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Song for a Raggy Boy (2003)

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"Song for a Raggy Boy" is based on the true story of a single teacher's courage to stand up against an untouchable prefect's sadistic disciplinary regime and other abuse in a Catholic Reformatory and Industrial School in 1939 Ireland.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Brother John
Brother Mac
Dudley Sutton ...
Brother Tom
Alan Devlin ...
Father Damian
Brother Whelan
John Travers ...
Liam Mercier 636
Chris Newman ...
Patrick Delaney 743
Gerard Peters 458
Mark Butler ...
Downey 913
Bernard Manning ...
Rogers 855
Samuel Bright ...
Ryan 126
Caoimhin 'Tojo' Barra Doherty ...
Murphy 338
Michael McGee ...
Lynch 76


In 1939 William Franklin, an anti-Franco veteran of the bloody Spanish Civil War, arrives as first-ever lay teacher in a strict Catholic Reformatory and Industrial School for wayward boys. He soon learns the academic challenge is formidable, many boys being still illiterate, but gradually earns their trust, respect, in time almost devotion, with 'paternal' kindness, making the layman the opposite of the cruel prefect, brother John, who frequently administers painful and humiliating punishments, even the gentle, old superior Father Damian has no authority against his disciplinary mandate from the grim bishop Conlon. Slowly even class rebel Liam Mercier is turned around, trough his gift for literature. After Franklin dares stop the sadist's penny-weighted strap severely striking 'sinful scum' for a futility, the whole dorm is treated to an icy night outdoors, arms outstretched wearing only shorts. Brother Mac's mind may mean to educate well, his flesh is too weak for celibacy, so the ... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Four walls. One faith. No identity. See more »




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Release Date:

22 August 2003 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Angeli ribelli  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£88,324 (UK) (17 October 2003)


£216,528 (UK) (24 October 2003)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


Featured in Song for a Raggy Boy: Behind the Scenes (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

20 January 2003 | by (Utah, USA) – See all my reviews

I happened to get to see "Song for a Raggy Boy" at the premiere showing at Sundance...what a wonderful experience! Ms. Walsh did an excellent job of selecting the cast, which in turn, did a fabulous job of captivating the audience. Very well done! Many thanks to Ms. Walsh and Mr. Quinn for their presence at the showing, as well as the time spent answering questions.

9 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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