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Raining Stones

4.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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(Jun 12, 2007)
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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

Special Features

None.

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: #149,682 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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A few minor technical differences are apparent between the two Lorber releases of Ken Loach's ('My Name Is Joe,' 'The Navigators') gut-wrenching 1993 social drama 'Raining Stones.' First, the 1999 Fox-Lorber/Winstar disc features a non-anamorphic 1.66:1 widescreen picture without subtitles while the 2007 Koch-Lorber re-issue is anamorphic widescreen (similar aspect ratio) with subtitles. As often happens during reformatting for 16x9 consumption a small amount of information at the top and bottom of the screen is sacrificed. Other than that the prints look just about identical. The film was shot on fairly grainy 35mm stock (which enhances its documentary-like feel), so if the newer edition has been restored to any significant degree it isn't readily noticeable. As far as extras, the former contains a couple pages of production credits plus filmographies of three cast members and the director which don't appear on the latter, although the latter includes a theatrical trailer absent from the former. While none of these incidentals seems to be a deal-breaker, I imagine the most valuable overall contribution is the 2007 version's addition of subtitles. A quick note about the movie itself: I read several blurbs by critics (including the Amazon reviewer) hailing RS as a laugh riot. It is not. While there are some warm moments amidst the tears and pain, it is a grim and at times devastating depiction of life in a society where jobs-- by whatever mechanisms one chooses to blame-- are supplanted by handouts. Film and presentation each earn 3 1/2 stars.
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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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