7.6/10
3,452
31 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:

Baseret på en sand historie[Denmark] See more »

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Ireland | UK | Denmark | Spain

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 August 2003 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Angeli ribelli See more »

Filming Locations:

Ballyvourney, Co. Cork, Ireland See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£88,324 (United Kingdom), 17 October 2003, Limited Release
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

William Franklin: Now, before we start, let's get a few things straight. We will call each other by name. Secondly, your reasons for being here are no concern of mine. My only concern is that while you are in this room that you learn something. Thirdly, you can ask me any question you like. I will try and answer it. If I can't, I will say so.
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Connections

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Powerful movie
31 January 2007 | by ninoguapoSee all my reviews

I watched this movie with tears in my eyes. No other movie until know was able to make me feel such pain – almost physical just from watching the story that unfolds on the screen. With risk to repeat myself I must note that this was probably the hardest movie to watch from all I have seen until the moment.

I made few notes when it started – there were about the interesting characters, the song of Libera I noticed – but now I can not really write about that. Shocking, painful, cruel, realistic to the core – I can go on like this for a long time. The fact that "Song for a raggy boy" is based on a true story contributes to the powerful effect this movie has on its viewers.

The acting is quite good as well – so good that I felt like I knew some of the characters in person. The young actors were really convincing and I felt Delaney and Mercier almost like my friends. But let me tell you a bit more about the movie – it is set in a reformatory school run by the catholic church – as it often happens the boys who are send there find anything , but help and support – instead they are beaten and abused mentally and physically ( some even sexually ) from the priests. One of them Brother John is in charge of discipline – here is the line with which he tells the new teacher for the kind of job he is expected to do: "The creatures you are going to teach are not to be confused with intelligent human beings." Only this line itself was enough for me to imagine the horrible manner in which the boys are treated. The new teacher however tried to change all that – and as the story unfolds I began to really like him – he was strict, but at the same time caring with the boys he taught. Brother John becomes his enemy almost from the very beginning and after failing to persuade the superior at the institution to dismiss the new teacher he directs his anger to the school pupils. You will have to watch the movie to find out how it all ends … This movie gets 10 out of 10 for me – since it is sure one of the best ones I have ever watched.

Similar movies: Sleepers, Dead Poets Society


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