7.5/10
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67 user 57 critic

Ratcatcher (1999)

Not Rated | | Drama | 12 November 1999 (UK)
An unabashed kid navigates the filthy world of 1973 Glasgow, preoccupying himself with the equally poor youth around him.

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12 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Da
Mandy Matthews ... Ma
William Eadie ... James
Michelle Stewart ... Ellen
Lynne Ramsay Jr. ... Anne Marie (as Lynne Ramsay Jnr.)
Leanne Mullen ... Margaret Anne
John Miller ... Kenny
Jackie Quinn ... Mrs. Quinn
James Ramsay ... Mr. Quinn
Anne McLean ... Mrs. Fowler
Craig Bonar ... Matt Monroe
Andrew McKenna ... Billy
Mick Maharg ... Stef
James Montgomery ... Hammy
Thomas McTaggart ... Ryan
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Storyline

Glasgow, summer, 1973. Dustmen are striking; bags of garbage add to the blight of council flats and a fetid canal. Ryan, who's about 12, drowns during a play fight with his neighbor, the jug-eared James. James runs home, a flat where he lives with his often-drunk da, his ma, and sisters, who live in hope of moving to newly-built council flats. The slice-of-life, coming-of-age story follows James as he tags along with the older lads; has a friendship with his quirky wee rodent-loving neighbor, Kenny; spends time with Margaret Anne, myopic, slightly older, the local sexual punching bag; and, has a moment or two of joy. The strike may end, but is there any way out for James? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

12 November 1999 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Boku to sora to mugibatake  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£52,378 (United Kingdom), 14 November 1999, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,762, 15 October 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$216,781, 29 April 2001
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The canal featured in the film was specifically built for the movie as all the already existing canals were either too polluted or too clean-looking to be used for the film. See more »

Goofs

The film is set in 1975. The Leyland Atlantean bus used throughout, LA1 (FYS998), was withdrawn from service in 1973. It is preserved in the Glasgow Museum of Transport. See more »

Quotes

Kenny: Goodbye, Snowball!
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Connections

Featured in The Story of Film: An Odyssey: European New Wave (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

What's New Pussycat
Performed by Tom Jones
Written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David
Licensed from Charly Licensing ApS
Used by kind permission of EMI United Partnership Ltd.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Dark, telling portrait of growing up in an inner city
19 August 1999 | by See all my reviews

I attended the screening of Ratcatcher in Glasgow as part of the Edinburgh Film festival where it was very warmly received. At times it is not an easy film to watch but it is hard not to relate to the struggle of the young boy at the centre of the story as he tries to make sense of his situation and to dream of an escape from squalor. The incident at the heart of the story and it's impact on the boy is developed in an understated way while never leaving you in doubt about it's devastating effect. The non-professional cast are uniformly excellent, particularly the boy playing the main character, and the film always feels rooted in the real lives of real people continually up against it. The humour and casual violence have considerable impact by being used sparingly and there are moments of great tenderness, particularly between the boy and an abused girl in his street. The film is set in Govan during the binmen's strike of the late seventies and it looks quite bleak yet the colours are deep and rich. This is a serious film with real depth and an exceptionally promising debut from Lynne Ramsey.


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