16 user 7 critic

Rat (2000)

A woman becomes furious when her husband arrives home from the local pub and turns into a rat.




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Phelim Spratt
Andrew Lovern ...
Pius Flynn
Veronica Duffy ...
Alfie ...
Mickey the Dog
Peter Caffrey ...
Mick the Barman
Rita Hamill ...
Estate Woman
Roxanna Nic Liam ...
Hopscotch Child (as Roxanna Williams)


Dublin deliveryman Hubert Flynn feels peaked. Home from the pub, he lies down; while his nagging wife Conchita looks on, he turns into a rat. She's chafed at how inconsiderate he is: hardly touching his food the next morning and leaving droppings on the good doilies. With curiosity seekers outside the flat and a writer at the door offering to help Conchita turn her story into a book, she calls a family meeting. Her seminary-bound son Pius wants to kill the rat; other family members are ambivalent. They opt to hurl Hubert over the fence of a maggot farm. Christmas approaches; an exorcism is in the cards, and the book becomes the Holy Grail. What of Hubert's conversion? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Plot Keywords:

rat | book | pub | writer | maggot | See All (130) »


He might eat maggots and live in a cage but he's still our Dad

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for language and brief nudity | See all certifications »



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Release Date:

6 October 2000 (Ireland)  »

Also Known As:

Esse Rato É um Espanto  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,815, 29 April 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,501, 6 May 2001
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Technical Specs

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Did You Know?


[first lines]
Hubert: Seventy years ago, me grandfather, Hubert Flynn Foster, set out from his home in the County Wexford, and joining north over the hills and valleys of Whitlock, until he came to Dublin City.
Hubert: I remember once, when I was a chiseler, he caught me whittlin' up against the wall. And he told me if I behaved like a dog, I might turn into a dog. And then he was off on one of his old yarns about people he knew that turned into goats and weasels. Of course we ran afoul, he said, of more than ...
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O Fortuna
from "Carmina Burana"
Written by Carl Orff
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User Reviews

Farce used to hilarious effect to pursue moral argument.
22 September 2000 | by See all my reviews


Hubert Flynn (Pete Postlethwaite) has had a hard day on his bread delivery round. and so, stops off for a pint on the way home to Kimmage – to wife Conchita (Imelda Staunton), daughter Marietta (Kerry Condon) and his saintly son Pius (Andrew Lovern). Inevitably one pint becomes a ‘few'. He's also under the weather. Daisy Farrell's (Veronica Duffy) expert diagnosis from the snug is Asiatic flu. Back home, with Conchita giving him some of her mind, Hubert wants only to go to bed. But Hubert hasn't the flu. There he metamorphoses into a rat.

Initially normality reigns in the Flynn household in this freak circumstance of Hubert as rat. He's a bit picky about his food and the family unsure of rat habits, but widely read Uncle Matt (Frank Kelly) proves expert on all things rodent.

But journalist Phelim Spratt (David Wilmot) worms his way into the home with a plan for a book, a film, a book of the film … However the satanic entrepreneurial approach is a Pandora's box and sets the film off in glorious chase of the punchline.

Wesley Burrows' screenplay is in the tradition of the farce – a comic creation built around exaggeration of character and event, extremes of personality and occasion; soaked in satire and nonsense; action-driven, leading to the climactic joke that is the point of the piece.

But the punchline is not the whole point. Farce should also have a point of view. Without unveiling the joke, how ought we to respond to ‘freaks', ‘aliens in our midst'? Burn them? Expel them? Exploit them? Accept them?

Director Steve Barron and his cast carry off Burrows' farce with verve (with Imelda Stauntion in splendid form) according to the rules of the genre – including hilariously developing the moral debates.

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