Butcher Boy


1h 46m 1997

Brief Synopsis

With a temperamental father and a suicidal mother, a bright young Dublin boy grows increasingly demented and homicidal. Moving in and out of insane asylums, he murders a neighbor who sullies the name of his family, while experiencing visions of a saintly angel.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Horror
Black Comedy
Adaptation
Release Date
1997
Production Company
Animated Extras; Frameline Ltd; Geffen Film Company; Peerless Camera Company
Distribution Company
WARNER BROS. PICTURES DISTRIBUTION (WBPD); Village Roadshow Limited; Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group; Warner Bros. Pictures Distribution; Warner Bros. Pictures International
Location
Dublin, Ireland; Ardmore Studios, Dublin, Ireland; Cavan, Ireland

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 46m

Synopsis

With a temperamental father and a suicidal mother, a bright young Dublin boy grows increasingly demented and homicidal. Moving in and out of insane asylums, he murders a neighbor who sullies the name of his family, while experiencing visions of a saintly angel.

Crew

Harold Adamson

Song ("Where Are You")

Mary Allguen

Production Manager

M Balfe

Song ("I Dreamt I Dwelt In Marble Halls")

Adrian Biddle

Director Of Photography

Mick Brownfield

Illustrator

A Bunn

Song ("I Dreamt I Dwelt In Marble Halls")

Paul Burkhard

Song ("Oh Mein Papa")

Eddie Calvert

Song Performer ("Oh Mein Papa")

Ricardo Chailly

Conductor ("William Tell Overture")

Riccardo Chailly

Music Conductor

Patrick Condren

Stunt Coordinator

Michael Connell

Music Editor

Tommie Connor

Song ("Never Do A Tango With An Eskimo")

Dee Corcoran

Hairdresser

Colman Corish

Other

Mary Crotty

Publicist

Geraldine Daly

Location Manager

Hal David

Song ("Sea Of Heartbreak")

Brendan Deasy

Sound Recordist

Diana Dill

Script Supervisor

Robert Elhai

Original Music

Susie Figgis

Casting

Kim V. Fowley

Song ("Nutrocker")

Alan Gilmore

Other

Matthias Gohl

Music Producer

Elliot Goldenthal

Music

Elliot Goldenthal

Song Performer ("Sea Of Heartbreak")

Elliot Goldenthal

Original Music

Martin Goulding

Other

Paul Hampton

Song ("Sea Of Heartbreak")

Ken Heckt

Song ("No One Knows")

Peter Holt

Foley Editor

Kieran Horgan

Sound Recorder

Kent Houston

Visual Effects Supervisor (Peerless Camera Company)

Neil Jordan

Executive Producer

Neil Jordan

Screenwriter

Eddy Joseph

Supervising Sound Editor

Bob Last

Music Supervisor

Tony Lawson

Editor

Josie Macavin

Set Decorator

Ernie Maresca

Song ("No One Knows")

Des Martin

Unit Manager

Richard Martinez

Electronic Music Producer

Patrick Mccabe

Screenwriter

Patrick Mccabe

Source Material (From Novel)

Jimmy Mchugh

Song ("Where Are You")

Stephen Mclaughlin

Recorder/Mixer

Nigel Mills

Dialogue Editor

Redmond Morris

Producer

Barbara Mulcahy

Assistant Director

Regina Nathan

Song Performer ("Sweet Heart Of Jesus")

Chris Newman

Assistant Director

Suzanne Nicell

Assistant Director

James Nichols

Additional Recording

Sinead O'connor

Song Performer ("The Butcher Boy" "Beautiful Bundoran")

Robin O'donoghue

Re-Recording Mixer

Laurence O'toole

Graphic Artist

Geoffrey Parsons

Song ("Oh Mein Papa")

Sandy Powell

Costume Designer

Anthony Pratt

Production Designer

Anna Rackard

Art Director

Mike Roberts

Camera Operator

Susi Roper

Producer (Peerless Camera Company)

Morag Ross

Makeup Artist

Gioacchino Antonio Rossini

Music ("William Tell Overture")

Franz Schubert

Music ("Ave Maria Op 52 No 6")

John Scott

Wardrobe Supervisor

Edward Shearmur

Conductor

Frank Sinatra

Song Performer ("Where Are You")

John Turner

Song

John Turner

Song ("Oh Mein Papa")

Kurt Weill

Song ("Mack The Knife")

Joss Williams

Special Effects Supervisor

Stephen Woolley

Producer

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Horror
Black Comedy
Adaptation
Release Date
1997
Production Company
Animated Extras; Frameline Ltd; Geffen Film Company; Peerless Camera Company
Distribution Company
WARNER BROS. PICTURES DISTRIBUTION (WBPD); Village Roadshow Limited; Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group; Warner Bros. Pictures Distribution; Warner Bros. Pictures International
Location
Dublin, Ireland; Ardmore Studios, Dublin, Ireland; Cavan, Ireland

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 46m

Articles

The Butcher Boy - Neil Jordan's THE BUTCHER BOY on DVD


The Butcher Boy (1998), director Neil Jordan's darkly funny account of a demented preadolescent's coming of age in early '60s Ireland, has finally made a long anticipated bow on DVD courtesy of Warner Home Video. This audaciously told journey into a young psyche run off the rails has developed quite the cult following since its initial screening; its mordant tone and often outrageous religious imagery won't make it for all tastes, but its adherents and those who won't mind a challenging entertainment will have scarce room for complaint.

The distorted lens for the narrative comes in the person of the boisterous, apple-cheeked Francie Brady (Eammon Owens), who throws an idiosyncratic bravado in the face of the realities of his impoverished small-town existence. His dad (Stephen Rea) is a sporadically employed trumpeter and frequent drunkard; his mother (Aisling O'Sullivan) is mentally fragile, and Francie refers to her frequent post-breakdown institutionalizations as her going "in the garage." Whatever anchors Francie possesses come from his best friend Joe (Alan Boyle) and their hours of time shared in playing cowboy and other kid pursuits. The world's evils become personified for Francie in the relatively well-off neighbor Mrs. Nugent (Fiona Shaw), whose primary crime stems from her impatience with the incessant bullying that Francie and Joe submit her hapless son Phillip (Andrew Fullerton) to.

It all starts going off the axis for Francie when he returns home after an impromptu runaway to arrive in the midst of his mother's funeral procession. Thereafter, his pranks on the Nugents take ever more violent and destructive shades, leading to his inevitable exile to a church-run correctional facility. During his incarceration, he manages to finagle a position of altar boy, begins to see visions of an unusually profane Virgin Mary (Sinead O'Connor), and figures in the disgrace of a pedophile priest (Milo O'Shea). While the latter ensures that he makes a return to the neighborhood, it's a hollow victory, as he finds his one-time blood brother Joe wanting to distance himself from an ever-more apparently unbalanced Francie.

Although Francie elects not to disturb his father from the easy chair where he collapsed and died, he can only keep up the ruse about Dad's visit to London for so long, and he's soon consigned to the "garage" that his mother frequented. Having escaped, he finds that Phillip has taken his place as Joe's best friend, and Francie elects to finally settle his differences with Mrs. Nugent in a jaw-droppingly disturbing fashion.

Jordan collaborated with novelist Patrick McCabe in adapting McCabe's 1992 book to the screen, and the director did a masterful job in creating a sense of time and place in rendering a small community steeped in religious tradition as well as the disquiet stemming from images of impending nuclear holocaust courtesy of that new medium of television. Throw in a richly-detailed and unprecedented characterization of a young child with the most tenuous of holds on propriety, and the end result is memorable.

Jordan went with local unknowns in the casting of many key roles, and he found a diamond when he chose Owens to limn Francie. The subject matter was a lot to have to ask a young actor to shoulder, and Owens did so in a manner both natural and compelling. Jordan regular Rea provided the other tent-pole performance, as he also provided the film's sardonic voice-over (and appeared in the denoument) as the adult Francie. Acknowledgments also have to go to the equally-effective Boyle as Joe (Jordan had contemplated flipping Owens and Boyle in their roles), and Shaw, who hit the right notes of comic villainy in depicting Mrs. Nugent.

Warner presented the film in 1.85:1 enhanced widescreen, and the mastering job does justice to cinematographer Adrian Biddle's crisp capture of the mostly muted palette of Francie's world. The primary plus in the extras package is a contemplative feature-length commentary from Jordan that touches on all aspects of the production, from his collaborative process with McCabe (who appears onscreen as town drunk Jimmy the Skite) to Shaw's grappling for a handle on her character. The special features are rounded out by just over three minutes' worth of deleted sequences and the original theatrical trailer.

For more information about The Butcher Boy, visit Warner Video. To order The Butcher Boy, go to TCM Shopping.

by Jay S. Steinberg
The Butcher Boy - Neil Jordan's The Butcher Boy On Dvd

The Butcher Boy - Neil Jordan's THE BUTCHER BOY on DVD

The Butcher Boy (1998), director Neil Jordan's darkly funny account of a demented preadolescent's coming of age in early '60s Ireland, has finally made a long anticipated bow on DVD courtesy of Warner Home Video. This audaciously told journey into a young psyche run off the rails has developed quite the cult following since its initial screening; its mordant tone and often outrageous religious imagery won't make it for all tastes, but its adherents and those who won't mind a challenging entertainment will have scarce room for complaint. The distorted lens for the narrative comes in the person of the boisterous, apple-cheeked Francie Brady (Eammon Owens), who throws an idiosyncratic bravado in the face of the realities of his impoverished small-town existence. His dad (Stephen Rea) is a sporadically employed trumpeter and frequent drunkard; his mother (Aisling O'Sullivan) is mentally fragile, and Francie refers to her frequent post-breakdown institutionalizations as her going "in the garage." Whatever anchors Francie possesses come from his best friend Joe (Alan Boyle) and their hours of time shared in playing cowboy and other kid pursuits. The world's evils become personified for Francie in the relatively well-off neighbor Mrs. Nugent (Fiona Shaw), whose primary crime stems from her impatience with the incessant bullying that Francie and Joe submit her hapless son Phillip (Andrew Fullerton) to. It all starts going off the axis for Francie when he returns home after an impromptu runaway to arrive in the midst of his mother's funeral procession. Thereafter, his pranks on the Nugents take ever more violent and destructive shades, leading to his inevitable exile to a church-run correctional facility. During his incarceration, he manages to finagle a position of altar boy, begins to see visions of an unusually profane Virgin Mary (Sinead O'Connor), and figures in the disgrace of a pedophile priest (Milo O'Shea). While the latter ensures that he makes a return to the neighborhood, it's a hollow victory, as he finds his one-time blood brother Joe wanting to distance himself from an ever-more apparently unbalanced Francie. Although Francie elects not to disturb his father from the easy chair where he collapsed and died, he can only keep up the ruse about Dad's visit to London for so long, and he's soon consigned to the "garage" that his mother frequented. Having escaped, he finds that Phillip has taken his place as Joe's best friend, and Francie elects to finally settle his differences with Mrs. Nugent in a jaw-droppingly disturbing fashion. Jordan collaborated with novelist Patrick McCabe in adapting McCabe's 1992 book to the screen, and the director did a masterful job in creating a sense of time and place in rendering a small community steeped in religious tradition as well as the disquiet stemming from images of impending nuclear holocaust courtesy of that new medium of television. Throw in a richly-detailed and unprecedented characterization of a young child with the most tenuous of holds on propriety, and the end result is memorable. Jordan went with local unknowns in the casting of many key roles, and he found a diamond when he chose Owens to limn Francie. The subject matter was a lot to have to ask a young actor to shoulder, and Owens did so in a manner both natural and compelling. Jordan regular Rea provided the other tent-pole performance, as he also provided the film's sardonic voice-over (and appeared in the denoument) as the adult Francie. Acknowledgments also have to go to the equally-effective Boyle as Joe (Jordan had contemplated flipping Owens and Boyle in their roles), and Shaw, who hit the right notes of comic villainy in depicting Mrs. Nugent. Warner presented the film in 1.85:1 enhanced widescreen, and the mastering job does justice to cinematographer Adrian Biddle's crisp capture of the mostly muted palette of Francie's world. The primary plus in the extras package is a contemplative feature-length commentary from Jordan that touches on all aspects of the production, from his collaborative process with McCabe (who appears onscreen as town drunk Jimmy the Skite) to Shaw's grappling for a handle on her character. The special features are rounded out by just over three minutes' worth of deleted sequences and the original theatrical trailer. For more information about The Butcher Boy, visit Warner Video. To order The Butcher Boy, go to TCM Shopping. by Jay S. Steinberg

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Co-winner for Best Music Score, shared with Carther Burwell ("Gods and Monsters") from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.

Nominated for four 1998 awards, including Best Picture, Best Director (Neil Jordan), Best Original Score (Elliot Golenthal) and Most Promising Actor (Eamonn Owens) from the Chicago Film Critics Association.

Winner of the 1998 European Film Award for Best Cinematography (Adrian Biddle).

Winner of the Silver Bear for best director at the 1998 Berlin International Film Festival. First-time actor Eamonn Owens earned a special mention at the festival for his performance as Francie.

Expanded Release in United States April 17, 1998

Expanded Release in United States May 1, 1998

Limited Release in United States April 3, 1998

Released in United States 1997

Released in United States February 1998

Released in United States July 1997

Released in United States on Video October 27, 1998

Released in United States Spring April 3, 1998

Shown at Berlin International Film Festival (in competition) February 11-22, 1998.

Shown at Galway Film Festival in Ireland July 8-13, 1997.

Shown at Telluride Film Festival (Tribute to Neil Jordan) August 29 - September 1, 1997.

Began shooting July 1, 1996.

Completed shooting September 9, 1996.

Released in United States 1997 (Shown at Telluride Film Festival (Tribute to Neil Jordan) August 29 - September 1, 1997.)

Released in United States February 1998 (Shown at Berlin International Film Festival (in competition) February 11-22, 1998.)

Limited Release in United States April 3, 1998

Released in United States Spring April 3, 1998

Expanded Release in United States April 17, 1998

Expanded Release in United States May 1, 1998

Released in United States July 1997 (Shown at Galway Film Festival in Ireland July 8-13, 1997.)

Released in United States on Video October 27, 1998