Despite having a drunken, abusive father and a brother who leads a local gang John McGill is a studious boy for whom a bright educational future seems to beckon. However his studiousness isolates him and when he is invited to join the gang it gives him a sense of belonging. However he becomes increasingly more violet, stabbing a boy in the neck, for which his brother is blamed and jailed, and dropping a breeze block on a rival gang leader, causing him permanent brain damage. John is temporarily thrown out of his home by his mother and suspended from school though when he is readmitted he is placed in the remedial class. John now has no interest in education but in being the top boy amongst the NEDS or non-educated delinquents. He is invincible, and even the lions at the local safari park let him pass without attacking him. Written by
don @ minifie-1
Originally Peter Mullan planned to shoot the film in the same style as Ken Loach - ie, shooting in sequence and only giving the actors the scenes that they were required to do on the day so that they wouldn't know the outcome. However, Mullan only caused greater problems for himself by not shooting in sequence as he found himself constantly explaining to the actors what they had just done chronologically. After two weeks, he relented and gave all the actors the full script to read and learn. See more »
Teachers were not allowed to smoke in classrooms in the mid-1970s. See more »
John McGill is a bright student and hounded by a local bully. His father is a volatile drunk. His older brother leads a local gang. He is put into the lower class due to his brother's reputation. He gets out at the first opportunity by being the top student of the lower class. As a teen, John becomes more brash and more rebellious. He becomes a volatile leader of the local kids taking on all rivals.
I like these two movies and they are two separate movies. John McGill as a kid is interesting in his struggles. Then the movie jumps in years to a teenage John McGill and he's a completely different character. The in-between years is missing. It seems like interesting things happened during that time but it's not on the screen. The teenage years do hold some fascinating violence but it gets a little repetitive and the movie goes on a little too long.
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