IMDb > Young Adam (2003)
Young Adam
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Young Adam (2003) More at IMDbPro »

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Young Adam -- US Home Video Trailer from Sony Pictures Classics
Young Adam -- A young drifter working on a river barge disrupts his employers' lives while hiding the fact that he knows more about a dead woman found in the river than he admits.


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6.5/10   11,001 votes »
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Release Date:
4 September 2003 (Netherlands) See more »
A young drifter working on a river barge disrupts his employers' lives while hiding the fact that he knows more about a dead woman found in the river than he admits. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
7 wins & 16 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Subtle, near great, not for everyone. See more (114 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Ewan McGregor ... Joe Taylor

Tilda Swinton ... Ella Gault

Peter Mullan ... Les Gault

Emily Mortimer ... Cathie Dimly

Jack McElhone ... Jim Gault
Therese Bradley ... Gwen
Ewan Stewart ... Daniel Gordon

Stuart McQuarrie ... Bill
Pauline Turner ... Connie
Alan Cooke ... Bob M'bussi

Rory McCann ... Sam

Ian Hanmore ... Freight Supervisor
Andrew Neil ... Barman
Arnold Brown ... Bowler Hat Man
Meg Fraser ... Stall Woman

Stuart Bowman ... Black Steet Pub Man
Wullie Brennan ... Black Steet Pub Man
Rony Bridges ... Black Steet Pub Man
John Kazek ... Black Steet Pub Man
Duncan McHardy ... Black Steet Pub Man
Stewart Porter ... Black Steet Pub Man

Malcolm Shields ... Black Steet Pub Man
Tam Dean Burn ... Black Street Barman
Michael Carter ... Prosecutor

Struan Rodger ... Judge

Matthew Zajac ... Forensics Expert

Mhairi Morrison ... Cathie's Flatmate (as Mhairi Steenbock)
John Comerford ... Jury Foreman
Anne Marie Timoney ... Mrs. Gordon
John Yule ... Clerk of the Court
Sandy Neilson ... Defence Counsel

Des Hamilton ... Witness
Eddie Dahlstrom ... Blind Man

Directed by
David Mackenzie 
Writing credits
Alexander Trocchi (novel)

David Mackenzie (writer)

Produced by
Gillian Berrie .... associate producer
Leonard Crooks .... associate producer: Glasgow Film Office (as Lenny Crooks)
Robert Jones .... executive producer: UK Film Council
Stephan Mallmann .... associate producer
Steve McIntyre .... associate producer: Scottish Screen
Nick O'Hagan .... co-producer
Jim Reeve .... co-producer
Alexandra Stone .... co-producer
Jeremy Thomas .... producer
Peter Watson .... associate producer
Original Music by
David Byrne 
Cinematography by
Giles Nuttgens (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Colin Monie 
Casting by
Des Hamilton 
Production Design by
Laurence Dorman 
Art Direction by
Stuart Rose 
Set Decoration by
Judy Farr 
Costume Design by
Jacqueline Durran 
Makeup Department
Candice Banks .... hair stylist
Candice Banks .... makeup artist
Tony Lilley .... hair stylist
Tony Lilley .... makeup artist
Meg Speirs .... hair designer
Meg Speirs .... makeup designer
Production Management
Michael Campbell .... unit manager
Clare Maclean .... post-production supervisor (as Clare Oliver)
Janet Riddoch .... production manager (as Janet S. Riddoch)
Beverley Syme .... unit manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Michael Elliott .... first assistant director (as Mike Elliott)
Ben Johnson .... third assistant director
Paul Smythe .... second second assistant director
Anthony Wilcox .... second assistant director
Art Department
Mat Bergel .... stand-by props
Sandy Borthwick .... chargehand painter
Phil Bowen .... construction manager
Susan Collin .... art department assistant
Stewart Cunningham .... dressing props
Colin Davidson .... carpenter
Laura Donnelly .... stand-by art director
Gordon Fitzgerald .... property master
Bobby Gee .... stand-by painter
Derek Gray .... storyboard artist
Richard Hassall .... stand-by carpenter
Michael Higson .... stagehand
John Hughes .... painter
Piero Jamieson .... dressing props
Scott Keery .... stand-by props
Mary Mackenzie .... art department runner
Sue Morrison .... production buyer
Jim O'Donnell .... painter
Jim O'Donnell .... painter
Alex Robertson .... supervising carpenter
Andy Thomson .... assistant art director
David Weatherstone .... storeman
Sound Department
Tim Alban .... dubbing mixer
Kieran Boyne .... sound trainee
Edward Bulman .... foley editor
Edward Bulman .... foley recordist
Tony Cook .... boom operator
Richard Davey .... assistant dubbing mixer
Rory Farnan .... dialogue editor
Mike Grimes .... assistant sound editor
Louis Kramer .... additional sound recordist
Melissa Lake .... foley artist
Micheal MacKinnon .... adr recordist: Glasgow
Sandy Miller .... boom operator
Colin Nicolson .... sound recordist
Jeremy Price .... supervising sound editor
James Seddon .... stereo sound consultant: Dolby
Lionel Selwyn .... foley artist
Chris Sinclair .... adr recordist: Glasgow
Barnaby Smyth .... adr recordist
David Turner .... sound technical coordinator (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Tony Auger .... special effects supervisor
Graham Hills .... special effects foreman
Martin 'Marty' McLaughlin .... senior snow effects technician
David 'Pinkie' Thomas .... snow effects technician
Perry Costello .... rain effects (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Phil Attfield .... visual effects supervisor
Robin Beard .... digital effects artist
Simon Carr .... visual effects supervisor
Mark Dollery .... digital imaging
Tom Hocking .... digital artist
Gruff Owen .... digital artist
Nina Armstrong .... stunts
Kelly Dent .... stunts
Rowley Irlam .... stunt double: Ewan Mcgregor
Gareth Milne .... stunt coordinator
Lyndal Smith .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
Anna Benbow .... camera trainee
Jim Boorer .... grip
Lewis Buchan .... focus puller
Neil Davidson .... still photographer
Arthur Donnelly .... electrician
Steven Hall .... cinematographer: second unit
John Harper .... first assistant camera: second unit
Bob Hunt .... best boy
Andy Long .... gaffer
Frank McConologue .... electrician (as Frank McConalogue)
Dean Morrish .... underwater first assistant camera
Derrick Peters .... second assistant camera: second unit
Lilia Sellami .... clapper loader
Pat Sweeney .... rigging gaffer
Mike Valentine .... underwater camera operator
Billy Wilson .... stand-by rigger
Andy Gardner .... clapper loader dailies (uncredited)
Casting Department
Kahleen Crawford .... casting assistant
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Lesley Abernethy .... costume assistant
Vickie Hallam .... costume breakdown (as Vicki Hallam)
Barbara Harrington .... costume assistant
Hazel Mall .... costume trainee
Sara Meek .... assistant costume designer
Emma Walker .... costume breakdown
Editorial Department
Layla Blackman .... post-production assistant (as Layla Evans)
Giles Burgess .... first assistant film editor: London
Steven Ferguson .... editor trainee
Anna Mehta .... first assistant film editor: Glasgow
Chris Sinclair .... post-production assistant
John Stanborough .... film grader
Music Department
Lisa Aferiat .... musician
Michael Bannister .... assistant music mixer
Caroline Barber .... musician
Allon Beauvoisin .... musician: Hung Drawn Quartet
Georgia Boyd .... musician
Stuart Brown .... musician: Hung Drawn Quartet
Barry Burns .... musician
David Byrne .... music arranger: strings
Richard Colburn .... musician
Tony Doogan .... music mixer
Keith Edwards .... musician: Hung Drawn Quartet
Dick Gaughan .... consultant: folk music
Donald Gillan .... musician
Janice Ginsberg .... music supervisor
Robert Irvine .... musician
Greg Lawson .... musician
Malcolm Lindsay .... music arranger: strings
George Lyle .... musician: Hung Drawn Quartet
Raymond MacDonald .... music arranger: strings
Raymond MacDonald .... musician: Hung Drawn Quartet
Una McGlone .... musician
Johnny McGlynn .... musician: guitar "Rio Grande"
Ken McLuskey .... music tutor
Gill Mills .... musicians coordinator
Gregor Philp .... musician
Alasdair Roberts .... musician
Michael Sangster .... assistant music mixer
John Somerville .... musician
Fiona Stephen .... musician
Graeme Wilson .... musician: Hung Drawn Quartet
Transportation Department
Michael Allen .... driver: minibus
Jas Brown .... unit driver
Graeme Brownlee .... unit driver
Tommy Bryce .... unit driver
Jim Cardy .... driver: wardrobe truck
Neill Cinnamond .... barge driver
Jeff Derby .... driver: make-up truck (as Jeff Darby)
Roddy Garden .... driver: dressing props vehicle
Dave Love .... driver: camera car
Craig McQueenie .... driver: generator
Andy Nielson .... stand-by driver
Ross Weir .... barge driver
Other crew
Matthew Baker .... assistant: Alexandra Stone
Guy Barker .... production accountant
Stephen Burt .... location manager
Jo Cameron Brown .... voice and dialect coach
Jennifer Cargey .... production runner
Gillian Clyde .... business affairs
Dorothy Connolley .... script supervisor (as Dot Connolley)
David Davidson .... marine coordinator
Harry Dixon .... legal script consultant
Clair Dobbs .... unit publicist
Tony Duncan .... security officer
Larry Eydmann .... health and safety advisor
Kara Finlay .... assistant: David Byrne
Julie Gardner .... production coordinator (as Julie Connor)
Amy Gilliam .... floor runner
Anne Marie Gormley .... assistant accountant
Vince Holden .... production financing (as Vincent Holden)
Sarah Hughes .... clearance
Kelly Johnson .... accounts trainee
Jocelyn Jones .... assistant: Jeremy Thomas
Robbie Kirkpatrick .... floor runner
Florence Larsonneur .... business affairs: Recorded Picture Company
Stuart MacDonald .... marine consultant
Iain MacLean .... location assistant
Layla Mall .... production trainee
Glynis McKeand .... consultant: courtroom
Luke Morris .... production executive
William Morris .... body double: Peter Mullan
Brock Norman Brock .... production executive
Ciara Parkes .... unit publicist
Caroline Perjesi .... assistant: Nick O'Hagan
Laura Quinn .... stand-in
Norman Campbell Rees .... stand-in (as Norman Rees)
Kristy Ryan .... promotions manager: Australia
David Sheasby .... body double: Ewan McGregor
Josie Smith .... body double: Emily Mortimer
Jemima Spence .... body double: Emily Mortimer (as Jay Spence)
Paul Swann .... laboratory contact
Stef Swiatek .... unit nurse
Jessica Thomas .... additional epk
Avril Watt .... script supervisor
Julia Willis .... assistant: Peter Watson and Stephan Mallmann
Norman Campbell Rees .... production assistant (uncredited)
Alastair Mackenzie .... special thanks
Tony Rolink .... thanks
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated NC-17 for some explicit sexual content
98 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:MA | Canada:R | Finland:K-15 | France:-12 | Germany:16 | Hong Kong:III | Iceland:L (original rating) | Iceland:16 (video rating) | Ireland:18 | Italy:VM18 | Japan:R-18 | Netherlands:16 | New Zealand:R18 | Norway:15 | Portugal:M/16 | Singapore:R21 | South Korea:18 | Spain:18 | Switzerland:16 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:16 (canton of Vaud) | Switzerland:16 (canton of Zurich) | UK:18 | USA:NC-17 | USA:R (edited version)

Did You Know?

Ewan McGregor's nude scenes were originally going to be cut from the U.S. release, but after McGregor objected, the full-frontal nude scenes were put back in.See more »
Audio/visual unsynchronized: The chords heard as Les plays the guitar change, but his fingers don't move.See more »
Joe Taylor:I think she went to a bridge fully dressed and stood there breathing the warm night air. And she took off her jacket and folded it neatly on the ground. And then she unbuttoned her blouse and undid her brassiere and let it drop down on top of the other clothes...
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Indie Sex: Censored (2007) (TV)See more »


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94 out of 110 people found the following review useful.
Subtle, near great, not for everyone., 17 September 2004
Author: Grape Crusher from San Francisco, CA

A thoughtful, unapologetic and non judgmental character study of Joe, one man, one distinctly unique yet common man. It is presented in the context of a mystery, but this is no mystery thriller. Thrill seekers, go elsewhere.

If you crave action, dialog, explanations and clear resolutions to a plot, I suggest you avoid this film. If you are fascinated by human complexity, admire beautifully crafted film-making, and can think and observe for yourself, this may be a rewarding experience for you. If you love and understand great acting you must see this film.

It is exquisitely filmed, in an understated and confident manner, using hue and tint as artfully as any great painter. Joe lives in a drab and uninspiring world, mostly of interiors; tight, constricted places, where the inhabitants are caged too closely, too much ever present in each other's spaces. When we are occasionally brought out into the world at large, this tight confining world is often seen to be surrounded by a distant, unreachable beauty. There are subtly beautiful panoramas of the lush greenness of Scotland off in the distance, out of reach of Joe, of all the people of his world.

The structure, the editing, the weaving of time present and time past is without conceit. There is no "look at how cleverly I did that transition" cutting. It is a perfect representation of editing unseen, unnoticed, the mark of brilliant editing. Everything comes together, simply and without explanation. Characters are presented simply, without prelude. Events occur, without justification. You must think and observe for yourself. If there are conclusions to be made, they must be yours.

If for no other reason, see this film to experience Ewan McGregor: He has been a reasonably attractive and adequate performer, in mostly rather forgettable productions, until now. Here he suddenly emerges as an actor of astounding depth and complexity, inhabiting, living, revealing another soul. Without any reservation this is a great performance. His subtlety, his inner directed creation of a complete individual, is simply remarkable. It is a complete, compelling, always true performance. You cannot look away from Joe. You must follow him, know him. Do you know him? Can you ever really know him?

The plot, what little of it there is, unfolds through character and behavior, with a minimum of dialog. There is much complete silence in this film. The score is understated, never telegraphing what you are supposed to feel or think. Indeed, I doubt that there is an answer to any question here. Who is Joe? What is Joe? That is not the point.

Here is Joe. This is what he is, this is what he has done. What will he do now? There is a quiet suspense, never quite gratified, which begins with the very first frame,a corpse, gently floating, photographed darkly, from below, so dark there is no face. A deceased, faceless female human being.

Joe's is the first face we see. That first glimpse of his eyes, told me that nothing would be what it seemed in this film. Joe sees something we do not see. So begins the mystery.

Nothing is jarring, nothing is false. Life is simply never quite what we think it is. Make no mistake. There is a real mystery here to be revealed. Not a contrived, plot dependent series of revelations. It is the unpeeling of the layers of a human being.

Much has been mentioned in this forum about the frequent sex scenes. They are achingly non-erotic, distanced and cold, and ultimately only functional. It is a passionless, desperate, mutually using and abusing kind of sex. Only one scene has heat. And that scene is not really sex. It is frustration, anger, vengeance, humiliation and desperation. This scene is truly horrible, truly frightening and truly revelatory.

I haven't told you much about the plot. That is deliberate. The plot works. It reveals the character. The progression of events is true, often surprising, but never false, never contrived. If you need to be told what is happening and why, this is not for you.

If you love great acting, by all involved, and appreciate the crafts and arts of film construction, I highly recommend "Young Adam".

(I have one question for anyone out there who might have a feasible answer: the title confounds me. There is no Adam. Nor is there any reference to an Adam. I could draw no path to or from Genesis. So why is this called "Young Adam"?)

Was the above review useful to you?
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