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Closing the Ring

4.0 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From Academy Award-winning director Richard Attenborough (Gandhi) comes this sweeping romance starring Shirley MacLaine (Terms of Endearment), Christopher Plummer (A Beautiful Mind), Mischa Barton (TV's The O.C.), and Neve Campbell (The Company). Moving seemlessly through time, this lush epic follows a beautiful 1940's Michigan girl (Barton) secretly married to a WWII pilot who crashes in the hills near Belfast, Ireland. 50 years later his wedding ring resurfaces -- along with the smoldering secrets that have kept the widow (MacLaine), her estranged daughter (Campbell) and devoted friend (Plummer) each from finding true love.

Amazon.com

A love story spanning more than five decades, Closing the Ring may appeal to fans of The Notebook. Academy Award-winning director Richard Attenborough (Ghandi) utilizes shifting time frames to tell the story of Ethel Ann and WWII fighter pilot Teddy. The two fall madly in love and secretly marry in a sweet ceremony that is destined for tragedy. When Teddy's plane is shot down in Belfast, he is discovered by an Irish boy who makes a promise to the dying soldier--he will return the wedding band to Teddy's young widow in the United States. Flash forward to the 1990s: An elderly Ethel Ann (Shirley MacLaine) is at her husband Chuck's funeral. He was never the love of her life and Ethel Ann had always lived her life full of "what ifs." Her grieving daughter Marie (Neve Campbell) notices the void, but can't comprehend why her mother has never been happy. When Teddy's wedding band is finally returned to Ethel Ann--50 years after his death--the memento opens up a floodgate of emotions, and Ethel Ann is able to get some closure on a part of her life that she has tried so hard to both forget and remember. As a family friend points out to Marie, "Everybody needs to cry, and your mother never did." At times slow and uneven, Closing the Ring rings true in the modern-day vignettes. MacLaine is exquisite in her role, as is Christopher Plummer as a longtime friend. But when the scenes flash back to the 1940s, the younger actors don't share the same on-screen chemistry or charisma. Mischa Barton is beautiful as the young Ethel Ann, but her moments with Stephen Amell (as Teddy) are a little forced. Campbell brings intelligence and gravity to her role, but is underused in the film. Viewers can't help wonder how different the tone of the movie may have been had she been cast as the younger Ethel Ann. --Jae-Ha Kim

Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Shirley MacLaine, Christopher Plummer, Mischa Barton
  • Directors: Richard Attenborough
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: The Weinstein Company
  • DVD Release Date: January 27, 2009
  • Run Time: 117 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001DJ7PSC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,720 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Closing the Ring" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Catherine Mcshane on January 7, 2009
Format: DVD
I watched this film online and, since it appeared to be a low-budget film, I didn't expect very much, but as soon as Shirley MacLaine appeared, the power of the film became much more intense. Seeing her in this role reminded me of how moving she is on screen. I didn't realize until the credits came up that the film had been directed by Richard Attenborough. Shirley MacLaine makes this film worth watching. Christopher Plummer has an emotional scene that surprised me. And Martin McCann's performance was exceptional. I never expected to enjoy it as much as I did.
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Format: DVD
I picked up this movie as a rental the other day, mainly because it was directed by Sir Richard Attenborough, but also because it had Shirley Maclaine and Christopher Plummer in it. I was very pleased with the movie - it is a poignant story that deals with the themes of love, loss, redemption and healing.

The story begins with a memorial for WW II vet, Chuck Norris in a small town in the US. His daughter Marie [Neve Campbell] is grief-stricken but her mother, Chuck's widow Ethel [Shirley Maclaine] seems unmoved and casually smokes outside the funeral hall. She is joined by Chuck's good friend Jack [Christopher Plummer] and we are taken back via flashback to the 1940s when Ethel[Mischa Barton] was a young girl in love with Teddy [Stephen Amell] and whose close friends are Jack [Gregory Smith] and Chuck [David Alpay]. All three men are in love with Ethel, but it's Teddy who wins Ethel's heart. When WW II begins, the boys go off to war, but not before a secret marriage between Ethel and Teddy. When Teddy gets killed in action whilst flying over Belfast,Ireland Ethel is grief-stricken and comforted by Jack and Chuck.

Back in the present, Ethel finds herself reminiscing about the past to herself, but is surly and silent with her daughter Marie who is bewildered by her mother's lack of grieving over Chuck's death. It is only when a young Irish lad Jimmy [Martin McCann] finds the gold wedding ring belonging to Teddy on Black Mountain in Belfast and contacts Ethel, that the past starts to unravel and Ethel finds herself having to confront some hard truths, including some surprising revelations.

The story itself flows well and the plot is cohesive.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I don't know why this great movie wasn't shown here in the USA. It was made by one of the great movie makers, Sir Attenborough, stars Shirley McLain and Christopher Plummer and is a story about USA pilots in WWII. So far, you can't even rent the DVD here in the US. I saw the movie in Australia last year, 2007.
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If it there were 10 stars it would not be enough to rate this movie.
....First it is not a sweet love story. It is a story of people making promises to people they love or admire. Then there is the final promise I won't mention. You find every single prominent character either gives a promise or agrees to a promise and this story is the result of those promises.
.... It covers a period of time from WWII in both the midwest US and Ireland. You may be surprised by the Irish portion. Watch carefully.
....Then there are the switches between the 1940s and the 1990s. It goes back and forth, it gives you a scene in 1940, then switches to the present where the result of what happened in the 1940s is shown to you in present time of the movie. Or you see an action in the present time and next thing you know you are watching what caused this scene.
....I loved this time switching to introduce you to a problem or a solution the characters came up with to deal with the promises made and often resulted in.... well you have to watch the film for this part. I know better than to spoil it. Lets just say it enhances the story telling.
....Please be able to really watch the movie, notice the promises and then see the results of keeping and in some cases not keeping the promises. I promise you won't regret it. The screenwriter writes this multi layered movie with such an ability to show you humanity trying to cope.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
I wanted to love this pic, but came away only liking it. The younger actors seemed stiff and only able to recite their lines. Plummer and MacLaine shown bright, as did the entire "Irish contingent."
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Not many movies move you emotionally. This one, i think particularly appeals to the female sensibility, however, i was engaged immediately and wept at the end with sadness and joy at the same time. Guys, do your ladies a favor and sit through this movie. I promise you'll enjoy it, and she'll love you for it. Its one of those movies, that ... at the end, you just kind of sit there, unable to say anything. Heroic. Beautiful. Poignant.
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Great movie. Unique storyline, flows well. About love, loss & healing. Attend movies every week. Have never seen anything that matches it. With the exception of Notebook. Well acted with Shirley McLaine, Christopher Plummer, Mischa Barton. Enjoyed it very much. Told my friends and family, there opinions matched mine.
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If you love WWII and a good love story with a little mystery - this is for you. I really enjoyed this movie and am so glad I bought & watched it. It had one hiccup on the DVD, but not a biggie. Not a bunch of war scenes, but some blood and guts in the medical units.
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