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Ratcatcher (1999)

Not Rated | | Drama | 12 November 1999 (UK)
Glasgow, summer, 1973. Dustmen are striking; bags of garbage add to the blight of council flats and a fetid canal. Ryan, who's about 12, drowns during a play fight with his neighbor, the ... See full summary »



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12 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mandy Matthews ...
William Eadie ...
Michelle Stewart ...
Lynne Ramsay Jr. ...
Anne Marie (as Lynne Ramsay Jnr.)
Leanne Mullen ...
Margaret Anne
John Miller ...
Jackie Quinn ...
Mrs. Quinn
James Ramsay ...
Mr. Quinn
Anne McLean ...
Mrs. Fowler
Craig Bonar ...
Matt Monroe
Andrew McKenna ...
Mick Maharg ...
James Montgomery ...
Thomas McTaggart ...


Glasgow, summer, 1973. Dustmen are striking; bags of garbage add to the blight of council flats and a fetid canal. Ryan, who's about 12, drowns during a play fight with his neighbor, the jug-eared James. James runs home, a flat where he lives with his often-drunk da, his ma, and sisters, who live in hope of moving to newly-built council flats. The slice-of-life, coming-of-age story follows James as he tags along with the older lads; has a friendship with his quirky wee rodent-loving neighbor, Kenny; spends time with Margaret Anne, myopic, slightly older, the local sexual punching bag; and, has a moment or two of joy. The strike may end, but is there any way out for James? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

12 November 1999 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Nazwij to snem  »

Box Office


$30,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£52,378 (UK) (12 November 1999)


$216,781 (USA) (27 April 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The canal featured in the film was specifically built for the movie as all the already existing canals were either too polluted or too clean-looking to be used for the film. See more »


A radio announcer mentions a football score "Stirling Albion 20, Selkirk 0." That game was played in 1984, not in the early 70's when the film was set. See more »


Kenny: Goodbye, Snowball!
See more »


Featured in The Story of Film: An Odyssey: European New Wave (2011) See more »


Roobarb & Custard
Directed by Bob Godfrey
Written by Grange Calveley (as Grange Calverley)
Narrated by Richard Briers
© Roobarb Enterprises
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User Reviews

A very powerful movie which will stick with you for a long time
6 November 1999 | by (Brighton, England) – See all my reviews

I saw this movie recently at a special Student premiere in Leicester Square in London. I'd read a few reviews from various magazines about the movie and its lack of Narrative structure, but from watching the first 5 minutes, I knew this was something special. This has to be one of the most powerful British Movies ever made. The acting is superb, the whole cast is brilliant especially the children. Lynn Ramsey directs her feature debut with confidence and professional ability, and the result is stunning. The Narrative does give way slightly after the "accident" and the movie seems to forget about that fateful day on the canal, it seems to drift a little, but this, as I found out afterwards was on purpose. The movie was originally envisaged as 20 short stories which came into one, and it was also designed so the audience would always have this event in the back of their minds throughout the movie and whenever something relevant happened you were instantly reminded of it. Their are a few minor controversial scenes in the movie which some members of the audience did not agree with and others simply laughed off - I was not bothered about the main controversial scene but could see and hear that some people were offended. The setting of Glasgow in the late 1970s is well represented, and set around the dustbin men strike of '76. The atmosphere of living in a disease ridden place like this with rubbish piling up on every corner is almost tangible. The balance between bleakness and humour is never crossed too far either side. The subject matter is very depressing and humour was therefore injected in places (such as the rat on the moon sequence) to lighten up the audience and not have them leaving the cinema depressed.

This movie is a real stunner, don't be fooled by reviews and magazines saying otherwise go and see this movie at the first possible chance. You will not be disappointed.

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