In America

Synopsis: Following the tragic death of their five-year-old son Frankie, Irish couple Johnny and Sarah Sullivan and their remaining two offspring, 10 year old Christy Sullivan and 5 year old Ariel Sullivan, emigrate illegally to the United States via Canada with little in their pockets. Their final destination is Manhattan where Johnny hopes to work as a stage actor. They move into a unit in a run town tenement housed primarily with drug addicts, transvestites and one tenant coined "the man who screams". They do whatever they can to eke out a supportive family environment in this difficult situation, the support which ultimately extends to those around them, most specifically "the screamer" who turns out to be an African-American artist named Mateo with AIDS. But the memory of Frankie hangs over the family in good and bad ways, especially as Sarah learns she's pregnant. Christy, who records their life's goings-on with her beloved camcorder, believes that the angel of Frankie has granted her thre
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Jim Sheridan
Production: Fox Searchlight Pictures
  Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 27 wins & 61 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
105 min

There's some things

you should wish for...

and some things you shouldn't.

That's what my little brother Frankie

told me.

He told me I only had three wishes.

And I looked in his eyes...

and I don't know why I believed him.

- Remember, we're on holiday, all right?

- Knock it off, Christy, love.


- Passports, please.

- We're on holidays!

- Are you, little girl?

- Yeah. And my dad's not working.

What's the purpose of your visit?

What are your purposes

in visiting the United States?

We're on holiday.

And how long have you been in Canada?

Just visiting.

Listening to my mom and dad,

I was scared we weren't gonna

get across the border.

And if I didn't talk to Frankie,

how were we going to get into America?

"Please, Frankie. "

"Please. Please help us," I said.

- How many children do you have?

- Three.



Says three here.

We lost one.

- What's your name, little girl?

- Ariel.

And who are you?

She's Christy.

- What age are you, Christy?

- She's ten.

- Welcome to America.

- Thanks very much.

And that was my first

wish used up.

But I still had two left.

1020 on your AM dial.

We heard Manhattan

before we ever saw it,

a thousand strange voices

coming from everywhere.

And you're not going to believe this,

but we had to go under the water

to get to the city.

No, I swear it.

It was a real alien.

And we lost contact

with everything.

It was like we were on another planet.

...classics from

the '60s, '70s, '80s and '90s.

We looked all over Manhattan

for a place to live,

till finally we found the house

of the man who screamed.

What are you doing

with the camera, little girl?

- You the police?

- What?

Are you the police?

- No. We're Irish.

- All Irish are police.

- We're not.

- Are we going to live here now?

- You gonna live in here, in this building?

- Yeah.

All right.

Keep an eye on their car.

Papo's gonna keep you safe now.

All right?

Come on in.

Welcome to your new mansion.

Come on.

Look! A lift!

That hasn't worked forever.

Come on, come on.

- Are we going to live here now?

- Yeah.

- Why?

- Nowhere else will take us.


- They don't want kids in Manhattan.

- Why?

Why do you think they call it "Manhattan"?


Yo, Papo. Don't come any further, man.

Yo, relax, Tony. It's just me.

I know who the hell it is, man.

Go back downstairs to your apartment.

I'm clean, man. I'm showing this family

the empty apartment.

- No way, Papo!

- All right!

All right, Papo.

We'll take over from here.

- Why does he scream?

- Maybe he sees ghosts.

Is this a haunted house?

- It's like Fort Knox.

- Cool!

- Where did you learn that?

- What?

- "Cool. "

- I just heard it.

You're American already.

It's disgusting.

- Race you in, Christy.

- Wow!

- It's huge!

- I know, it's enormous.

- This is my room.

- This is my room.

I get top bunk.

I get top bunk.

Look, Dad!

There's a bath in the middle of the room.

Wow! There's pigeons!

Ariel, come and look at this!

- It's a bit of a hole.

- It'll be fine when we do it up.

It'll cost us, Sarah.

How are we gonna pay for this place?

We'll sell the car.

- Are you OK?

- Mm.

- Are you?

- I'm great.

Are you?

- Dad?

- What?

Can we keep the pigeons?

Dad, can we keep the pigeons?


Can we keep the pigeons?

No. We have to leave 'em go.

It seemed like

all our problems were flying away.

Dad, can I help?

Go and ask your ma.

- Mom, can I help?

- Why don't you go on your skates?

I'll fast-forward through this bit.

Ariel got to know

everybody in the neighborhood.

My mom couldn't get a job teaching,

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Jim Sheridan

Jim Sheridan (born 6 February 1949) is an Irish playwright, screenwriter, film director, and film producer. In the few years from 1989 to 1993, Sheridan directed two critically acclaimed films set in Ireland (My Left Foot and In the Name of the Father) that between them received 13 Academy Award nominations. Sheridan has personally received six Academy Award nominations. In addition to the above-mentioned films, he is also known for the films The Boxer and In America. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "In America" STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 19 Jan. 2022. <>.

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