • Actors: Tom Hickey, George Moss, Ricky Tomlinson, Julie Brown, Bruce Jones
  • Directors: Ken Loach
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Koch Lorber Films
  • DVD Release Date: June 12, 2007
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000O76PXA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #384,832 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This Ken Loach film tells the story of a man devoted to his family and his religion. Proud, though poor, Bob wants his little girl to have a beautiful (and costly) brand-new dress for her First Communion. His stubbornness and determination get him into serious trouble as he turns to more and more questionable measures to raise the needed money. His desperation leads him to risk all that he loves and values, including his immortal soul and salvation.

Amazon.com

Raining Stones examines a couple mired in poverty with surprisingly dry humor and ironic wit. The film opens on two buddies, Bob (Bruce Jones) and Tommy (Ricky Tomlinson), kidnapping a sheep to kill in small town England to sell to the town butcher. When the butcher rejects the sheep, they try to pawn mutton legs off on drinkers in a nearby pub, with little success. From here, the viewer discovers that Bob Williams is set on buying his daughter a new first communion dress, rather than accepting one second-hand. Bob goes door-to-door asking neighbors for plumbing jobs, then resorts to criminal acts that endanger his understanding wife, Ann (Julie Brown), and daughter. When gangsters bust into Bob's apartment and steal Ann's wedding ring as collateral for Bob's debt, comic relief comes as they thrash the cookies she was previously baking. Right before Bob calls police, he visits the local priest, Father Barry (Tom Hickey), who hilariously burns Bob's evidence and convinces Bob to keep his crimes a secret. British director Ken Loach turns the most dejected scenes into the funniest. The dress metaphorically embodies Bob's stubborn pride, and his piety, though on a larger scale it represents those unattainable items that working class people in England lose sleep over. In this, Raining Stones is biting commentary meant to awaken those in financially empowered positions to unmet social responsibilities. --Trinie Dalton

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 24, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
I try not to miss a Ken Loach film. Unless I'm ignorant about films, I find few directors nowadays tackling the issues of working class life in our modern capitalist society. When I saw this not entirely unbiased (not necessarily a bad thing) film I felt it was about dignity and respect. In his struggle to provide his daughter with the proper attire for a communion, the worker-father turns it into a matter of principle although linked to survival. At least that's what I got out of it. Check out films by Mike Leigh, John Sayles, Michael Winterbottom.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By D I Jones on February 15, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
I'm biased. Two of my friends are in this film (Patrick and Anthony Warde) and a couple of scenes were set in their club.
That said, the film is realistic and set in real locations. Loach didn't have to build sets or work hard to convey the hopelessness of unemployment in a Northern town, the people and places did that for him. His talent is in bringing this to the screen and still giving the people the dignity they deserve as they struggle to make some kind of life in a post-industrial wasteland.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Larry from Brooklyn on December 6, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This Ken Loach film leads to the kind of shattering emotional climax that fans of Rossellini will understand at once. Stay with this even if you are alienated by the setting and seeming desperation of the characters; unlike many of Loach's films, it does not end up leaving one with a sense of deep moral despair.

If you are new to Loach, think of using English subtitles - but at the risk of losing something at the powerful climax. This is my favorite of all his films; I consider him a world class talent. Only Mike Leigh of the current generation of British filmakers is in his league.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Larry from Brooklyn on March 4, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a deeply passionate art film with the kind of political and social immediacy that makes it universal. It's a simple neo-realist situation, an unemployed father tries to get the money together for his daughter's communion dress and eventually is beholding to ruthless loansharks who threaten his family and his dignity as a person. The resulting emotional confrontation with the loanshark and and its denouement with a parish priest delivers the kind of emotional jolt and power that is rarely arrived at honestly in movies (think: Edge of the City or Ordet or Body and Soul or Beyond Rangoon). This is masterful filmmaking that enobles very humble people in domestic situations.
Loach is not for everyone, but with Mike Leigh, he is a genuine voice of blue-collar Britain. A note on the soundtrack: the Scottish accents and idiom are sometimes so thick, you may wish to play the English subtitles especially if you're watching with a bunch of friends.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Gyurisin on August 22, 2009
Format: DVD
"Raining Stones" is one of those films that initially looks like it is going to be painful to watch. The despair of the blue-collar English, working hard to make ends meet, the idea that religion is a part of the family, and a proud father willing to do anything for his daughter feels more like a Mike Leigh film than a Loach drama, but Loach stands up and demonstrates his ability to produce amazing cinema. It is a scene we have seen many times before, a father down on his luck with his family and life does anything (sewage, bounce, and sheep stealing) to provide a brand new dress for his daughter's first Communion. He is determined to give his daughter a memory she will always cherish, but he is also determined to prove his worth to his entire family. This is where the drama and real humanity of all Loach's characters begin to shine.

This didn't initially seem like a film worth watching, hesitantly I worried this would be one of those over dramatic family dramas that pulled everything out of you only to leave you bored, desensitized, and counting the final minutes - within the first ten minutes of Loach's film, I knew that I was wrong. To begin, our main protagonist, completely full of flaws, but boiling over with pride, captures your attention. Our patriarch, Bob (played delicately by Bruce Jones), is immediately recognizable and relatable. Loach gives him that blue-collar, everyman appeal that isn't sugar-coated or fabricated. The instances may seem episodic at times, but what happens to Bob is real. Add to this mix his devotion to the Catholic faith, and we have a powerfully well-rounded character that leads us in and out of difficult times. With Bob is his conscious, or voice of future, the unemployed Tommy creates this very sad world, but it isn't bleak.
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