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Secret of Roan Inish
     

The Secret of Roan Inish

4.6 16
Director: John Sayles

Cast: Mick Lally, Eileen Colgan, John Lynch

 

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John Sayles' 1993 Irish fantasy comes to DVD with this above-average release. With running audio commentary by Sayles, The Secret of Roan Inish also includes theatrical trailers, talent files, and scene selection. The commentary is a welcome touch, but the most impressive feature is likely the widescreen 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer. A standard 1.33:1

Overview

John Sayles' 1993 Irish fantasy comes to DVD with this above-average release. With running audio commentary by Sayles, The Secret of Roan Inish also includes theatrical trailers, talent files, and scene selection. The commentary is a welcome touch, but the most impressive feature is likely the widescreen 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer. A standard 1.33:1 pan-and-scan transfer is also included. On the audio end, the disc features an English Dolby Digital Surround soundtrack. English, Spanish, and French subtitles are also available, rounding out a list of features that make this a disc that fans of the film will likely want to add to their collection.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
The fine art of storytelling takes center stage in this charming fantasy by director John Sayles. Set 1946, the film follows a young girl, Fiona (Jeni Courtney), who's sent to live with her grandparents on the Irish seacoast after the death of her mother. There she's told various family legends, including a particularly fanciful one about her younger brother, who was lost at sea as a baby when the clan departed the tiny island of Roan Inish. There's some breathtaking scenery in The Secret Of Roan Inish, but the real pleasure of the film is hearing these family stories spun. Sometimes accompanied by flashbacks, they create a completely enchanting atmosphere, nicely underscored with lush Irish music by Mason Daron. There are strong performances all around, including Eileen Colgan and Mick Lally as Fiona's almost-too-good-to-be-true grandparents. But it's Sayles' gracefully understated direction, his simple treatment of the film's flights of fantasy, and his obvious respect for oral traditions that make The Secret Of Roan Inish truly special.
All Movie Guide
John Sayles' flexibility has always been one of his most underrated strengths. His ability to create with great detail the workings of communities, by now something of a trademark, is the sort of skill that translates to a wider variety of projects and just as many settings. Here Sayles chooses a small Irish community, allowing the details of it to unfold as his protagonist, a child and an outsider, discovers them for herself. Sayles' lack of sentimentality serves him well in dealing with the film's highly emotional material. The family history, folk tales, and the drama of a lost child all could have tipped The Secret of Roan Inish into undisciplined whimsy or unearned pathos. Instead he beautifully portrays how stories build into histories and bind communities and families together into a shared and continuing story. For all that, it's also a fantastic children's film, the perfect antidote for the condescending and overly commercial fare that usually passes for kid-oriented entertainment. Pitching to all levels, Sayles crafts a gripping story that those who see it when young will grow to appreciate all the more when older.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/25/2000
UPC:
0043396509290
Original Release:
1994
Rating:
PG
Source:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Full Frame, Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Surround]
Time:
1:42:00
Sales rank:
7,220

Special Features

Digitally mastered audio and anamorphic video; Widescreen and full-screen presentations; Audio: English 2-channel [Dolby Surround]; Subtitles: English, French, Spanish; Director's commentary; Theatrical trailers; Talent files; Scene selections

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Mick Lally Hugh
Eileen Colgan Tess
John Lynch Tadhg
Jeni Courtney Fiona
Richard Sheridan Eamon
Cillian Byrne Jamie
Pat Slowey Priest
Dave Duffy Jim
Declan Hannigan Oldest brother
Fergal McElherron Sean Michael
Frankie McCafferty Tim
Gerald Rooney Liam
Susan Lynch Selkie
Linda Greer Brigid
Brendan Conroy Flynn
Eddie Erskine Bar Patron
Suzanne Gallagher Selkie's Daughter
Pat Howey Priest
Mícheál MacCárthaigh Schoolmaster
Eugene McHugh Bar Patron
Mairéad Ní Ghallchóir Barmaid
Gerard Rooney Liam Coneelly
Tony Rubini Bar Patron

Technical Credits
John Sayles Director,Editor,Screenwriter
Dennis Bosher Art Director
Consolata Boyle Costumes/Costume Designer
Tom Conroy Set Decoration/Design
Mason K. Daring Score Composer
Sarah Green Producer
John Hubbard Casting
Ros Hubbard Casting
Glenn R. Jones Executive Producer
Peter Mcaleese Asst. Director
R. Paul Miller Associate Producer
Peter Newman Executive Producer
Maggie Renzi Producer
John Sloss Executive Producer
Adrian Smith Production Designer
Haskell Wexler Cinematographer
Clive Winter Sound/Sound Designer

Scene Index

Scene Selections
0. Scene Selections
1. Start [2:09]
2. Mother's funeral [1:45]
3. Poor little sprout [3:08]
4. Grandmother & Grandfather [2:08]
5. Cousin Eamon [1:29]
6. Irish tales [8:40]
7. Tea & tar [3:10]
8. Poor wee Jamie [4:46]
9. Rumors [3:34]
10. Roan Inish [5:41]
11. "I saw a footprint." [1:57]
12. Flynn [1:14]
13. Tadhg [2:25]
14. The dark woman [8:46]
15. "Is he mad?" [4:42]
16. "I saw him!" [2:36]
17. Evicted [1:27]
18. Adrift in the mist [7:09]
19. Tea with a seal [1:26]
20. "I don't lie." [3:19]
21. Daft, not blind [3:35]
22. Housecleaning day 1 [3:56]
23. Housecleaning day 2 [1:52]
24. Housecleaning day 3 [2:44]
25. Brigid's story [7:06]
26. Seaweed soup [1:54]
27. Jamie boy stays [3:12]
28. Big sister Fiona [5:33]
Scene Selections
0. Scene Selections
1. Start [2:09]
2. Mother's funeral [1:45]
3. Poor little sprout [3:08]
4. Grandmother & Grandfather [2:08]
5. Cousin Eamon [1:29]
6. Irish tales [8:40]
7. Tea & tar [3:10]
8. Poor wee Jamie [4:46]
9. Rumors [3:34]
10. Roan Inish [5:41]
11. "I saw a footprint." [1:57]
12. Flynn [1:14]
13. Tadhg [2:25]
14. The dark woman [8:46]
15. "Is he mad?" [4:42]
16. "I saw him!" [2:36]
17. Evicted [1:27]
18. Adrift in the mist [7:09]
19. Tea with a seal [1:26]
20. "I don't lie." [3:19]
21. Daft, not blind [3:35]
22. Housecleaning day 1 [3:56]
23. Housecleaning day 2 [1:52]
24. Housecleaning day 3 [2:44]
25. Brigid's story [7:06]
26. Seaweed soup [1:54]
27. Jamie boy stays [3:12]
28. Big sister Fiona [5:33]

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The Secret of Roan Inish 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
BLillith More than 1 year ago
Roan Inish is a wild, breathtaking island off the craggy coast of Ireland. This moving & magical movie is based on Rosalie Fry's novel - Secret of the Ron Mor Skerry. The photography is brilliant and the storyline charming, sweet and just plain lovely. A straightforward, story of a young girl's family history. An elderly couple's granddaughter is left with them by a grieving father. Her quest is to discover why her family was torn apart and why they moved off their island of Roan Inish. She joins forces with her cousin (and the 'lil seal) to solve the mystery and reunite her family on their real island home.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Irish magic and myth are often portrayed in a way that turns near-history into children's flights of fancy. Not so, here. The Secret of Roan Inish is an intelligent movie that is beautifully directed, casted, and scored. It's haunting images remain with you long after the credits roll, and the magic - well, the magic is truly Irish - not quite sure that you shouldn't believe it, eh? And, while the tale is based on legends of the Selkies (seals that can transform into humans), the actual story tells of a family struggling to hold on to thier traditional way of life in a world that makes the simple things more and more valuable with each passing day. Don't we all feel like that now and again? Rent or buy The Secret of Roan Inish. It's a visit to Ireland for the cost of a Irish Creme Latte.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wonderful is the only word that could but barely describe this movie. Everything is magical in it : the landscapes take us deep into the Northern shores of Ireland (Co. Donegal), into the lives of their people and their myths. The actors are all excellent, especially this stunning young girl (Jeni Courtney) whose very natural and delightfully innocent performance is the very soul of the film. Although the action takes us into the world of myths and legends of a small community, this movie describes a very real Ireland insofar as it does not fall in any of the irritating clichés about Ireland from which many a movie in/about Ireland suffered. If you like the sea and the hills of Ireland, genuine storytelling and irish music, magic and even laughing, then this film you cannot miss !
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Secret Of Roan Inish is a gorgeously made film~~haunting story, beautiful (this is an understatement)photography, moorish and mystical. Haunted me long after I saw it, and brought back memories and longings from my time in Ireland as a child. Irish storytelling and myth that is common among the Irish people is woven into this story of a young girl's grief, resulting in a stunning movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Touching story of family love, loyalty and cultural tradition.
AuntieKW More than 1 year ago
One of my favorites, I'm glad I found it on DVD.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A brilliantly subtle film. Eerie and evocative, packaged in flawless atomosphere. Despite its disturbing mythological unerpinnings (selkies stealing babies) it remains sweet and intriguing. A great film for anyone of any age, a modern fable well worth watching. I dug it. :)
KitchenConfadential More than 1 year ago
I really love this movie. I have been watching and re-watching this movie since i was little! I enjoy it every time!
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