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The Butcher Boy (1997)

The antisocial son of an alcoholic father and a bipolar mother grows up in 1960s Ireland.

Director:

Neil Jordan

Writers:

Pat McCabe (novel) (as Patrick McCabe), Neil Jordan (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Eamonn Owens ... Francie Brady
Sean McGinley ... Sergeant
Peter Gowen Peter Gowen ... Leddy
Alan Boyle Alan Boyle ... Joe Purcell
Andrew Fullerton Andrew Fullerton ... Phillip Nugent
Fiona Shaw ... Mrs. Nugent
Aisling O'Sullivan Aisling O'Sullivan ... Ma Brady
Stephen Rea ... Da Brady
John Kavanagh ... Dr. Boyd
Rosaleen Linehan Rosaleen Linehan ... Mrs. Canning
Anita Reeves Anita Reeves ... Mrs. Coyle
Gina Moxley Gina Moxley ... Mary
Niall Buggy Niall Buggy ... Father Dom
Ian Hart ... Uncle Alo
Anne O'Neill Anne O'Neill ... Mrs. McGlone
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Storyline

Francie and Joe live the usual playful, fantasy filled childhoods of normal boys. However, with a violent, alcoholic father and a manic depressive, suicidal mother the pressure on Francie to grow up are immense. Unfortunately, one tragedy after another, Francie's world sinks deeper and deeper into paranoia (directed mainly against Mrs. Nugent, a nasty neighbor) and fantasy (where he has visions of the Virgin Mary). Written by Mark Smith <msmith@osi.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This little piggy laughed all the way home!

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Ireland

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 February 1998 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

A kis véreskezű See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$135,606, 5 April 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,822,193, 7 June 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Geffen Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital (5.1 surround)| SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Much of the film was shot in Clones, County Monaghan, the home town of Pat McCabe, the author of the source novel and co-writer of the screenplay, who also makes a short appearance in the film as Jimmy the Skite. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: [voice over] There's only one place for aliens. And that's underneath the rotten cabbages in the brock heap.
See more »

Connections

References The Fugitive (1963) See more »

Soundtracks

I Dreamt I Dwelt in Marble Halls
Written by Michael William Balfe (as M. Balfe) / Alfred Bunn (as A. Bunn)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An odd little gem
22 September 2002 | by jmvcrit56See all my reviews

I went to my local video store last night and walked straight to its awesome horror section. I was specifically looking for this movie, as i had seen it in the store before, and was about to see it until my friend decided that we'd walk out with Joy Ride. The cover of this movie intrigued me, and lead me to think that it would be a darkly comeidic yet still very scary story about a boy's descent into madness.

The Butcher Boy is about an Irish boy, Francie, whose domestic life is miserable. His dad is always drunk and his mother is mentally unstable. However, he lets his anger out through his mischevous behavior in the town, particularly directed towards Mrs Nugent and her son, a perfect mother with a perfect son. Francie is also best friends with Joe, a sensitive kid of whom we get the impression from that he is losing interest in Francie's treatings of others, which are going a bit too far.

A lot more happens in The Butcher Boy, but if you don't like what you just got, don't see the movie. Though it's not slow, Francie's character development seems to drag, and Neil Jordan seems to advance his personality just before we've had enough.

The acting is what makes the movie what it is. Somebody call Eamonn Owens and give this kid a part in a movie. He owns the movie, he is the movie. Words cannot describe how good th' young laddie is at acting as the troubled Francie. This has to be one of my favorite acting performances of all time, right up there with Jason Schwartzman in Rushmore, and Kiefer Sutherland in Stand By Me. This kid needs a good role badly. Everybody else is decent, though i feel that Stephen Rea as Francie's father underplayed the role, and could've added more depth to the character. The character seemed to be waiting to become lively and three dimensional, but Rea went for the B minus and stopped there.

The butcher boy was not what I expected, and if you're looking for a horror movie about madness, look elsewhere. If you want a dramatic character study with a child actor better than a million Haley Joel Osments, this is for you. It is thought provoking, upsetting, and doesn't beg for it at all. How many movies can you say that about?


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