Raining Stones (1993)

An unemployed man goes to great lengths to amass enough money to buy his daughter a communion dress.

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Film details

Alternative titles

  • The Estate Alternative

Cast & Credits

Introduction

“What I liked best was the underlying humour, even in this desperate situation. These are characters whose minds have not been deadened and who are naturally articulate and even poetic.”
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times, 1994

A quietly moving tale of life on the breadline at a time of pervasive unemployment. The purchase of a child’s communion dress becomes the emotionally essential heart of the film, even if it involves dealing with notoriously vicious loan sharks.

Former comedian Bruce Jones (Coronation Street’s future Les Battersby) is heartbreaking as the perpetually jobless Bob, desperately trying to retain some measure of dignity, even when an attempt at freelance plumbing goes messily wrong. As his father-in-law ruefully comments “it rains stones seven days a week”. Bob doesn’t share his father-in-law's antipathy towards religion, and it's his faith that leads to what by Ken Loach standards is an unusually upbeat conclusion, despite a violent death along the way.

Working-class men who make unwise choices in pursuit of money is a recurring theme in Loach’s work, as seen in My Name Is Joe (1998) and Sweet Sixteen (2002).

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