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The Butcher Boy (1997)

Francie and Joe live the usual playful, fantasy filled childhoods of normal boys. However, with a violent, alcoholic father and a manic depressive, suicidal mother the pressure on Francie ... See full summary »

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Writers:

(novel) (as Patrick McCabe), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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10 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Sergeant
Peter Gowen ...
Leddy
Alan Boyle ...
Joe Purcell
Andrew Fullerton ...
Phillip Nugent
...
Mrs. Nugent
Aisling O'Sullivan ...
Ma Brady
...
...
Dr. Boyd
Rosaleen Linehan ...
Mrs. Canning
Anita Reeves ...
Mrs. Coyle
Gina Moxley ...
Mary
Niall Buggy ...
Father Dom
...
Uncle Alo
Anne O'Neill ...
Mrs. McGlone
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Storyline

Francie and Joe live the usual playful, fantasy filled childhoods of normal boys. However, with a violent, alcoholic father and a manic depressive, suicidal mother the pressure on Francie to grow up are immense. Unfortunately, one tragedy after another, Francie's world sinks deeper and deeper into paranoia (directed mainly against Mrs. Nugent, a nasty neighbor) and fantasy (where he has visions of the Virgin Mary). Written by Mark Smith <msmith@osi.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This little piggy laughed all the way home!

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

20 February 1998 (Ireland)  »

Also Known As:

A kis véreskezű  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£288,594 (UK) (20 February 1998)

Gross:

$1,822,193 (USA) (5 June 1998)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (5.1 surround)|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stephen Rea is credited as only playing Pa in the film but also plays the adult Francie, who narrates his story in voice overs throughout the film, uncredited. See more »

Quotes

Francie Brady: Okay, now, the boiler house, why did they lock me in there? Well, Father Tiddley and his bloody mickey, why else? Imagine it, Joe, a priest wanting you to wear bonnets. I said, "No, Father. No bonnets. Not until you fork out the chocolates." Man, Joe, you should've seen the face on him.
See more »

Connections

Features The Lone Ranger (1949) See more »

Soundtracks

OH MEIN PAPA
Written by Paul Burkhardt (as Paul Burkhard) / John Turner / Geoffrey Parsons
Peter Maurice Music Co. Ltd.
Performed by Eddie Calvert
Courtesy of EMI Commercial Markets
See more »

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User Reviews

An extremely Powerful, well acted and brilliantly written film.
6 March 1999 | by (Western Australia) – See all my reviews

Neil Jordan, famed for such hits as Michael Collins and The Crying Game, returns to a much more conventional style of filmmaking. This time he leaves out the stars: no Liam Neeson, no Aidan Quinn, no Julia Roberts. This time it's cinema verite: a sotto-voce cast (barring Stephen Rea) which takes the mind off the actors and onto the film.

Which is good, because the film is a ripsnorter. It's a powerful expose on how children can turn out horribly wrong through a tough childhood. There is no fancy cinematography or cutesy-pie moments; no Hollywood endings or Schwarzenegger stick-ups. This is pure black comedy which relies on a fabulous script.

It revolves around the life of Francie Brady, a young Irish boy who gets up to all sorts of mischief. Him and his friend, Joe, are the local troublemakers in Dublin. But, there's more to Francie than one would think. His is a soul which is black at the core, and the passing of prominent figures in his life, as well as time spent in and out of juvenile detention centres, plus the dirty priests which govern the schools, sends the boy over the edge.

He paints a picture of hyperbole. Francie always seems happy, energetic and ready for action, yet boiling up inside of him are bloody demons and unimaginable violence. It's that hyperbole which creates so much tension in the movie, just wondering what he'll do and when he'll do it.

The film is narrated by an older Francie, one who has spent his life in a prison for the mentally insane. His narration is humorous and ironic, yet occasionally it derives some of the power from the movie because of its light-hearted, schmultzy comments. Francie sometimes talks to his older self, making one remember "Ferris Beuler's Day Off", but apart from that, the film is fantastic.

It lags in parts. Occasional scenes are drawn out and lengthy, and you just want to scream out, "pick up the damn butcher's knife and kill someone!" To make the film increase in pace. But that's not a major problem, that might just be my attention span, if you didn't have those scenes you wouldn't have such a poignant movie.

The Butcher Boy has a very satisfactory denouement. We all took our childhood for granted. It had its ups, it had its downs. This is a film which portrays what sort of childhood arises from continuous downs, dominated by misery and loss, and how much of an effect it can have on such an impressionable mind. This is a wonderful, black, violent, dramatic and hilarious movie. A rare offering, indeed.

Nine out of ten.


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