Spike Milligan's book about the divided Irish village of Puckoon comes to the big screen.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Dan Madigan
...
Dr. Goldstein
...
Father Rudden
...
O'Brien
Griff Rhys Jones ...
Col. Stokes
Nickolas Grace ...
Foggerty
...
Rafferty
...
O'Toole
...
Sgt. McGillikuddie
...
Sir John Meredith
Richard Rickings ...
Alex Walker
...
Writer-Director
...
The surveyor
Frankie McCafferty ...
Lenny
Conor Mullen ...
Shamus
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Storyline

Puckoon is a wee Irish village that gets caught up in an argument about where the border separating Northern Ireland from Ireland should be. Keen to get the matter sorted before the pubs close, a random borderline is wrestled on the map of the Emerald Isle and Puckoon gets divided as well - literally. As the barbed wire fences and Army checkpoints go up overnight, suddenly people cannot get to their outhouses or walk from one side of the street to the other. It has some advantages - everyone squeezes into the tiniest corner of the pub because it is in Northern Ireland territory where the beer is cheaper, but worst of all is the church and its graveyard. Now the newly deceased need a valid passport, renewable every year, if they want to be buried "across the border". A plan is hatched to return the newly dead back to Ireland. At the same time, a plan is hatched to smuggle explosives in coffins to Northern Ireland with, as they say, hilarious results. Written by <jbartlett2000@hotmail;com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Knowing where to draw the line

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

4 April 2003 (Ireland)  »

Also Known As:

Határvillongások  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Richard Attenborough plays a "Writer-Director" in this movie. Attenborough is really a director, but he has never worked as a writer. See more »

Quotes

Writer-Director: Many people die of thirst, but the Irish were born with one.
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Crazy Credits

The above Cast list was random... like most Borders! See more »

Soundtracks

Sunrise
Written by Neil Hannon
[from the Setanta album "Fin de Siecle"]
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User Reviews

 
Anything done by Spike will be praised.
30 March 2003 | by (Leeds, England) – See all my reviews

I hope, from his seat on Heaven's comedic throne, Spike Milligan can see and can enjoy this film, as Terence Ryan and Ken Tuohy have taken a book that the author himself said writing it "nearly turned me mad" into a joy to watch.

The film tells the story of the Irish town of Puckoon and the problems befallen upon it when the partition between Northern Ireland and the Republic is drawn up, cutting its way through the centre of the village and, more worringly, through the middle of the churchyard. This causes some deceased, buried in the Catholic churchyard, to now be in the Protestant north - and so the local priest, assisted by a wide variety of eccentric locals, aims to move the bodies back undercover of darkness, and so avoiding the bureaucratic British border guards.

It was inspired work to cast the Irish comedian and poet Sean Hughes to play the part of Madigan. He brings an innocence to the part, especially in his to-camera pieces (which is normally where he interacts with the voiceover of Richard Attenborough, playing supposedly the writer/director of the film). Daragh O'Malley playing Father Rudden is also worthy of considerable praise; and the rest of the cast, from the household names like Elliott Gould and Griff Rhys Jones to people with what would normally be called 'bit parts' - such as Spike's daughter Jane who plays Madigan's wife give 100% The credit for this goes, in no small part, to the wonderful characterisations given by Spike in the original book.

I could argue that the film is slightly too long, or that Elliott Gould's Irish accent left a little to be desired, but those would be only minor points and take nothing away from the excellence of this film.


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