7.6/10
3,759
32 user 16 critic

Song for a Raggy Boy (2003)

The true story of a single teacher's courage to stand up against an untouchable prefect's sadistic disciplinary regime and other abuse in a Catholic Reformatory and Industrial School in 1939 Ireland.

Director:

Aisling Walsh

Writers:

Aisling Walsh, Kevin Byron Murphy (as Kevin Byron-Murphy) | 1 more credit »
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14 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Aidan Quinn ... William Franklin
Iain Glen ... Brother John
Marc Warren ... Brother Mac
Dudley Sutton ... Brother Tom
Alan Devlin Alan Devlin ... Father Damian
Stuart Graham ... Brother Whelan
John Travers John Travers ... Liam Mercier 636
Chris Newman Chris Newman ... Patrick Delaney 743
Andrew Simpson ... Gerard Peters 458
Mark Butler Mark Butler ... Downey 913
Bernard Manning Bernard Manning ... Rogers 855
Samuel Bright Samuel Bright ... Ryan 126
Robert Sheehan ... O Reilly 58
Caoimhin 'Tojo' Barra Doherty Caoimhin 'Tojo' Barra Doherty ... Murphy 338
Michael McGee Michael McGee ... Lynch 76
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Storyline

In 1939 William Franklin, an anti-Franco veteran of the bloody Spanish Civil War, arrives as first-ever lay teacher in a strict Catholic Reformatory and Industrial School for wayward boys. He soon learns the academic challenge is formidable, many boys being still illiterate, but gradually earns their trust, respect, in time almost devotion, with 'paternal' kindness, making the layman the opposite of the cruel prefect, brother John, who frequently administers painful and humiliating punishments, even the gentle, old superior Father Damian has no authority against his disciplinary mandate from the grim bishop Conlon. Slowly even class rebel Liam Mercier is turned around, trough his gift for literature. After Franklin dares stop the sadist's penny-weighted strap severely striking 'sinful scum' for a futility, the whole dorm is treated to an icy night outdoors, arms outstretched wearing only shorts. Brother Mac's mind may mean to educate well, his flesh is too weak for celibacy, so the ... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Én mands kamp ændrede deres liv for altid[Denmark] See more »

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Quotes

William Franklin: Any questions?
Gerard Peters 458: [raises his hand]
William Franklin: What's your name?
Gerard Peters 458: 458 Peters, sir.
William Franklin: Stand up, Mr Peters.
Gerard Peters 458: What's someone like you doing in a place like this?
William Franklin: Why do you think I'm here?
Liam Mercier 636: Because you couldn't get a job anywhere else.
William Franklin: Sit down, Mr Peters. Have we any serious questions?
Liam Mercier 636: You haven't answered the first one yet.
[...]
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Connections

Featured in Song for a Raggy Boy: Behind the Scenes (2003) See more »

User Reviews

 
A great film made brilliant by the sheer power of acting
7 March 2004 | by johnnyd2See all my reviews

A great film made brilliant by the sheer power of acting. I have never experienced anything quite like it. We have here a film, a story, so convincingly told that something inside me wishes it were not true and that the abuse of authority that this film exposes does not still exist in the political and religious leaders of toady. The story is that of Franklin, a teacher in an Irish reformatory school who takes up the cause of the ill treated and neglected children being brutalised by Brother John, a rising star in the catholic church hierarchy, with the tacit approval of the other brothers, each labouring over their own guilty secrets. Of course the story is a harrowing one, and does not spare the viewers feelings, at times I wondered why I was putting myself through this gruelling history lesson, but than I knew, that guiding me through the film, like a guardian angel, is the consumate acting of absoutly all the cast. I knew they would see me through. Aidan Quinn and Iain Glen are magnificently convincing both giving the best perfprmances of their careers to date. The young boys are all wonderful in their roles. Their acting is pure realism, such mature performances from young teenagers are a glowing tribute to the directing of Aisling Walsh


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Details

Country:

Ireland | UK | Denmark | Spain

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 August 2003 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Song for a Raggy Boy See more »

Filming Locations:

Ballyvourney, Co. Cork, Ireland See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$783,544
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color
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