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Borstal Boy [DVD]


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Product details

  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: XV
  • DVD Release Date: 24 Mar 2002
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00388SHB0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 30,543 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

AN IRISH FILM FROM THE BOOK BORSTAL BOY WRITTEN BY THE LEGARDARY IRISH MAN BRENDAN BEHAN

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kurt Clare on 15 Nov 2012
Format: DVD
"Borstal Boy" is a moving adaption of Brendan Behan's autobiographic novel of the same name. Brendan Behan, a somewhat naive sixteen year old activist, arrives on British soil with preconceived ideas of what it means to be be both Irish and involved in the IRA. His mission is one of destruction directed against the British government, which is also actively involved in the war against Nazi Germany. He does not manage to succeed having been captured moments after arriving. His sentence is both swift and severe, sending him to a juvenile prison in Borstal. His reputation precedes him and his arrival is treated with both respect and scorn, with many of the British guards and prisoners treating his with both suspicion and disdain. In Brendan's mind however, he is a prisoner of war and is thus duty bound to his principles and the idea of escaping both his prison and Britain.

His imprisonment ultimately changes the young Brendan both positively and negatively. Firstly, he is forced to live, sleep and converse with those he perceives as the enemy, and in doing so is forced to see their humanity resulting in a profound inner conflict for the young idealist. He meets a young British sailor whilst awaiting trail, and the two have an unspoken kinship which later manifest into something far more resonating and real for them both. Charlie Milwall (played by Danny Dyer) is a introverted thief, who has a deep affection for Brendan. Unable to control his feelings he reaches out to Brendan one evening, revealing that he is both gay and overwhelmed by Brendan. The reaction is typical as Brendan tells him to stay away from him, as he is not his friend or that way inclined. The separation however, is not that easy as both are sent to Borstal, and both seem incapable of ignoring the other.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Stephen J Glazier on 18 May 2009
Format: DVD
What can I say, I nearly cried towards the end! JESUS!! If you are into watching an untold/forbidden love type thing, with realism, war, good n bad etc then buy it!

I got this mainly because I am a fan of danny dyer, and gay, and in this he plays a gay guy thrown into borstal out of the navy for thieving, and he meets a lovely guy in there!!

WATCH IT!! QUALITY VIEWING!! Not vile in any way shape or form!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Mr. M. Manning on 23 April 2009
Format: DVD
Again another Danny Dyer film that is fantastic. After watching The Business, The Football Factory, Severance and Goodbye Charlie Bright, I was expecting this to be more of the same, Dyer playing an East End gangster, and been brilliant at it. I was very suprised watching this film. Dyer portrays a gay sailor and the storyline revolves around romance and passion.
It is not his usual however if your a fan of Danny Dyer in his gangster films, give this a go. You may be pleasently suprised. I was!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tommy Dooley TOP 50 REVIEWER on 20 May 2011
Format: DVD
This is one that had passed me by, so I finally got around to it and was so glad I did. It is based and I mean `based' on the autobiographical book of the same name by the famous Irish author Brendan Behan. He came to England at the age of 16 on a one man bombing mission pretending to be a member of the IRA. He gets caught (almost immediately) and gets sent to Borstal as he is too young to be hanged.

With him is a mixed bag of rogues and thieves, one of whom is the brilliantly named cockney `Charlie Milwall' played extremely well by Danny Dyer. He is in the Royal Navy (based on HMS Prince of Wales and this is set at the beginning of WW II), and has been sent to Borstal for petty thievery. He takes a shine to young Brendan, and decides that he is going to be his `china' (china plate - mate etc). He also has some ulterior motive in that he is gay, and not that bothered by it which is quite refreshing considering it was well illegal then.

There are some well thought out and acted scenes and a female love interest in the shape of the Governors daughter, who has left London to escape the blitz. This is a plot contrivance and did not happen in the book. That said it helps as a device to make the film work. There are the usual ups and downs of being in a harsh institution, and the violence and bullying. This film rattles along at a great pace and yet takes its' time when it needs to over the more sensitive scenes.

It does cover a lot that the book entailed but I feel should be seen as a separate work in its own right. Billed as `gay interest', it is actually more about `life interest' and the changing from inexperienced idealised youth, to growing up through the pains and loves that life throws at you - highly recommended
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By johnboy on 7 Sep 2010
Format: DVD
I must say that this smashing little gem really surprised me.This is a film that's very well acted and captures the period wonderfully.I was totally engrossed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michael Lacy on 24 April 2010
Format: DVD
I enjoyed the film, some people have referred to it as a "Scum" type of movie? I totally disagree it was interesting to see Danny playing that particular role but it seemed to fit him ok lol.

The movie kept me watching which is good for me (with a limited attention span)
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By HowmayIhelpyou on 21 Sep 2008
Format: DVD
Borstal Boy (Arena Books)

This film is 'inspired by' the autobiographical book by acclaimed Irish author Brendan Behan, and stars American actor Shawn Hatosy in the lead role as Brendan. It's set during WW2 and covers the period in Behan's life from when he was arrested in Liverpool for IRA activities, through his custodial sentence in Borstal (UK reform school) to his release and return back to Ireland.
The film itself isn't a filmed biopic of Behan's early life; but stands up as an entertaining account of a wartime Borstal institution, the acting, direction and cinematography evoking the period well enough. Viewers familiar with Behan's book will be disappointed though, as the film chooses to ignore some of the more interesting incidents Behan writes about; instead it invents or improvises events which may or may not have happened and leaves one wondering why they felt the need to include such scenes.
The best performance of the film no doubt goes to Danny Dyer as Croydon gay sailor Charlie Millwall. Dyer pretty much steals every scene he's in, despite being robbed of portraying some of the more startling scenes Behan writes about in his book (such as being discovered in bed with another inmate by Brendan after a row). Other colourful characters in the book such as Italian Joe and Shaggy Callaghan are hardly mentioned in the film at all.
That said, many situations are covered..indeed sometimes embellished; the Eisteddfod/Concert, Walton Gaol, The Govenor etc.
So watch the film, enjoy it, then do it properly and order the book.
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