6.2/10
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11 user 23 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
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:

The Neon Bible See more »

Filming Locations:

Atlanta, Georgia, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,045, 3 March 1996

Gross USA:

$78,072

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$78,072
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 Mildred Pierce (1945) See more »

Soundtracks

Tara's Theme
Music by Max Steiner
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Beautiful, Astounding Masterpiece from Terence Davies
14 April 2000 | by cwittSee all my reviews

As Davies has said many times, one of the single most important things to remember about his work is that his biggest influence is the Hollywood musicals of the 30s, 40s and 50s. This influence comes across in all of his films and especially with The Neon Bible.

Davies is also, in my opinion, one of the few directors who accurately depicts the act of remembering. Without giving anything away, it's always important to keep in mind that David is on a train, thinking and remembering. No one remembers something from the past totally, memory functions like fragments and it's up to us to flesh them out. Sometimes we think of something one way, later another away; forget, remember or distort. David is fleshing out the events of his life and that's th most important thing about the film. Sometimes we remember minute, isolated events... Davies puts those in the film as well. Just sit back and enjoy the pace of this remarkable film from an equally remarkable and brilliant director.

A sheet blowing - music from Gone With the Wind - he turns into high drama; Stephen Foster's 'Hard Times' as David begins to hit bottom. It IS a musical - Davies has always used music for forward his narrative and uses it in this film in a more sophisticated way than in his earlier films to even more startling effect.

Everyone turns in remarkable performances - the entire cast and the photography is beyond amazing. Davies is the master of the tracking shot.

Please, be patient with the pace of the film - sit back and enjoy the ride. Get used to the rhythms and then give all of yourself to the film, jump in. It's beautiful, melancholy and sad. Davies' films are always so full of life and this is no exception. No idea why this film gets a bad rap - hands down, one of the greatest films of the 1990s. It's totally unique - it comes from nowhere. Shots, colors, textures - all perfect. Everything. Enjoy the ride.


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