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Film Details

TitleBOY FROM MERCURY, THE
Production companyMercunian Productions
Studio Canal, Le
Jo Manuel Productions
Blue Rose Productions
Blue Dahlia Productions
SponsorBórd Scánnán na hEireann/Irish Film Board
Radio Telefís Éireann/RTE
Country of originIreland
ProducerHUGHES, Marina
SAINDERICHIN, Sylvaine
DirectorDUFFY, Martin
Script/AdaptationDUFFY, Martin
PhotographyDEASY, Seamus
Sound recordingFAUJAS, Philippe
EditingSMITH, John Victor
SMITH, Gabrielle
Art directionTIMMONS, Brigid
Production designCONROY, Tom
Costume designMUGAN, Lorna
KANE, Helen
Executive producerMANUEL, Jo
Music composerMcKEOWN, Stephen
Songs'The Old Woman on the Roads' by Padric Colum. Used by permission of Maire O'Sullivan.
'Shakin' All Over' Performed by Johnny Kidd and the Pirates
Copyright EMI Publishing Ltd.
'Tonight: Prof Stephen Herwitz'
'What's My Line' by permission of BBC. Copyright BBC Worldwide Television.
CastJames Hickey (Harry), Rita Tushingham (mother), Hugh 0'Conor (Paul),
Joanne Marie Gerard (Sarah), Tom Courtenay (Uncle Tony), Sean
Flanagan (Sean), lan McElhinney (Brother Dowdall), Kevin James
(Mucker), Graham Reddy (Noel), Liam Heffernan (usher), Ciaran O'Brien
(Joe), Brendan Morrissey (Brother Quinn).
Colourcol
SoundDolby Stereo
Release date1996
CopyIFA
SummaryIn a Dublin working class suburb in 1960, eight-year-old Harry's father is dead, his mother is worn out and his older brother Paul has little time for him. Isolated, he is convinced that he comes from Mercury and is in secret contact with the distant planet at night using his flashlight. Harry's fantasy world is inspired by Flash Gordon films which mesmerise him at the local cinema. Harry's misadventures and imagined dilemmas drive his mother to such distraction that she turns to Harry's eccentric Uncle Tony for help,while Paul's girlfriend Sarah and his friend Sean try to keep him anchored in the real world. While his belief that he is in fact Mercurian never dims, he learns to accept his Earthling family and to value their loyalty. Recreating a world reminiscent of period photographs and advertisements, the film also touches on the more disturbing aspects of the adult world, such as harsh Christian Brothers education and bullying.
NoteIR Rel 14/3/1996 (Dublin Film Festival). 'Flash Gordon' material provided by Archive Films. Cinema Posters Used by Permission of Turner Entertainment and Lumiere Pictures Ltd
ReferenceIT 9/6/1995:13.
Publicity, synopsis, cast and crew lists, biographies. Held at the Tiernan MacBride Library of the Irish Film Institute.
Film Ireland, Dec 96-Jan 97:5-6, 'Mercury Rising', film's director writes about experience of being first-time director.
Sunday Independent, 26/4/98:14, 'Don't Let Mercury Through your Fingers',
short report on film showing on television (Ciara Dwyer).
The Guardian, 2/5/98:9, short item on film's release.
The Guardian, 9/5/97:6, 'Cine File: Rita Tushingham', short interview with actress from film.
The Guardian, 6/2/98:12, 'Video Releases', short synopsis of film by Adrian Turpin.
Hot Press, Dec 1996:1, 'Planet Fabulous', review of film on release.
Irish Times, 6/12/96:1, 'A Mercurial First Feature', Martin Duffy interviewed about debut film and his life (Hugh Linehan).
Sight and Sound, Apr 1997, review, credits lists, plot synopsis and production background (Vicky Allan).
Film Ireland, June-July 1997, 'Short Ends', brief paragraph about film winning award.
'Boy Wonder', by Derek O'Connor. Held at the Tiernan MacBride Library of the Irish Film Institute.
8th Galway Film Fleadh Programme, review of film.
Dublin Film Festival Programme, March 1996 (Martin Mahon).
Irish Times (Weekend), 8/5/99:5, 'Talent on Parade', interview with Tom Conroy, theatre and film designer by Hugh Linehan.
Production creditsp.c: Mercurian Productions, p: Marina Hughes, co. p: Sylvaine Sainderichin, exec. p: Jo Manuel, d/sc: Martin Duffy, sc. super: Renee Foley Burke, line p: Noelette Buckley, dop: Seamus Deasy, focus puller: Declan King, clapper loader: Darryl Byrne, trainee c: Bernard Duffy, grip: Philip Murphy, p.m: Jo Homewood, ed: John Victor Smith, a. ed: Gabrielle Smith, p.dsgn.: Tom Conroy, art d: Brigid Timmons, art dept. a: Siochfradha Kelly, 1st a.d: Brendan Geraghty, 2nd a.d: Karen Richards, 3rd a.d: Maria O'Connor, trainee a.d: Cyril Marah, floor runner: Tom Maguire, m: Stephen McKeown, s: Philippe Faujas, boom op.: Dan Birch, Conor O'Toole, cast: Gillian Reynolds, cost: Loma Mugan, ward. super: Jo Kissack, a. cost: Helen Kane, make-up: Pamela Smythe, hair: Erik O'Brien, wig super: Frances Kelly, loc. m: Luke Johnston, a. loc: Nell Wright, props. buyer: Philip Henderson, a. props: Arnold Fanning, dressing props: Markus Thonett, stand-by props: Martin Carey, gaffer: Tony Swan, best boy: James Maguire, elec: Liam Moran, cnstr. m: Mick Deegan Sr, stand-by carpenter: John Lamon, stand-by painter: Bobby Richardson, p. co-ord: Carol Moorhead, p. secretary: Joanne Jordan, p. runner: Liam Beatty, p. accnt: Louise Westaway, a. accnt: Sheila Farrell, animal handler: Louise Cullen, Jim Furlong, stills: Denis Mortell, dial. coach: Brendan Gunn, publicity: Barbara Holloway. thanks to: An Bord Trachtala, Bewleys Cafe Ltd, Diana Brown, Calibre Films, Cinematic Belfast, Dublin Corporation, Euro Aim, The Film Group of Unions, Film Action Plan, James Flynn, Gael Linn, The Gaeity Theatre, Paul Grindey, Groundwork, The Holy Child Girls School, Larkhill, Ruth Hunter, Eugene Kavanagh, Larry Lawless, Kate Lennon, The Levins Family, Brigid Loy, Martin Mahon, Media Business School, Media Desk Ireland, Mount Jerome Cemetery, Chris O'Grady, The Office of Public Works, The Residents of Curlew Road, Iveagh Gardens, Monkstown Farm, Estelle Saboureaux, Schoil Mhuire, Griffith Avenue, the Staff of ACC Bank, Rathmines, the Staff of the National Basketball Arena, the Staff of Television House, the Tyrone Guthrie Centre.
LocationDublin
Genre/CategoryScience Fiction
Feature Film Drama
KeywordsChildhood
Fantasy
Family
Fathers
Sons
Mothers
Spaceships
Schoolchildren
1950s

Contact: irishfilm@tcd.ie | Last updated: Nov 27 2006.