7.5/10
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69 user 59 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.

Director:

Lynne Ramsay

Writer:

Lynne Ramsay
12 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

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

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although this film is in English, the US release has English subtitles because all the characters speak in a very heavy Scottish accent. 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 The Leyland Atlantean bus used throughout, LA1 (FYS998), was withdrawn from service in 1973.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

References Star Trek: The Original Series (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Lollipop
Performed by The Chordettes
Written by Beverly Ross (uncredited) and Julius E. Dixson Sr. (uncredited)
Courtesy of Barnaby Records, Inc.
By Arrangement with Celebrity Licensing Inc.
1958 Edward B Marks Music Company Copyright renewed
Used by permission. All rights reserved
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User Reviews

Tarkovskian?
13 December 2002 | by cogsSee all my reviews

"Ratcatcher" is a fairly auspicious debut for a young director. Lynne Ramsay has a powerful command of the visual aspects of filmmaking (dare I say it – approaching the poetic images of Tarkovsky) but her narrative authority is a lot less notable. This is a film in the manner of "Kes" but without the true humanity that that film had in spades. "Kes" is a masterpiece of social-realist humanism because the element of hope is never obvious but is always apparent; I think "Rosetta" is similar in this regard, too. But in recent Scottish cinema, in particular, there seems to be a masochist pleasure in dwelling on representing the worst kinds of poverty and despair, merely to serve a sensationalist agenda. In this respect I'm referring to films like "Small Faces", "Stella Does Tricks" and to a lesser degree "Trainspotting" (a film with other benefits overshadowing its gleeful focus on abject misery). This is an aspect of "Ratcatcher" which soon becomes wearying through the constancy of its emphasis – the images of garbage, vermin, filth and indigence becomes all consuming. But with that said, Ramsay's aesthetic approach is always interesting and at times incredibly poetic and beautiful. Some scenes of whimsical fantasy may seem laboured but they do lighten the load of the film's relentless social-realist agenda.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 November 1999 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Ratcatcher See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,762, 15 October 2000

Gross USA:

$217,244

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$217,244
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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