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The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys (2002)

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A group of Catholic school friends, after being caught drawing an obscene comic book, plan a heist that will outdo their previous prank and make them local legends.

Director:

Peter Care

Writers:

Chris Fuhrman (book), Jeff Stockwell (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
2 wins. See more awards »

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Director: Michael Burke
Stars: Emile Hirsch, Richard Jenkins, Tom Guiry
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Emile Hirsch ... Francis Doyle
Kieran Culkin ... Tim Sullivan
Vincent D'Onofrio ... Father Casey
Jena Malone ... Margie Flynn
Jake Richardson ... Wade Scalisi
Tyler Long Tyler Long ... Joey Anderson
Jodie Foster ... Sister Assumpta
Arthur Bridgers ... Donny Flynn (as Arthur Bridges)
Scott Simpson ... Newsie
Melissa McBride ... Mrs. Doyle
Michael Harding ... Mr. Doyle (as Mike Harding)
Chandler McIntyre Chandler McIntyre ... Naturalist
Jeffrey West Jeffrey West ... Professor Sullivan
Yvonne Erickson ... Mrs. Sullivan
Nicky Olson Nicky Olson ... Colin Gibbney
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Storyline

In mid-1970s Savannah, two bright but rebellious boys, Francis Doyle and Tim Sullivan, fight boredom, hormones and harsh teachers as they struggle to find something meaningful beyond the walls of their parish school. Francis, an exceptional artist whose imaginative forays into a fictional universe of good and evil fill his notebooks with comic-book imagery, creates a netherworld of superhero alter egos for the two boys. When the ultra-strict Sister Assumpta seizes their artwork one day, the boys embark upon an obsessed trail of revenge that ultimately changes their lives. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Forgive me father, for I am 14. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, sexual content and youth substance use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 June 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Innocent Boys See more »

Filming Locations:

South Carolina, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$55,000, 16 June 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,779,284, 10 November 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital EX

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Reunites Jena Malone with Jodie Foster after Contact (1997), where both played the younger and older version of Ellie Arroway. See more »

Goofs

Sister Assumpta's Irish accent disappears. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Francis Doyle: Tell me again why we're doing this.
Tim: Homework, Francis. Your future's built on it.
Francis Doyle: [whispered] Right.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The DVD deleted scenes include the following:
  • An extended scene of Sister Assumpta and Father Casey erasing things from the school's books while the boys dangle the statue outside.
  • The scene where the newsie gives Francis and Tim the angel dust is longer. The original scene ends with the newsie smoking the pot and saying "Tastes like one, too." The new addition to the scene shows Francis and Tim actually taking the drug and we see the newsie's wife come out and try some too. The aftermath of their drug use is slightly longer (the spinning trees).
  • Tim tells Francis angel dust is animal tranquilizer. Francis asks Tim why angel dust isn't called animal tranquilizer to which Tim responds, "They probably wanted people to try it. That's why they call them sisters and not permanent virgins."
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Soundtracks

The Atomic Trinity v.s. The Hell's Devil's
Performed by Josh Homme (as Josh Homme)
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User Reviews

 
Evocative and funny...
13 September 2003 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

Group of Catholic schoolboys in the mid-1970s are obsessed with comic books, girls, and wreaking havoc on their most hated teacher, Sister Assumpta (Jodie Foster, in a nun's habit, somewhat uneasily cast but still quite good). A surprisingly rich, rewarding film about adolescence puts other, more popular films in this genre to shame. The scruffy, nostalgic era is captured nicely, and the young players really shine. Spiked with wonderful animated sequences, the film failed to catch on with its target audience yet is otherwise intelligently crafted and often very moving. Foster also served as co-producer. *** from ****


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