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The Slab Boys (1997)

Paisley, Scotland, in 1957. Three working-class lads look forward to the staff dance at the local carpet factory. Exuberant social piece of observation cinema that concentrates on the boys'... See full summary »


John Byrne


John Byrne

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Robin Laing ... Phil McCann
Russell Barr Russell Barr ... George 'Spanky' Farrell
Bill Gardiner Bill Gardiner ... Hector McKenzie
Louise Berry Louise Berry ... Lucille Bentley
Julie Wilson Nimmo Julie Wilson Nimmo ... Bernadette Rooney
Duncan Ross Duncan Ross ... Alan Downie
Moray Hunter Moray Hunter ... Jack Hogg
David O'Hara ... Terry Skinnedar
Tom Watson Tom Watson ... Willie Curry
Anna Massey ... Miss Elsie Walkinshaw
Barbara Rafferty Barbara Rafferty ... Mrs. McCann
Ford Kiernan ... Male Orderly
Jim Boyce Jim Boyce ... Plainclothes Policeman
Isi Metzstein Isi Metzstein ... Old Mr. Rubenstein
Wayne Smith Wayne Smith ... Young Phil


Paisley, Scotland, in 1957. Three working-class lads look forward to the staff dance at the local carpet factory. Exuberant social piece of observation cinema that concentrates on the boys' obsessions with lust, music and 'getting out'. Written by Duncan Shine <shine@cableinet.co.uk>

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Plot Keywords:

scotland | factory | 1950s | See All (3) »







Release Date:

29 August 1997 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Skreba Films,Wanderlust See more »
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Did You Know?


Remake of Play for Today: The Slab Boys (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

A Bad Idea
9 April 2003 | by Theo RobertsonSee all my reviews

The problem with THE SLAB BOYS is the limited appeal . It`s based on a stage play - And boy does it show with its static locations - set in a Paisley dye factory in the late 1950s . I know Paisley fairly better than the majority of IMDB members because I used to shop there for clothes , but watching a film about a Paisley factory won`t appeal to me , in fact I doubt if it`ll appeal to anyone in Paisley . Not seeing through this flaw the producers tried to market THE SLAB BOYS as a musical by having " Hot " Scottish acts like The Proclaimers and Lulu do cover versions of songs from the 1950s for the soundtrack . So let me see the producers were hoping that teenagers would flock to the cinema to watch the film and then rush out and buy the soundtrack which features 50s pop songs by The Proclaimers and Lulu ? Teenagers ? The Proclaimers and Lulu ? I think I can spot a flaw in this cunning marketing idea

I remember reading in the Scottish press that THE SLAB BOYS cost three million pounds to produce and only made a little over thirteen thousand pounds at the UK box office . The reason it made so little money is obviously because of its limited appeal , but unless you know a bit about film producing you`ll be confused as to how it cost so much to make since it has only a few sets and a small cast . The answer to that is simple , most of the budget went on the copyright of having artists do cover versions of songs . The Proclaimers ? Lulu ? I`m sure they enjoyed their pay day

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