Ratcatcher (1999)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  12 November 1999 (UK)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 5,604 users   Metascore: 76/100
Reviews: 64 user | 57 critic | 20 from Metacritic.com

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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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
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Did You Know?


One of Gary Oldman's favourite films. See more »


The film is set in 1975. The Leyland Atlantean bus used throughout, LA1 (FYS998), was withdrawn from service in 1973. It is preserved in the Glasgow Museum of Transport. See more »


Kenny: Goodbye, Snowball!
See more »


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


Something Stupid
Performed by Frank Sinatra (as Frank) and Nancy Sinatra
Written by C. Carson Parks (as Carson Parks)
Licensed by Montclare Music Company Ltd. London
Copyright © Greenwood Music Company, USA
Used by kind permission of Montclare Music Company Ltd. London
Recording licensed by Nancy's, a label owned by Ms Nancy Sinatra operated by Hammer Musik Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

Best Film of 1999
8 May 2003 | by (Los Angeles, USA) – See all my reviews

Contrary to some of the other user comments, which try to compare Ramsay to Loach, Tarkovsky, Bresson (though she cites these men as influences) I found Ratcatcher to stand on its own, and have a distinct style unto itself. The narrative seemlessly shifts from fantasy to reality, a characteristic of Ramsay's short films as well. To reduce Ramsay to a filmmaker only dealing with social realism misses the entire point of her film, which is to reconstruct a narrative as it would appear to a young boy plagued with guilt over his involvement with the death of a friend. Ratcatcher soars to levels of the fantastic world some remember from childhood (though not in a sentamental ridiculous way), transcending the stasis of her influences, who were concerned primarily with reality. Her films are not psycho-drama, they are composed in the "slice-of-life" style of some early new wave French Films, but that comparison is limited. If you liked Pixote, George Washington, 400 Blows, Los Olvidados, see their counterpart, it's that good. One of the best films about children you'll ever see.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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