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  • Orphans [DVD] [1999]
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Orphans [DVD] [1999]


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Orphans [DVD] [1999] + NEDS [DVD] + The Angels' Share (Theatrical Version) [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Douglas Henshall, Gary Lewis, Rosemarie Stevenson, Stephen McCole, Ann Swan
  • Directors: Peter Mullan
  • Writers: Peter Mullan
  • Producers: Frances Higson, Paddy Higson
  • Format: PAL, Colour, HiFi Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: MGM
  • DVD Release Date: 27 Nov. 2000
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004RJG5
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 45,050 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Peter Mullan wrote and directed this Glasgow based, black-comedy. On the eve of their mother's funeral, three sons and a daughter gather in a pub. The eldest, Thomas (Gary Lewis), is singing a tribute to her when local youth Duncan (Malcolm Shields) starts laughing. Thomas' brother Michael (Douglas Henshall) attacks the boy and is stabbed in the subsequent melée. Vowing revenge, John (Stephen McCole), the third brother, goes in search of a gun. The events set in motion by the stabbing escalate as the family tries to cope with their anger and impotence in the face of death.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 Feb. 2001
Format: VHS Tape
From the opening shot of the sons and daughter gathered around their mothers coffin I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry. I think Peter Mullan is a genius for making a movie which is both incredibly funny and extremely touching in a completly unsentimental way. The events of the story will constantly catch you off guard which you can't say for most Hollywood films. A real treat and one to own.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By scottishnutjob on 17 Feb. 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I love this film - I give it to anyone who's never heard of it (pretty much everyone) and invariably they love it too - there is so much to enjoy about this film - it truly has everything; laughter and tears and awesome performances.

It never disappoints and I can watch it again and again.

Peter Mullan, winner of Best Actor at Cannes (My Name Is Joe) and the Golden Lion at Venice for directing the Magdalene Sisters, is the writer-director of Orphans, his feature film debut, starring Gary Lewis III (My Name Is Joe, Gangs of New York, Billy Elliot), Douglas Henshall (This Year's Love), Steven McCole, (Acid House) Rosemary Stevenson and Frank Gallacher.

Top actors, perfect in this ensemble, brilliant storyline and direction, if you get this you will not regret it.

Not as well known as Trainspotting owing to Film 4 failing disastrously to distribute this sterling movie, and incidently also burning 40min worth of outtakes - literally burning it and to date failing to explain why.

If it had been properly distributed, far more people would sing it's praises - topnotch.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Huskerdude on 19 Nov. 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
What to say about this movie that the other reviewers have not already said? Put simply this is a film I and several of my friends and family have seen several times and just never tire of it. It starts off with the family, three sons and a disabled daughter gathered round the coffin of their recently departed Mother making you unsure of which direction the film was leading and what exactly your reaction was to be to the events which unfold over one chaotic Autumn night in Glasgow before a funeral the following morning. You will not be disappointed no matter what you are expecting, it's all here, laughter, tears, love, hate all the things that make life worthwhile. This film deserves to be lauded and it astounds me to this day that most people I speak to have never heard of it, a real pity as it truly ranks among the best movies that I have ever seen. Forget buying yourself a relative or friend the latest Hollywood Blockbuster that you'll watch once or twice and forget in the blink of an eye, this film will stay with you forever you will watch it again and again and get more and more from it with each viewing; the sign of a true Masterpiece
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By chris.clark@st-hughs.ox.ac.uk on 27 Nov. 2000
Format: DVD
The sombre image of a family mourning the death of a mother, round a coffin in the front room edges you uncomfortably on your seat even before the film really begins.
The box decribes it as a Black Comedy, but that just happens to be a neat genre in which to file it. Some moments at the beggining are very funny, in a 'I really shouldn't be laughing at this' sort of way, but towards the end, the film just turns plain old black. It is all based around a single night, and as the events unfold, so does the directing, as the characters become more and more desperate, so does the graphic style, resulting in some truly moving snapshots of the night.
The one word title of the film represents the irony that these four children are all family (altough they are all totally different and don't even get on), and the word should tell us a little about all of them. Needless to say it doesn't and the depth of divergent character building left me asking whether the director intended to make such a subtle observation on the defragmentation of family life. Since reflecting on the film for a couple of days, I think he probably did.
It's not northern grit, or trainspotting.
It is catastrophic, inspirational art and it left me speechless and shaking for 20 minutes after the end of the film. Buy.........
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Pismotality on 25 May 2006
Format: DVD
This is a great achievement: a film about coming to terms with bereavement but so much more - bursting with invention, not afraid to break boundaries, so that - well, I was going to say the tone veers but actually it seems all of a piece. Mullan told an acquaintance of mine that the film was actually about the death of socialism, and I can see that: it's there all the way through in the implicit condemnation of people who choose to be separate from groups - eg the woman who refuses to let the disabled daughter use the ramp outside her house as it was built for the exclusive use of her late husband - or (in a great performance by Alex Norton) a barman who treats his customers like animals.

I don't want to say how (or even if) they get their comeuppance; all I want to say is that any criticism of the film seems mean-spirited: it feels like a highly personal and a universal statement, which is just about all you can expect from art, intit? So many great, touching, funny moments - for once the cliche along the lines of "You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll [fill in appropriate obscenity]" is nothing more than the simple truth.

I'm so glad Peter Mullan didn't censor himself too much in the writing - by which I mean not worrying whether this was Loach-naturalistic, Forsyth-whimsical, pastoral-tragical or whatever. It's an experience, and just as the late Dilys Powell, seeing Woody Allen's Gershwin-laden Manhattan, came out wondering why she had ever listened to the music of the Who, so having watched this you may end up thinking: "No. No more Merchant Ivory. No more Remains of the Day or Last Orders, thank you VERY much." Or such was my feeling. Not that I want to influence the reader in any way.

But see it, eh?
Read more ›
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