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The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys
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The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys -- A group of Catholic school friends, after being caught drawing an obscene comic book, plan a heist that will outdo their previous prank and make them local legends.


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7.1/10   12,191 votes »
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Down 11% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Chris Fuhrman (book)
Jeff Stockwell (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
28 June 2002 (USA) See more »
One of the most inventive, funny coming-of-age films in years! See more »
A group of Catholic school friends, after being caught drawing an obscene comic book, plan a heist that will outdo their previous prank and make them local legends. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
2 wins See more »
User Reviews:
Growing Up Catholic See more (122 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Emile Hirsch ... Francis Doyle

Kieran Culkin ... Tim Sullivan

Vincent D'Onofrio ... Father Casey

Jena Malone ... Margie Flynn

Jake Richardson ... Wade Scalisi
Tyler Long ... Joey Anderson

Jodie Foster ... Sister Assumpta
Arthur Bridgers ... Donny Flynn (as Arthur Bridges)
Scott Simpson ... Newsie

Melissa McBride ... Mrs. Doyle

Michael Harding ... Mr. Doyle (as Mike Harding)
Chandler McIntyre ... Naturalist
Jeffrey West ... Professor Sullivan

Yvonne Erickson ... Mrs. Sullivan
Nicky Olson ... Colin Gibbney
Carson Pigott ... Jay Flynn
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Kelvin O'Bryant ... Craig Dockery (uncredited)
Michele Seidman ... Newsies Girlfriend (uncredited)

Directed by
Peter Care 
Writing credits
Chris Fuhrman (book)

Jeff Stockwell (screenplay) and
Michael Petroni (screenplay)

Produced by
Lisa Buono .... associate producer
Pen Densham .... executive producer
Terry Fitzgerald .... animation producer
Jodie Foster .... producer
Tim Harbert .... co-producer
David A. Jones .... executive producer
Graham King .... executive producer
Cheryl La Sasso .... associate producer
Meg LeFauve .... producer
Guy McElwaine .... executive producer
Todd McFarlane .... animation producer
Chrisanne Mitchell .... associate producer
Eric Radomski .... additional animation producer
Jay Shapiro .... producer
Bob Stephenson .... associate producer
John Watson .... executive producer
Michael Wolf .... additional animation producer (as Mike Wolf)
Original Music by
Marco Beltrami 
Cinematography by
Lance Acord 
Film Editing by
Chris Peppe 
Casting by
Craig Fincannon 
Laray Mayfield 
Production Design by
Gideon Ponte 
Art Direction by
Geoffrey S. Grimsman 
Set Decoration by
James Edward Ferrell Jr.  (as James E. Ferrell Jr.)
Costume Design by
Marie France 
Makeup Department
Lynn Barber .... key makeup artist
Darwin Hensley .... makeup artist
Philip Ivey .... key hair stylist (as Philip 'Mr. P' Ivey)
Patricia McAlhany Glasser .... hair stylist
Rick Pour .... makeup artist (as Rick D Pour)
Lee Romaire .... fur transfer technician: XFX
Kristin Ryals .... makeup artist
Lucienne Zammit .... makeup artist: M. Foster
Production Management
Jim Cerrotta .... post-production supervisor: animation
Tim Harbert .... unit production manager
Sean Wimmer .... post-production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Judi Bell .... second second assistant director
Scott Cameron .... first assistant director
Michael G. Jefferson .... second assistant director
Gary Jensen .... second unit director
Todd J. Labarowski .... weekly additional second assistant director
Art Department
Kip Bartlett .... on-set dresser
David Alan Bean .... tool man
Sean Bernard .... painter
Jennifer Braverman .... prop assistant
Kenneth Bryant .... set dresser
Adam Cameron .... set dresser
Greg Capullo .... concept art
Richard M. Cole .... propmaker gangboss
Thurston Edwards .... buyer
Tom Fleming .... illustrator
Tom Fleming .... props
Patrick Fuhrman .... lead man
Gary Graham .... storyboard artist
Jeffrey A. Hughes .... set dresser
Stephen C. Peterman .... lead man
Mari Phillips .... greensperson
Vicky Ruane .... artist
Thomas Michael Ryan .... foreman
Jeffrey Schlatter .... construction coordinator
Bennet Silver .... set dresser
Brian Stultz .... scenic chargeman
Gary Damian Thomas .... storyboard artist (as Gary Thomas)
Richard Waldrop .... property master (as Richard 'Petie' Waldrop)
Chris Crowder .... set foreman (uncredited)
Sound Department
Gregg Barbanell .... foley artist
C. Douglas Cameron .... boom operator
Paul Curtis .... sound editor
Andrew DeCristofaro .... supervising sound editor
Thom 'Coach' Ehle .... stereo sound consultant: Dolby
David Esparza .... sound effects editor
Marshall Garlington .... sound
Matt Hedges .... assistant sound editor
Nancy Nugent .... dialogue editor
Michael Orlowski .... sound effects editor
Michael Payne .... supervising sound editor
Andy Peach .... sound recordist
Stephen P. Robinson .... sound effects editor
Carl Rudisill .... production sound mixer
Martin Schloemer .... sound recordist
Dan Scolnik .... foley cue
Dan Scolnik .... foley editor
Jonathan Sola .... sound effects editor
Scott Solan .... sound utility
John C. Stuver .... dialogue editor
Ken Teaney .... re-recording mixer
Jonathan Wareham .... sound editor
Special Effects by
David Hill .... special effects technician
Walter Kiesling .... special effects supervisor
Michael Schorr .... special effects coordinator
Heath Hood .... special effects technician (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Adam Howard .... visual effects: Complete Post
Scott McLain .... Inferno artist
Scott McLain .... visual effects editor: animation
Gary Jensen .... stunt coordinator
Jessi Jensen .... stunts
Cal Johnson .... stunt double: Emile Hirsch
Cal Johnson .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
Michael Adler .... gaffer
Stacy Barnhill .... grip
Jim Bridges .... still photographer
Stephen Brock .... best boy electric
Lynn Dodson .... gaffer
Lynn Dodson .... gaffer: second unit
Mason Donnahoe .... video assist operator
James Frederick .... rigging electric
Robert Hoelen .... grip
Chris Jadick .... electrician
Mike Repeta .... first assistant camera: second unit
Christian Satrazemis .... camera loader
Dave Spencer .... grip
Simon Carey .... electrician (uncredited)
Animation Department
Todd McFarlane .... animation sequences
Denis Deegan .... overseas animation director: animated sequences (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Patricia Buckley-Moss .... costume ager
Patricia Buckley-Moss .... costumer
Joyce Marling .... key set costumer
Elizabeth Martucci .... costumer (as Elizabeth Anderson)
Rosalida Medina .... assistant to costume designer
Editorial Department
Amy Flint Catherwood .... first assistant editor (as Amy Flint)
Erin Michelle Hopkins .... assistant editor
Janet 'Lime' Leimenstoll .... editor: animation sequence
Mark Needham .... editor: animation sequence
Theresa Repola Mohammed .... negative cutter
Jon Rocke .... colorist: dailies
Nick Smith .... assistant editor
Melissa Wegman .... Bond Co. Post Superviser
Location Management
E. Michael Hewett .... location manager: North Carolina and South Carolina
Steve Rhea .... assistant location manager: South Carolina
Geoffrey Ryan .... assistant location manager: North Carolina
Music Department
Pete Anthony .... conductor
Pete Anthony .... orchestrator
John Bissell .... music supervisor
William Boston .... orchestrator (as Bill Boston)
Julian Bratolyubov .... music preparation
Tom Hiel .... orchestrator (as Tom Heil)
Josh Homme .... composer: additional music (as Joshua Homme)
Alain Johannes .... music mixer
John Kurlander .... scoring mixer
Tommy Lockett .... music editor
Yvonne McDonald .... music coordinator
Chris McGeary .... music editor
Buck Sanders .... musician: guitar
Ceiri Torjussen .... orchestrator
Ken Watson .... music contractor
Transportation Department
Steve Boyd .... transportation coordinator
Neil Castles Jr. .... driver
Other crew
Clyde D. Baisey .... medic
Bianca Bezdek-Goodloe .... legal services
William Blake .... works quoted in film
Chamonix Bosch .... key set production assistant
Richard Bronskill .... auricle operator
Scott Clum .... opening titles
Tona B. Dahlquist .... project manager: South Carolina Film Office
MacAulay Flynt .... production assistant
Julie Hansen .... post production accountant
Barbara Efthymiou Harris .... office production assistant
Robert Labrecque .... production accountant
Lorielle Mallue .... assistant: Meg LeFauve (as Lorielle Evelyn Mallue)
Ken Meyer .... legal services
Christine Moore .... script supervisor
Matt Morris .... production assistant
Matthew H. Morris .... production assistant (as Mathew H. Morris)
Erin O'Donnell .... assistant to actor
Noelle M. Pflum .... assistant to producers
Shannon Rippy .... production coordinator
Adam Royer .... opening titles
Buck Sanders .... synthesizer preparation
Ray Simm .... unit publicist
Patricia Story .... unit publicist
Kelly R. Tenney .... assistant production coordinator
Cara White .... unit publicist
Pamela Williamson .... first assistant accountant

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Innocent Boys" - Japan (English title)
See more »
Rated R for language, sexual content and youth substance use
104 min | Argentina:105 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Chris Fuhrman died of cancer before completing the final draft of the book. The movie is dedicated to him at the beginning of the final credits.See more »
Continuity: When Tim and Francis are walking with the dog, a truck can be seen behind them in one shot but not in the next. It subsequently passes right by them.See more »
[first lines]
Francis Doyle:Tell me again why we're doing this.
Tim:Homework, Francis. Your future's built on it.
Francis Doyle:[whispered] Right.
See more »
Movie Connections:
On The Road AgainSee more »


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24 out of 27 people found the following review useful.
Growing Up Catholic, 29 April 2005
Author: Michael Margetis ( from United States

I came across this indie gem one day at my local Blockbuster. I looked at it and it seemed like it would be an o.k. way to kill two hours. There was really nothing else in the videostore, so I decided to rent it. Boy, am I glad I did. I really appreciated the movie and related to it, after all I do go to a Catholic High School. 'The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys' is actually a great coming-of-age tale set in the Catholic school setting of the 1970s. Just by reading the title I thought it was about pedophile Catholic priests or something, but it's really about two friends who are the altar boys at their church/school and their adventures as they discover what's life is all about... or their interpretation of it.

The two boys in 'The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys' are Francis Doyle (Emile Hirsch - The Girl Next Door, The Emperor's Club) and Michael Sullivan (Kieran Culkin - Igby Goes Down, Home Alone). They are two fifteen year old rebels that have a passion for comics and writing and illustrating their own. They despise their tough-as-nails and strict one-legged Catholic nun school teacher, Sister Assumpta (played by Two Time Academy Award Winner Jodie Foster - The Accused, The Silence of the Lambs). The two boys make themselves their own creative superheroes in their comic and have Sister Assumpta be the evil motorcycle peddling nun from hell that the two superheroes battle, along with the boys' other two friends who provide superheroes for their comic too. The film switches from real-life to the creative comic book setting during conflicts in the story, and I think that it's done very stylish and neat. The two boys rebel against their teacher and misbehave in front of her constantly, especially Michael (Culkin) who drives her absolutely nuts. The boys rebel by doing other things that the nun doesn't know about like, drink, smoke pot and steal and damage church property. The film contains some funny moments, and as the story unfolds Francis (Hirsch) becomes interested in the girl who lives next door to him Margie (Jena Malone - Saved!, Cold Mountain), a cool, nice, beautiful and independent girl with a deep and dark secret that challenges Francis. I won't give it away though.

There are many great aspects to this film. Most notably is the acting. Emile Hirsch is nothing short of incredible as the genuine misfit Francis and Jena Malone is equally as good as the sweet yet complex Margie. Jodie Foster is hysterical and always a pleasure to watch as the uptight Catholic school nun and 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent's' Vincent D'Onofrio has a somewhat small role as an interesting Catholic school priest who smokes like a chimney. The stand-out of the film however is Kieran Culkin. He is definitely the most talented performer in his family, and he gives an astounding performance as Michael Sullivan that puts him on the top of the list of the best child actors working in Hollywood currently. Culkin gave an equally amazing performance in Burr Steer's neurotic and darkly hilarious film debut 'Igby Goes Down' which was released the same year as 'The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys'. Peter Care does a fabulous job with this, his feature film debut, and the valley's Todd MacFarlane (creator of Spawn) provides the comic book illustration for the animated scenes.

All in all this is a great coming-of-age movie, with a lot of heart and intelligence. It has some flaws like dragging a little towards the beginning, being a little unclear towards the end and having some freaky and unnecessary ghost sequence towards the middle of the film. I'd recommend this to anyone who attends Catholic High School because it is a great movie but it's also something you could relate to. Next time you are at the videostore and can't find anything to watch, maybe pick up 'The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys'. Chances are you won't regret it. Grade: B+


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