Angela's Ashes (film)

Angela's Ashes

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Alan Parker
Produced by David Brown
Scott Rudin
Screenplay by Laura Jones
Alan Parker
Based on Angela's Ashes
by Frank McCourt
Starring Emily Watson
Robert Carlyle
Michael Legge
Ciaran Owens
Joe Breen
Narrated by Andrew Bennett
Music by John Williams
Cinematography Michael Seresin
Edited by Gerry Hambling
Distributed by United States
Paramount Pictures
Universal Studios
Release dates
  • 25 December 1999 (1999-12-25)
Running time
145 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $25 million
Box office $13,042,112

Angela's Ashes is a 1999 Irish-American drama film based on the memoir of the same name by Frank McCourt. It was co-written and directed by Alan Parker, and starred Emily Watson, Robert Carlyle, Joe Breen, Ciaran Owens, and Michael Legge, the latter three playing the Young, Middle and Older Frank McCourt respectively.


Angela's Ashes tells the story of Frank McCourt and his childhood after his family are forced to move from the United States back to Ireland because of financial difficulties and family problems caused by his father's alcoholism. The film chronicles young McCourt's life in Limerick, Ireland, during his childhood in the 1930s and 1940s, the difficulties that arose, and Frank's way of earning enough money to return to the land of his dreams: America.



Although set in Limerick, many street scenes were filmed in Cork. For example, the 'fleas in the mattress' scene was filmed at Farren Street, Blackpool and other scenes were shot at Roche's Buildings, Lower John Street and Barrack Street.[1]


With an estimated $25 million budget,[2] the film grossed $13,042,112 in the U.S.,[3] making it a box office bomb.

Angela's Ashes currently holds a 52% 'rotten' rating on review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes, and the consensus "In spite of its attempts to accurately record Frank McCourt's memoirs, the onscreen adaptation fails to capture any of the drama or humor of his life" (though the audience rating is considerably higher, at 82%.)[4] However, Michael Legge was praised for his portrayal of the adolescent Frank. In particular, he was said to excel in his role as an innocent teenager growing up with typical coming of age rites involving sexuality, maturity and peer pressure in a Catholic Irish setting.

Differences from the book



The film soundtrack was composed and conducted by John Williams, and features songs by Billie Holiday and Sinéad O'Connor. Williams was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2000 for his score.


  1. Blackpool Historical Society, Cork
  2. Angela's Ashes. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  3. Angela's Ashes. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  4. Angela's Ashes at Rotten Tomatoes

External links

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