The Boondock Saints

From Academic Kids

Missing image
The Boondock Saints movie poster

The Boondock Saints (1999) is a cult film about two Irish brothers in Boston who, in response to rampant organized crime, turn to vigilantism and are named Saints by the Boston press.

Although the film is criticized for portraying vigilantism positively, the film's ethical question "is murder for good good?" is left for the viewers to answer. The credits sequence shows a series of staged interviews with Bostonians regarding the actions of the Saints. There is no consensus.

Most fans of the film speculate the film was never released in theaters due to the Columbine High School Massacre; however, industry insiders believe the film's director, Troy Duffy, mishandled relationships with Miramax, the film's original distributor. As a result, the film was blacklisted and its new distributor showed the film on only five screens. Troy Duffy later funded screenings of the film with help from Blockbuster Video. Despite interested receptions at screenings worldwide, the film remained without a major theatrical release, again due to Duffy's interactions with Hollywood suits. Blockbuster released The Boondock Saints as a "Blockbuster Exclusive", a collection of independent direct-to-video films. Fan rumors claim that video clerks would intentionally place The Boondock Saints in the case of a more popular film in order to promote awareness of the film. Regardless of truth in those rumors, The Boondock Saints gained a large following mostly due to word-of-mouth publicity, and was a bestseller when released on DVD despite its nearly exclusive direct-to-video status.

Its cast includes Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus as Connor and Murphy McManus; Willem Dafoe as the gay FBI agent Paul Smecker, David Della Rocco as David Della Rocco, Billy Connolly as Il Duce (The Duke), and Ron Jeremy as an Italian mafia underboss.

The 2003 documentary Overnight recorded the behind-the-scenes activities that took place when the movie was being written and filmed. Duffy's abrasive behavior was very apparent, causing tension for many people involved in the project. Overnight made the film festival rounds in 2003 and 2004.

According to the film's official website, the release date of the sequel The Boondock Saints: All Saints Day is in September 2005. The sequel continues from the courtroom scene at the end of the first film. Industry insiders have long speculated that the actual production of this sequel is extremely unlikely considering that Troy Duffy has had no film directing or producing experience since 1999, and believe sequel rumors were being used as an attempt to promote the first film.

In late March of 2002, Duffy posted a letter to fans of the first film, claiming that financial backing had been found for a sequel. It would reportedly have twice the budget of the original film, and "experience a theatrical release." Willem DaFoe will not be returning, according to the posted letter.

As of February 2nd, 2005, filming is currently underway.

The Boondock Saints is also the name of Troy Duffy's band, originally named The Brood. The band was renamed following the movies success. To date, they have released one album called Release the Hounds, which featured two songs that appear in the movie: "Holy Fool", which played during Rocko's tavern shootout, and "Bagpipes", which played during the credits. The album is in fairly low circulation and is difficult to locate in the retail marketplace.

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