27 user 6 critic

War of the Buttons (1994)

The children of Ballydowse & Carrickdowse engage in battles in which they cut off the buttons, shoe-laces, belts and braces of their captured opponents. This gets their opponents in trouble... See full summary »



(novel), (adapted for the screen by) | 1 more credit »

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2 nominations. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Gregg Fitzgerald ...
Gerard Kearney ...
Big Con
Darragh Naughton ...
Brendan McNamara ...
Kevin O'Malley ...
John Cleere ...
Anthony Cunningham ...
Little Con
Thomas Kavanagh ...
Eveanna Ryan ...
John Crowley ...
Stuart Dannell-Foran ...
Danielle Tuite ...
Helen O'Leary ...
Yvonne McNamara ...
John Coffey ...


The children of Ballydowse & Carrickdowse engage in battles in which they cut off the buttons, shoe-laces, belts and braces of their captured opponents. This gets their opponents in trouble with parents. They go to battle in mass groups of dozens, wielding sticks & slingshots. It's a battle of strategic skills for the opposing leaders, Including one scene in which the principal gang uses an ancient war trick to overcome their opponents with successful and itchy results. Written by Kendall Blake <bluebird90@hotmail.com>/Mick DeLeon

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Most wars last years. This one has to be over by dinner.


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

29 September 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Guerra dos Botões  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The parents of one of the boys in this film took a court action to prevent this film being released. The grounds for their action were that their son's naked buttocks could be seen in the film. the action was dismissed on the grounds that they (the buttocks) didn't appear on screen long enough to allow identification and also that the parents should have raised their objection before the scene was filmed. See more »


When Fergus is walking towards Geronimo, the rabbit that he is holding switches hands between shots. Fergus holds the rabbit upright with the nape of its neck between the fingers of one hand and holding its broken rear leg in his other hand. The nape of its neck is in his left hand at 54:56, in his right hand from 55:00 to 55:14, and in his left hand from 55:16 to 55:30. See more »


Little Con: Hey lads, I think I feel a bit whoosy.
See more »


Referenced in Game-On: Martin's Baby (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

Good entertainment that avoids the mushy sentimentality of too many films with child actors
19 October 2002 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

In two small Irish villages the two communities have children who are ongoing hostilities. The Bally's are a little poorer than their rivals the Carricks. However the war of attrition between the two sets of boys is escalated when Fergus cuts all the buttons and buckles off one of the Carrick's clothes. This sparks the war of the Buttons which the Bally's take seriously, saving money, building a head quarters etc. The childish war begins to escalate however and the reality of the adult world begins to make it's presence felt in a very real way.

I set my video to tape one of the Hope/Crosby `Road to' movies late one night. However the destination for that movie was a place that had been the target of a terrorist bomb so it was dropped from the schedules and this movie was put in it's place due to the similar running time I assume. I was a little let down cause I'm a big Hope fan but I thought I'd give this a shot for lack of anything else to watch. I had high expectations when I saw that the team behind this had also produced and written Chariots of Fire, but soon realised this was a much more low key affair.

The plot is a remark of an old French film and sees a village feud between two groups of kids. It could have been sentimental and mushy with tonnes of cute kids just taking things too far 9imagine if Disney had made this!) but happily it is kept on a level field and not allowed to be spoilt in such a crude manner. The plot never gets out of hand and the ending is a sobering blow of reality without falling into sentimentality which it could so easily have done.

The cast are all excellent. The children are not the `cute but cheeky' type favoured in Hollywood but are totally convincing in their roles. The film never judges any of them but lets us just watch without having baddies or goodies – just children. The only fault is that it is a little too light and could be basically a film for slightly older kids who can understand the themes and not just take in the idea of fighting. Adults may find it to be a little too childish for long parts, but it's still a good mix of fun and serious material.

Overall I was set for a Bob Hope classic but got this. I got over my disappointment and got into this. It is light and funny but also dark without tipping into the mushy sentimentality that accompanies many films with all-kid casts. Could have been more substantial but is still pretty enjoyable all the same.

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