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The McCourts of Limerick [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Alphie McCourt, Frank McCourt, Malachy McCourt, Mike McCourt
  • Directors: Conor McCourt
  • Writers: Conor McCourt
  • Producers: Conor McCourt
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: New Video Group
  • VHS Release Date: January 26, 1999
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0767012577
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #371,677 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

In keeping with the enduring spirit of Frank McCourt's phenomenal bestseller Angela's Ashes, this hour-long documentary is literally a family affair. It's really a home movie, directed by Conor McCourt, the son of Frank's brother Malachy, that has been made public for the many fans of Frank's book and Malachy's own acclaimed memoir, A Monk Swimming. That the film has an amateurish quality in both sound and image only enhances its value as a personal document of primary importance to the McCourts themselves but equally interesting for anyone with a fondness for all things Irish. Through interviews and personal anecdotes, we quickly learn that the four surviving McCourt brothers (Frank, Malachy, Michael, and Alphonsus) are a stalwart bunch, having weathered a family history that is quintessentially Irish. Embittered by an uncaring Catholic church and by the absence of their irresponsible father, they lived with their hardy but chronically depressed mother with an equal blend of abject misery and joyful adventure. (At one point, a tearful Frank later describes this lifestyle as "suffering with good humor" when recalling the indomitable vitality of his neighbors in the town of Limerick.) They were "laners," so-called for their residence on the poverty-stricken lanes of Limerick, where your next meal was never guaranteed and the women known as "shawlies" (so named for their dark shawls) were forced to plead to justify their meager assistance payments.

Three of the seven McCourt children died while still very young--"sheer ignorance" being the cause of their preventable illness, according to Frank. Angela never fully recovered from the loss, and her husband's selfish disappearance into a life of perpetual youth left her to persevere as best she could. But The McCourts of Limerick is far from being a chronicle of sadness; indeed, humor is abundant throughout the film, and each of the brothers has a gift for telling wonderful stories from their eventful pasts. What emerges from this heartfelt, highly personal portrait is a sense of lives well lived, of deep, abiding love throughout the hardship and pain, and a rich appreciation for the kinds of people who, as Frank observes, were able to make "poetic statements about their plight." --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 4, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
"The McCourts of Limerick" is a no-holds-barred, raw, yet deeply personal journey back into the youths of the brothers McCourt. The film's cinematography and emotional sincerity made me feel as though I was actually walking hand-in-hand with my grandfather through the streets of his native village. The laughter, tears, sighs and grins of Frank, Malachy, Michael & Alphie remind viewers of how truly tragic the past century has been for the Irish as a community and how, through love and God-given humor, they have triumphed. The McCourt men are true messengers; Their lessons are both informative and entertaining. The film is a must-have for anyone seeking an understanding into the pain and suffering that drives their Irish ancestors to the point of unstoppable determination and benevolence. Long live the Irish gift for telling it like it is! Slainte!
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By David L. Black on September 21, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
If you are Irish and have already read Angela's Ashes,you must see this video. I have almost become a McCourt Groupie and I really liked this documentry. The film answers some of the questions that I had when I read the book. Have a go at it db
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 21, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
This video provides a peek into the lives of brothers, authors, and story-tellers Frank, Malachy, Mike, and Alphie McCourt. They recount their childhood dreams and poverty-stricken reality in this 90 minute documentary directed and produced by Malachy's son Connor McCourt. This is an extrodinary video that leaves the viewer in tears from both the humorous and heart-breaking tale of four boys struggling in the lanes of Limerick with an dead-beat alcoholic father, a strong and noble mother, and the deaths of three siblings. This is a must-see for fans of Angela's Ashes and A Monk Swimming!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Karen Foreman on March 14, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
I haven't read Frank's books but the video immediately grabbed my attention as I tried to sort out the various brothers and timelines.

Superior to the following "McCourts of New York," the brothers opened up to the nephew in terms of their upbringing, how their street geography defined their view of the world, & great slips of past plays.

I particularly loved Frank's story of stealing apples on base and how the American soldiers threatened to execute the starving boys who couldn't work up the nerve to ask for jam or butter on their bread as a "last meal."

Also Malachy's tearful story of their father and a faerie spring was touching and gave a glimpse of a truly magical episode. Even more heart rendering was the story of their mother anticipating his increasingly infrequent returns.

This isn't on Netflix so I would definitely reccomend checking this out.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By K. Farrell on September 20, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
If you are a fan of the McCourt literary legacy, then you will definately want to add this to your collection. It is an informative, thoughtful, and touching film that is sure to add to the whole McCourt experience.
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