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A mentally disturbed man takes residence in a halfway house. His mind gradually slips back into the realm created by his illness, where he replays a key part of his childhood.

Director:

David Cronenberg

Writers:

Patrick McGrath (novel), Patrick McGrath
13 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ralph Fiennes ... Spider
Miranda Richardson ... Yvonne / Mrs. Cleg
Gabriel Byrne ... Bill Cleg
Lynn Redgrave ... Mrs. Wilkinson
John Neville ... Terrence
Bradley Hall Bradley Hall ... Spider Boy
Gary Reineke Gary Reineke ... Freddy
Philip Craig ... John
Cliff Saunders ... Bob
Tara Ellis Tara Ellis ... Nora
Sara Stockbridge Sara Stockbridge ... Gladys
Arthur Whybrow Arthur Whybrow ... Ernie
Nicola Duffett ... Barmaid
Jake Nightingale Jake Nightingale ... Large Man
Alison Egan Alison Egan ... Flashing Yvonne
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Storyline

Dennis Clegg is in his thirties and lives in a halfway house for the mentally ill in London. Dennis, nicknamed "Spider" by his mother has been institutionalized with acute schizophrenia for some 20 years. He has never truly recovered, however, and as the story progresses we vicariously experience his increasingly fragile grip on reality. Written by Erwin van Moll <max404@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Watashi no haha wa korosareta [Japan] See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality, brief violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Canada | UK | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 November 2002 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Ankaboot See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£64,083 (United Kingdom), 5 January 2003, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$189,350, 2 March 2003, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,641,788, 27 July 2003

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,821,651, 7 November 2003
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Samuel Beckett was one of the director's touchstones for the film. Photographs of the playwright were pinned around the sets, and Fiennes' hairstyle is even modeled after Beckett's. See more »

Goofs

Camera is reflected in broken window of asylum. See more »

Quotes

Terrence: Clothes maketh the man; and the less there is of the man, the more the need of the clothes.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in From Stereo to Video (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

 
This film is nothing short of a Masterpiece
17 April 2003 | by john-broadwaySee all my reviews

This film kept me totally engaged during every single second. The acting was no less than you would expect from such a talented cast - brilliant performances from all. Ralph Fiennes is just superb. Gabriel Byrne in probably the most difficult role of his career to date keeps the `secret' to the end. John Neville and Lynn Redgrave, provide the supporting roles with a flare that never upstages the lead actors. Bradley Hall as the Boy Spider gave a fine performance as only child actors can. But it was the Chalk and Cheese characters play by Miranda Richardson that for me stole the show and clearly shows how deep her talents run.

The script, adapted by the author of the book, was powerful without going over the top and was very authentic. Even throwaway lines by supporting actors had meaning and helped convey the power and momentum of this masterpiece `.. seven packets of Crisps and a packet of Embassy.' Many times have I uttered similar words in a London Pub.

The locations were so real, you could smell and tasted them - I grew up in such a places and in the same period as the Boy Spider - every single and highly accurate detail brought my childhood memories rushing back.

The story is real - events like the critical event in this film really did happen and still do.

For international readers, England from the late 70's onwards adopted a 'Care in the Community' programme and every city and major town has halfway houses, like the one portrayed in this film, where newly released inmates of mental institutions are ordinarily just dumped to fend for themselves.

This film is nothing short of a Masterpiece - the real pity is that it won't appeal to a wider international audience.


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