6.2/10
698
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 | Spain

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

Show more on IMDbPro »

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

Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral (That's an Irish Lullaby)
Written by J.R. Shannon
Performed by Diana Scarwid
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Is every character in this film on Prozac?
21 July 2011 | by bobvendSee all my reviews

Another question. Did anyone who had a hand in the production of this film bother to watch the daily rushes? I understand that the book this is based on is quite impressive. "Memoir films" are probably the trickiest to execute, especially when the languid rural South is the locale; Without the potent elements of a Tennessee Williams or a Truman Capote, it can all-too-easily result in a real misfire.

The handling of the story here is far too lyrical and poetic to have any ring of authenticity. It's as if the director's intent was to make the film so poignant you could die from it (was this secretly a Hallmark Hall Of Fame project?) But the period detail is good, whenever it's not laid on too thick.

But sadly, the characters are cardboard, almost "Stepford Wives"-mechanical in their behavior and speech. The pace is, needless to say, fatally slow. And even those physical elements which are easy to devise instead look jarringly artificial and overdone (the too-rhythmic tree movement seen through a window, the life-choking cloud of dust/smoke from a bus, a railroad coach that only rocks when viewed from the outside...and real passenger trains didn't carry a caboose!)

My two-star rating here is in acknowledgment of the film's one stand-out asset, Gena Rowlands, an actress who is so thoroughly watchable in anything she does. She breathes the only life into this production, not an easy task, and she makes the most of what was thankfully the most interesting character.


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