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Brendan Behan, a sixteen year-old republican, is going on a bombing mission from Ireland to Liverpool during the second world war. His mission is thwarted when he is apprehended, charged and imprisoned in Borstal, a reform institution for young offenders in East Anglia, England. At Borstal, Brendan is forced to live face-to-face with those he perceived as "the enemy," a confrontation that reveals a deep inner conflict in the young Brendan and forces a self-examination that is both traumatic and revealing. Events take an unexpected turn and Brendan is thrown into a complete spin. In the emotional vortex, he finally faces up to the truth. Written by
Strand Releasing <www.strandreleasing.com>
The Broadway production of "Borstal Boy" based on a book by Brendan Behan and adapted for the stage by Frank McMahon opened at the Lyceum Theater in New York on March 31, 1970, ran for 143 performances and won the 1970 Tony Award for Best play. See more »
When Brendan arrives in Liverpool (which is actually London in the movie) he is passed by a London Transport Routemaster bus, a type which did not appear until 1958, though the movie is set in 1942. See more »
Borstal Boy is a great film, even though it's supposed to be a true story but contain's mostly fiction.
I read the book six times, and couldn't wait to see the movie. I was rather put off at first because so much of the movie is pure fiction. Charlie and Brendan only had one slight spat in their three years together in Borstal, and ended up the best of friends anyway. The young lady in the movie never existed, and much of the rest of the movie was oddly fictitious as well. Charlie Millwall was on the Southampton when it was sunk off of Malta (in the Mediterranean), but I assume they used the HMS Prince Of Wales because they had film footage dealing with the sinking of that ship, and it made a good way for Brendan to find out that Charlie was dead (far more powerful than the scene in the book and the one in the play).
Despite all of that, I loved the movie. Brendan Behan did actually say "the English can love people without them being seven feet tall or a hundred years dead." I believe he made that statement because he knew Charlie Millwall so well, and had seen many other good people among the English people with whom he was connected in one way or another. The Warden, Mr. Joyce, was a very good person, and so were many others.
I do believe that Brendan Behan had a serious relationship with Charlie Millwall (it's obvious in the book, even though it's never spelled out exactly). I would recommend the book to anyone, and believe that the movie was very good, the fictitious content nothwithstanding.
Shawn Hatosy does a very good job in the movie, and Danny Dyer is better yet. Don't miss this movie.
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