MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 17,174 this week

The Young Poisoner's Handbook (1995)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  23 February 1996 (USA)
7.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.1/10 from 2,808 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 29 critic

This film is based on a true story about a British teenager who allegedly poisoned family, friends, and co-workers. Graham is highly intelligent, but completely amoral. He becomes ... See full summary »

Director:

0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

list image
a list of 43 titles
created 10 Nov 2012
 
a list of 41 titles
created 02 Jan 2013
 
a list of 46 titles
created 30 Jan 2013
 
list image
a list of 37 titles
created 06 Aug 2013
 
a list of 41 titles
created 20 Sep 2013
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Young Poisoner's Handbook (1995)

The Young Poisoner's Handbook (1995) on IMDb 7.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Young Poisoner's Handbook.
2 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Sawdust Tales (1997)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Sawdust Tales is a whimsical and timeless parable on survival in hard times and the force of a first love against all odds. In a timeless no-mans land scarred by social decay and imminent ... See full summary »

Director: Baris Pirhasan
Stars: Hugh O'Conor, Károly Eperjes, Julia Brendler
The Hunter (2011)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Farmer Ivan Dunaev gets up early. He feeds his piglets, does paperwork, fixes the tractor, and weighs the meat he'll take in his old pickup truck to the market to sell. He has a wife, a ... See full summary »

Director: Bakur Bakuradze
Stars: Gera Avdochenok, Mikhail Barskovich, Vladimir Degilev
RKO 281 (TV Movie 1999)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Orson Welles produces his greatest film, Citizen Kane (1941), despite the opposition of the film's de facto subject, William Randolph Hearst.

Director: Benjamin Ross
Stars: Liev Schreiber, James Cromwell, Melanie Griffith
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

With the help of a relative, a hopeless railway employee is made stationmaster of Buggleskelly. Determined to make his mark, he devises a number of schemes to put Buggleskelly on the railway map, but instead falls foul of a gang of gun runners.

Director: Marcel Varnel
Stars: Will Hay, Moore Marriott, Graham Moffatt
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Anthony Hancock gives up his office job to become an abstract artist. He has a lot of enthusiasm, but little talent, and critics scorn his work. Nevertheless, he impresses an emerging very ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Day
Stars: Tony Hancock, George Sanders, Paul Massie
Certificate: GP Crime | Thriller | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A man named Salem escapes from an insane asylum where he was confined for an axe-murder. Falsely convicted under a plea of "guilty due to insanity", he does not plan to let his sister and ... See full summary »

Director: Laslo Benedek
Stars: Max von Sydow, Trevor Howard, Liv Ullmann
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

When DJ Alex is placed under house arrest, he is forced to live together with his ex-girlfriend Karen.

Director: Bernhard Pucher
Stars: Ryan Davenport, Sharea Samuels, Petra Letang
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Based on the Stephen Potter "One Upmanship" and "Lifemanship" books, Henry Palfrey tries hard to impress but always loses out to the rotter Delauney. Then he discovers the Lifeman college ... See full summary »

Directors: Robert Hamer, Hal E. Chester, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Ian Carmichael, Terry-Thomas, Alastair Sim
Poppy Shakespeare (TV Movie 2008)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

N has been a day patient at north London's Dorothy Fish day hospital for 13 years - her ambition is never to leave. Then she meets glamourous new patient Poppy Shakespeare, an ad agency receptionist convinced she's not mad.

Director: Benjamin Ross
Stars: Naomie Harris, Anna Maxwell Martin, Kolade Agboke
Sunday (1997)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

This film concerns two mysterious characters who meet on a Sunday in Queens. Madeleine the most unsettling creature of that name since "Vertigo" is a middle-aged, moderately successful ... See full summary »

Director: Jonathan Nossiter
Stars: David Suchet, Lisa Harrow, Arnold Barkus
Torte Bluma (2005)
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Torte Bluma is a sobering film inspired by a real-life episode in the life of Franz Stangl (played by Stellan), the German commandant at the Treblinka Extermination Camp, and the Jewish prisoner who cooks his meals.

Director: Benjamin Ross
Stars: Stellan Skarsgård, Simon McBurney, James Arden
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Director: Martin Duffy
Stars: Rita Tushingham, Tom Courtenay, Hugh O'Conor
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tobias Arnold ...
Young Graham
...
Molly
...
Fred
...
Norman Caro ...
Mr. Goez
Dorothea Alexander ...
Mrs. Goez
...
Winnie
Paul Stacey ...
Dennis
Samantha Edmonds ...
Sue
Robert Demeger ...
Mr. Dexter
Jack Deam ...
Mick
Peter Pacey ...
Dickie Boone
Joost Siedhoff ...
Dr. Scott
Vilma Hollingbery ...
Aunty Panty
Frank Mills ...
Uncle Jack
Edit

Storyline

This film is based on a true story about a British teenager who allegedly poisoned family, friends, and co-workers. Graham is highly intelligent, but completely amoral. He becomes interested in science, especially chemistry, and begins to read avidly. Something of a social misfit, he is fascinated by morbid subjects such as poisons and murder. His family environment is intolerable to him and, in particular, his stepmother torments him. He decides to poison those who annoy him, first with antimony and later with thallium. He smugly thinks himself cleverer than all those around him, but nevertheless he is caught and sentenced to 'rehabilitation' at a psychiatric institution. Once there, he undertakes to deceive the new eminent psychiatrist sent there to 'cure' him, thereby securing his release. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Meet Graham. He's not your ordinary teenager. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for murders by poisoning, language and some nude photos | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

23 February 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das Handbuch des jungen Giftmischers  »

Box Office

Gross:

$749,812 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The "Newton's Diamond" that Graham is obsessed with is a fictional device. Antimony sulfide forms a crystal called stibnite which is gray and opaque, not clear and colorless like most gem-quality diamonds. "Diamond" was the name of Isaac Newton's dog. See more »

Goofs

When Dr. Zeigler visits the institution for mentally unstable criminals in which Graham is hospitalized, the director of the institution says, referred to another patient: "Vulpes pilum mutat, non mores", saying it means "The leopard never changes his spots". Graham corrects him, saying it means instead: "The wolf changes its fur, but not its nature". Actually, "vulpes" means "fox". See more »

Quotes

Graham Young: I want to be the greatest poisoner the world has ever seen.
See more »

Connections

References A Clockwork Orange (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

Swedish Rhapsody
Composed by Hugo Alfven
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Black comedy near its best
17 July 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Why has 'The Young Poisoner's Handbook' not developed a cult following? I have some theories, but this is certainly a film that should have found a larger audience at some point.

This is pitch black British comedy near its best, reminiscent of both Hitchcock and 'A Clockwork Orange' -- its three-part structure is similar to that of 'A Clockwork Orange,' given that the protagonist is free, then confined, then free again to illustrate the vanity of "rehabilitation" where it concerns psychopaths, and we even hear excerpts from Purcell's Funeral Music for Queen Mary, which Wendy Carlos incorporated into her electronic score for 'Clockwork.' Whether 'The Young Poisoner's Handbook' is paying homage or borrowing, the movie itself is a highly individual work that should please anyone with a fondness for Orwell or Ealing.

Hugh O'Conor, with his wide-eyed gift for simulating innocence, is an ideal selection for the role of Graham Young, the real-life poisoner of the British village of Bovingdon, who slowly poisoned his stepmother to death with antimony sulfide, finishing the job with thallium. Cursed with a banal home life and a sociopathic mind, his self-described "gift for chemistry" is put to obviously nefarious uses, occasionally using friends as guinea pigs before the main attraction.

The director, Benjamin Ross, makes a tremendously impressive debut here. His selection of music together with his fluid editing and camera-work often produce stirring and exciting results, the 1960s small British town setting keenly observed, with a very black wit. Graham's wicked stepmother, played by the singular Ruth Sheen (seen in many Mike Leigh films), joyfully accepts her first dose of poison after finding a box of Velvet Victories chocolates on her bedroom pillow, with a note reading "To my darling mother, xxxx." There's a vivid sense of the dustiness of the Young household, the darkness of Graham's bedroom punctured by the eerie glow of his flasks, the frustration of an overcrowded working class household where the telly's always running with the silliness of popular variety programs. The film also adroitly contrasts the self-important grandeur of Young's genocidal ambitions with the unglamorous pettiness of the actual crimes and the prosaic Bovingdon environment to which his perpetration of them was fortunately limited (the real Graham Young had wanted to be known as "The World's Poisoner," but was instead given the considerably less flattering moniker "The Teacup Poisoner"). Absurdity and grimness are very skillfully balanced. A marvelous, overlooked film.


18 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Makes him a hero... TinTin_57
Where is the DVD!!!!!!!!????????+shy;??!!!!! Nijn1978
Soundtrack Tracklist ... donranby
Japanese girl inspired by this film to poision her mother. peak_freak
What's the song under the closing credits? imdb-484
Proper DVD release? BornJaded
Discuss The Young Poisoner's Handbook (1995) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?