Ratcatcher (1999)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  12 November 1999 (UK)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 5,602 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
See  »

Did You Know?


Although this film is in English, the US release has English subtitles because all the characters speak in a very heavy Scottish accent. 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 »


References Star Trek (1966) See more »


Cello Song
Written and Performed by Nick Drake
Published by Warlock Music Ltd / Island Music Ltd
Courtesy of Island Records Ltd
Licensed by kind permission from Polygram Film & TV Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Dark, telling portrait of growing up in an inner city
19 August 1999 | by (Glasgow, Scotland) – See all my reviews

I attended the screening of Ratcatcher in Glasgow as part of the Edinburgh Film festival where it was very warmly received. At times it is not an easy film to watch but it is hard not to relate to the struggle of the young boy at the centre of the story as he tries to make sense of his situation and to dream of an escape from squalor. The incident at the heart of the story and it's impact on the boy is developed in an understated way while never leaving you in doubt about it's devastating effect. The non-professional cast are uniformly excellent, particularly the boy playing the main character, and the film always feels rooted in the real lives of real people continually up against it. The humour and casual violence have considerable impact by being used sparingly and there are moments of great tenderness, particularly between the boy and an abused girl in his street. The film is set in Govan during the binmen's strike of the late seventies and it looks quite bleak yet the colours are deep and rich. This is a serious film with real depth and an exceptionally promising debut from Lynne Ramsey.

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