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The Boys of St. Vincent (1992)

The true story of boys being sexually abused at their orphanage ran by a religious community in Newfoundland.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Brian Dooley ...
Philip Dinn ...
Mike Finn
Mike Sproule
Eddie Linnane
Greg Thomey ...
Ed Martin ...
Maurice Podbrey ...
Sam Grana ...
Brother Michael Davitt
Gordon Day ...


This movie is based on actual events, but it says it is not all about one specific incident. It documents St. Vincent's Orphanage in Canada, where many of the boys suffer physical, emotional, and sexual abuse at the hands of the brothers who run the facility. When the stories are surfaced and a police investigation is begun, religious and political groups work to silence the story to keep it from reaching the public. Written by mike407

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Release Date:

6 December 1992 (Canada)  »

Also Known As:

Chlopcy od swietego Wincentego  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$204,540 (USA)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Scenes of nude boys taking showers were cut out when the film aired on U.S. TV. See more »


[after Kevin repeatedly tells Lavin he is not his mother, Lavin throws him up against a wall hard]
Peter Lavin: If you choose to behave like the other boys, then you will be punished like the other boys!
[beats him with a belt buckle]
See more »


Followed by The Boys of St. Vincent: 15 Years Later (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

Courageous Indictment: one of the best TV films
11 October 2003 | by (La Rioja, Spain) – See all my reviews

This TV film in two episodes of approximately 90 minutes each is indeed a highly powerful drama of the first order. All the more so as there was no over the top interpretation; the carefully measured downplaying of intense moments throughout the entire film heightened the telling of the story to superb levels. My vote is a little above the IMDb voting average, and that in itself puts this production way up there among the best TV mini films of all time. Only a few European super-productions beat it - and not by much.

Firstly, the casting is superb. Nadia Rona has carried out an immense task as just simply every person in the film is exactly as he/she should be, right down to the minor characters. Even the photography echoed or parallelled the intentional downplaying of the drama unfolding, such that at no time is there any sense of ladelling on exaggerated scenes so as to artificially create a tense atmosphere: the simple acting and filming of each scene is magnificent.

All the actors stand out, even the secondary players, so perfect is the building of this Canadian production; from the boys right up through the priests, police inspector, investigating tribunal, archbishop, magistrate, and so on. Such that the telling of the story is at once gripping, you are rivetted to your seat, but fortunately with just enough breaks for commercials so as to let you get a beer from the fridge, light a cigarette, and think over the part you have just seen. Henry Czerny's reading of his part is magnificent; but in no way are other interpretations at all inferior: the whole cast is absolutely splendid. There is just simply no other way to describe the impact that the actors make on you. Supposedly based on real events in an orphanage in Newfoundland in the mid 70s, this film defies any attempts at being categorized as exaggerated for `popular consumption', precisely because the film was made so soberly, with such careful sensitivity, especially in the child abuse scenes, so magnificently photographed, that you accept the story as it is being told.

In case you should have any doubts: I myself can remember my unhappy years in a children's home in South London (U.K.) in the mid-fifties when I was about 10 - 11 years old. There was no sex abuse, true, but there were all other kinds of vexation and cruelty. If you still do not believe me I will willingly send you by e-mail the name of the "Home" and its address. It still exists today.

This TV film stops just a little short of being a masterpiece. When it ends you should rise to your feet and give it an ovation. Most definitely a courageous indictment, so exquisitely handled: otherwise it might well have been a disaster. `The Boys of St. Vincent' is most definitely one of the best TV films I have ever seen.

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