An engaging follow-up to The McCourts of Limerick, this documentary proves there's more to the colorful Irish McCourt family than the earlier events immortalized in Frank McCourt's Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller Angela'... more »s Ashes. Here we follow the brothers--Frank, Malachy, Mike, and Alphie--through their adventures in America, beginning with Frank's arrival in New York in 1949. While Frank would find his calling in the public classroom, Malachy opened what would become New York's first and most famous single's bar, called Malachy's, which would attract carousing celebrities and catapult Malachy to local and national fame as a talk-show raconteur. Malachy is still the one you'd want to party with, while bartender Mike is more pensive and introspective; Frank is the elder sibling and eloquent storyteller, and Alphie is the youngest and most pragmatic, and a devoted "da" to his learning-impaired daughter. Anecdotes flow like Guinness, accompanied by a wealth a family photos, home movies, and video. But what anchors this clan is their Irishness in America--the history that made them who they are and the miseries that make their success and survival so deeply rewarding. Lovingly directed by Malachy's son Conor, this heartfelt film culminates in the symbolic burial of the McCourt's long-lost sister Mary Margaret, commemorated by a brass nameplate in a New York cemetery. The rush of emotions is powerful here, and we come away with an even deeper appreciation for this wonderful family, and the deep-rooted joys and sorrows that resonate on a universal level. --Jeff Shannon« less
Richard Carlander | LA, CA United States | 02/11/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The McCourts of New York is a great companion piece to Frank McCourt's memiors, Angela's Ashes and 'Tis, and to Conor McCourt's earlier film, The McCourts of Limerick. Its glimpses of the lives of the four McCourt brothers are funny and touching. The film gives not only a look at the rollicking past of the brothers McCourt but a personal look at what their family tragedies mean to them now. If you loved reading Angela's Ashes as much as I did, you'll want to see this wonderfully human documentary."
An Irish-American delight
Richard Carlander | 03/22/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Anything from Frank McCourt is bound to be a delight, of course, but this film of his and Malachy, Michael, and Alphie's journey from poverty-stricken, poorly educated and poorly-equipped young immigrants to men who found some success and happiness in the world of the United States is a remarkable story. Conor McCourt, son of Malachy, treats the subject matter with tenderness and respect, while the broad and sometimes ironic humor of his father and uncles, especially Uncle Frank, laces the stories with a lightness. Somehow, where the McCourts go, humor always follows. In spite of the challenge of New York, the frustration of being poor, Frank's desire for education (he talks his way into college, even though he has never gone to high school) and Malachy and Michael's battles with the bottle, this is a down-to-earth rags-to-riches story that is at times hilarious, often poetically poignant, and occasionally, heroic. At the end of the film, they finally find the burial place of their long-dead sister, and give respect to her and their late mother in a scene that had tears running down my cheeks. And there is Frank, weeping, and yet injecting humor ("I'm not going to be buried, I'm going to be stuffed and mounted," and one of the brothers says, "Shaking hands." All laugh.) Conor McCourt has given us a look into the lives of his uncles in particular and of immigrants in general, and it is a look that left this viewer feeling richer for having seen it."
"I just saw the dvd today and I enjoyed it very much. It's a great addition on Frank and Malachy's books. Do not expect it to be some sort of movie, because it simply is not. The four brothers tell you all about their 'adventures' in New York, about Frank being a teacher, Malachy working in several bars, being an actor, his career as a gold smuggler etc.
I really enjoyed the part where Frank and Malachy did a part about their past on stage. They showed some tape. I wish they could bring that out on dvd. I bet that it will be great for a good laugh. Malachy is real funny.
I also enjoyed Mike's story. Though he was pretty serious (of course), I think you can have a great laugh with him too. And Alphie, he did tell his story, but I wish he told more.
Maybe it's because he is not mentioned very much in the books. Well maybe he will tell his own story in a book someday?Last, hopefully they will put the McCourts in Limerick on DVD, so that I can watch it too."
Good follow-up to the McCourts of Limerick
Richard Carlander | 10/09/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was an good film. I saw it after the McCourts of Limerick and it answers a lot of my questions. We get to follow the brothers as they each come to America. I liked the part of Frank's first days in NYC, Malachy's bars, smuggling gold and acting, the reading of Angela's diary, Alphie and his learning impaired daughter, and the brothers visit to the grave of the long dead sister. It is a heartfelt and touching effort by Conor, Frank's nephew and Malachy's son."
A Warm, Tender Visual Valentine From Conor McCourt On His Fa
John Kwok | New York, NY USA | 07/13/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Documentary filmmaker Conor McCourt's "The McCourts of New York" is a warm, tender visual ode to his father Malachy, and his uncles Frank, Michael and Alphie. It is replete with tales both bittersweet and humorous - often both - of the brothers McCourt's survival in New York City during the 1950s and 1960s. As such, it will be seen by some as an affecting tribute to one immigrant family's hard-won success here in the United States (Though those who are documentary film purists may find some aspects of the film's production worthy of criticism, and thus, in their eyes, rendering it as a visual document that's less compelling than, for example, any of Ric and Ken Burns' films or those from the likes of Liz Garbus and Michael Moore.). Included in this delightful cinematic valentine are some clips from the original production of "A Couple of Blaguards" performed by Frank and Malachy at the Village Gate (Written around the time I was a student in Frank's class, the original version of this two-man play was held at a performing venue associated with noted New York City folk musician Gil Robbins, whose son, Tim, is among our high school's most famous acting alumni.). Without quesiton, this DVD will be a desirable acquisition sought by McCourties - diehard fans of Frank's and Malachy's prose - and one that will be a most essential part of their collections."