6.2/10
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11 user 22 critic

The Neon Bible (1995)

Not Rated | | Drama | 1 March 1996 (USA)
While on a train, a teenage boy thinks about his life and the flamboyant aunt whose friendship acted as an emotional shield from his troubled family. This film evokes the haunting quality ... See full summary »

Director:

Terence Davies

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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jacob Tierney ... David, aged 15
Drake Bell ... David, aged 10
Gena Rowlands ... Mae Morgan
Diana Scarwid ... Sarah
Denis Leary ... Frank
Bob Hannah ... George
Aaron Frisch Aaron Frisch ... Bruce
Charles Franzen Charles Franzen ... Tannoy Voice
Leo Burmester ... Bobbie Lee Taylor
Sherry Velvet Sherry Velvet ... First Testifier
Stephanie Astalos-Jones ... Second Testifier
Ian Shearer Ian Shearer ... Billy Sunday Thompson
Joan Glover Joan Glover ... Flora
Jill Jane Clements ... Woman
Tom Turbiville Tom Turbiville ... Clyde
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Storyline

While on a train, a teenage boy thinks about his life and the flamboyant aunt whose friendship acted as an emotional shield from his troubled family. This film evokes the haunting quality of memory while creating a heartfelt portrait of a boy's life in a rural 1940s Southern town. Written by Ivana Redwine <credwine@ix.netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 March 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Bíblia de Neon See more »

Filming Locations:

Atlanta, Georgia, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,045, 3 May 1996, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$27,274, 21 April 1996
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In an interview with "Time Out Film", Terence Davies said about this film, "[It] doesn't work, and that's entirely my fault. The only thing I can say is that it's a transition work. And I couldn't have done The House of Mirth (2000) without it." See more »

Quotes

David, aged 15: If you were different from anybody else in town, you had to get out. They used to say in school, "you have to think for yourself," but you couldn't do that in town. You have to think what your father thought and that was what everybody thought.
See more »

Connections

References Gone with the Wind (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

My Romance
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
Performed by Gena Rowlands
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User Reviews

 
Disappoints
13 May 2016 | by gavin6942See all my reviews

While on a train, a teenage boy thinks about his life and the flamboyant aunt whose friendship acted as an emotional shield from his troubled family. This film evokes the haunting quality of memory while creating a heartfelt portrait of a boy's life in a rural 1940s Southern town.

Edward Guthmann said the film was poorly received when it premiered at Cannes, but called it "gorgeous" and "one of the year's most beautiful films." He said it was a rewarding film that requires a little faith from the viewer due to long, slow, "lingering shots that work as a kind of meditation." He described the revival meeting at night "like an Edward Hopper or Thomas Hart Benton painting come to life." I will grant the film that it looks beautiful, but it lacks a deeper substance which would be necessary to make this a great film.

Director Terence Davies said "The Neon Bible doesn't work, and that's entirely my fault. The only thing I can say is that it's a transition work. And I couldn't have done The House of Mirth without it." I appreciate that he is humble enough to admit this is not his best work. Again, the film looks brilliant, so it's far from a complete failure. And you have to respect the brave casting decision that brought Denis Leary, not known for his subtle acting, on board.


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