Angela's Ashes (film)

1999 American drama film by Alan Parker

Angela's Ashes is a 1999 film based on the memoir of the same title by Frank McCourt. It was 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).


  • [Ship is sailing out of New York City] We must've been the only Irish family to be saying good bye to the statue of liberty rather than hello.
  • If I were in America I could say "I love you, dad", the way they do in the films. But in Limerick they'd laugh at you. In Limerick you are only allowed to say you love God, and babies, and horses that win. Anything else is softness in the head.
  • In the name of the father, the son and the holy toast.

[Commenting on traditional Irish dancing] If my mates saw me making a pure eejit out of myself at the Irish dancing, I'd be disgrace forever. I want to be Fred Astaire. Irish dancers look like they have steel rods stuck up their arses. ...

Dance instructor: Would you stop the frowning, McCourt? You've a face on you like a pound of tripe.

[Frank is lying in bed recovering from fever in hospital and a doctor sitting near him has farted] And then Dr. Campbell came in and held my hand. It was then that I knew I was going to get better because a doctor would never fart in the presence of a dying boy.

Grandma SheehanEdit

[Frank throws up his communion breakfast]

  • I've got God in me backyard!


Angela McCourt: If I were able I would go to work in the English factories.
Malachy: Factory's no place for a woman Angela.
Angela McCourt: Sittin’ on your arse is no place for a man Malachy.

Frank:Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. It's been a minute since my last confession.
Confessional Father:A minute? Are you the boy that was just here?
Frank: I am Father. My Grandma says holy water or ordinary water?
Confessional Father: [sighs]
Frank: He says ordinary water and don't go on bothering him again.
Grandma Sheehan: "Bothering him"? The ignorant old bogtrotter.

[Teacher has pulled apart Frank and another boy fighting in the courtyard]
Teacher: You little hooligan. Is this the kind of behavior you brought from America? Is it? Well, you come on with me. I'll put the fighting out of you boy.
[Teacher is strapping a boy's hand and Frank is upstairs listening]
Teacher:You're a bad yank aren't you, McCourt? What are you?
Frank:They said we were cowboys and gangsters, sir.
Boy: I was only joking sir.
Teacher: No more jokes. It's not his fault that he's a yank.
Boy: T'isn't sir.
Teacher: You should go down on your knees every night and give thanks to god that you're not a yank. If you were, Al Capone would be coming to you for instruction.

[Teacher straps Frank once, Frank exclaims, other boy laughs, teacher straps the other boy]

[Frank is ashamed of his shoes that his father tried to repair by cutting up a bicycle tire to cobble it so he has taken them off, tossed it and is sitting in class barefooted only to be forced to put the shoes back on]

Teacher: Do I hear sneering in this class? Do I hear jeering at another's misfortune? Is there any boy in this class who thinks he's perfect? If so, raise your hands. Is there any boy here now who has money galore to be spending on shoes? Raise your hands. No. There are boys in this class who have no shoes at all and it's not their fault. It's not their shame. Our lord died shoeless! You don't see our lord hanging on the cross sporting shoes! Do you boys?
Class: No, sir!
Teacher: What don't you see our lord doing boys?
Class: Hanging on the cross sporting shoes!
Teacher:Hanging on the cross sporting shoes what?
Class: Hanging on the cross sporting shoes, sir!

Angela McCourt: Don't let anyone ever slam the door on you again. Do you hear me?
Frank: I do.

[Obese woman is calling in her sons playing pick up football outside]
Obese woman: Come in for the lovely leg of lamb. And the gorgeous green peas and the flowery potatoes.
Frank's father: Oh, shut up, will you woman? It's a low class mind to torment your neighbors when there's nothing but bread and tea we have.
Obese woman: Get off to work in England like the rest of our husbands.
Frank: Go and help England win a war? I wouldn't give the English the steam off my pish.
Obese woman: No, You'd rather drink the dole, and watch your sons run around all skin and bone, with their arses hanging out their trousers!

Father O'Halloran: America, wonderful land of the Arapaho, Cheyenne, Chippewa, Sioux, Apache, Iroquois, poetry boys. and the chiefs! Listen. Kicking Bear, Rain-in-the-face, Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, and the man himself, the genius Geronimo. Stock your minds boys and you can move through the world. Resplendent. Clarke, define "resplendent".
Clarke: I think it's shining, sir.
Father O'Halloran: Pithy, but adequate. McCourt, give us a sentence with "pithy".
Frank: Clarke is pithy but adequate, sir.
Father O'Halloran: Adroit, McCourt. You have a mind for the priesthood, my boy, or politics. Tell your mother to come and see me.

Narrator:We pray to the virgin Mary to say we're sorry, because we can't stop interfering with ourselves.
[Five boys standing behind a stone wall with one hand vigorously working something]
Boy 1: The dong!
All 5 boys:The dong!
Boy 2: The prick!
All 5 boys: The prick!
Boy 3: The dick!
All 5 boys: The dick!
Boy 4: The langer!
All 5 boys:The langer!
Frank: The excitement!
All 5 boys: The excitement!
A boy: The excitement?
Frank: Yeah!
[A rear shot reveals the boys masturbating]

Griffin:You useless great lump, living free under me roof with you snotty-nosed pack of brats. [Speaking to Frank] You. Go to the shop for a few sods and some kindling. Come on. Or are you as useless as your mother? Did you empty the chamber pot today?
Frank: Shite. I left it on the stairs.
Griffin:You stand there with your thick gob and tell me you didn't do it?
Frank:I'm sorry. I forgot. I'll do it now.
Angela:He couldn't do it.
Griffin:Shut up woman.
Angela:It was his last day at school and he had to go to the doctor.
Griffin:I said, shut up woman!
Frank:You can't tell us to shut up. You're not our father!
Griffin:If I have to get up from this table, you'll be calling for your patron saint.
Frank:Shut your gob.
[Griffin grabs Frank and starts viciously striking Frank's face off-camera with Angela frantically trying to stop Griffin]
Griffin: Give me a fag woman. I'm telling you, that boy is a little shite.
Frank: I thought mam would come and kiss me good night, to say thank you for sticking up for her. But no. She went to him.
Uncle Pat: What happened to your face? It's all swole. Did someone punch you?
Frank: Yeah.
Uncle Pat: Who was punching you?
Frank: Joe Louis.
Uncle Pat :Joe Louis? I thought he lived in America. Was he visiting Limerick?
Frank: He was, Uncle Pat.
Uncle Pat: That's not right, him hitting a wee boy. And him being a heavyweight champion of America and all.
Frank: The world champion he is Uncle Pat
Uncle Pat:T hat's worse. And look at you, so skinny. Those arms wouldn't lift two stamps. Some things is most peculiar, Frankie. I'm off to bed

[Frank is trying to impress a colleague in a hallway lined with other postal delivery boys

Frank: Fuck off, you bollocks!
Miss Barry: Your mouth is a lavatory, McCourt. Did you hear me? You've been heard on the stairs, McCourt.
Frank: Yes, Miss Barry.
Miss Barry: Shut up, McCourt.
Frank: I will, Miss Barry.
Miss Barry :Not another word, McCourt.
Frank: No, Miss Barry.
Miss Barry:I said shut up, McCourt.
Frank:All right, Miss Barry.
Miss Barry:That's the end of it McCourt, Don't try me.
Frank: I-I won't Miss Barry.
Miss Barry: Mother of God! Give me patience!
Frank: Yes, Miss Barry.
Miss Barry: Take the last word. McCourt. Take it. Take it. Take it!
Frank: I will Miss Barry.

[All the boys break out in celebratory applause]

[Teacher is putting pieces of newspaper on the boys tongues]

Teacher: And what do I have here, Clohessy?
Clohessy: Pieces of the Limerick Leader, sir!
Teacher: No! The body and blood of Christ. If you don't pay anymore attention, it'll be the last rites. You'll be getting, not your holy communion. Irish is the language of Patriots. And English of traitors and informers. But Latin, ah boys, Latin. That the holy martyrs spoke before expiring in the foaming mouths of ravenous lions. Yes, it's Latin that gains the entrance to heaven itself. But there are boys in this class, who will never know sanctifying grace. And why? Because of greed. Those greedy little blackguards are talking even now, about the money they'll get from the collection. They'll go from house to house in their little suits like beggars. And will they take any of that money and send it to the the poor black babies in Africa as they should? Oh, no. It's off to the cinema the first communion boys will go, to wallow in the disgusting filth spewed across the world by the devil's henchman... in Hollywood. Isn't that right McCourt?
McCourt: 'tis sir.
Teacher: Don't speak you! Can't you see that God is on your tongue? Where is God boys?
Class: On his tongue, sir.

Cohessy: Sir, What use is Euclid when the Germans are bombing everything in sight?
Teacher: What use is Euclid? Without Euclid, the Messerschmitt could never have taken to the sky and dart from cloud to cloud and bomb the bejesus out of the English who deserve it after what they did to the Irish for 800 years. Euclid is grace and beauty and elegance. Do you understand that boys?
Class: We do, sir.
Teacher: I doubt it. To love euclid, is to be alone in this world. You. Clohessy. Who stood at the foot of the cross when our lord was crucified?
Clohessy: The Twelve Apostles sir.
Teacher: Clohessy, what is the Irish word for fool?
Clohessy: Omadhaun sir.
[Teacher feeds a slice of apple to a pious looking boy]
Narrator: That's Fintan Slattery. He's going to be a saint when he gets older. everyone knows he wears his sister's blouse at night, and curls his hair with hot iron tongs, so that he'll look gorgeous at mass on Sundays. It's no wonder we played truant.

Paddy: Frankie, there's nothing in the world, like a good feed of apples and a drink of water, and a good shit and plenty of grass to wipe your arse with. [ Cow Moos]
Frank: Paddy, quick, wipe your arse, It's milking time!

[Frank is lying in bed and Aggie enters the bedroom]

Aunt Aggie:What are you doing in this house, in that bed? Get up and put down the kettle for you poor Uncle Pat, that fell down for the worse for drink. [Aggie rips off the covers] Mother of God! Your wearin me dead mother's dress.
Frank: I washed my clothes for the big job.
Aunt Aggie: What big job?
Frank: Telegram boy at the post office.
Aunt Aggie: If the post officer are taking on the likes of you, they must be in a desperate state.

Miss Finucane: How old are you boy?
Frank: Fifteen and some missus.
Miss Finucane: Old enough and ugly enough.
Frank: Yes, missus.
Miss Finucane: But are you smart boy? Are you in any way intelligent?
Frank: I can read and write, Mrs. Finucane.
Miss Finucane: There's people in the lunatic asylum that can read and write. Can you write a letter?
Miss Finucane: Threaten them boy. Threaten the life out of them.
Miss Finucane: This word, "inasmuch". That's a holy terror of a word. What does it mean?
Frank: It means, this is your last chance.
[Frank walks into the kitchen]
Frank: What's up with Mrs. Hannon?
Angela: That old bitch sent her a threatening letter. Look. People who write letters like that should be boiled in hot oil and have their fingernails pulled out by blind people.
Frank: Everyone I know and half the poor of Limerick are here. They all owed the old bitch money. Well, not anymore.

[Throws ledger book into the River Shannon]

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