Son of Rambow: Wikis


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Son of Rambow

UK quad poster
Directed by Garth Jennings
Produced by Nick Goldsmith
Written by Garth Jennings
Starring Will Poulter
Bill Milner
Neil Dudgeon
Adam Godley
Music by Joby Talbot
Cinematography Jess Hall
Editing by Dominic Leung
Distributed by Celluloid Dreams (Worldwide)
Optimum Releasing (UK theatrical)
Paramount Vantage (USA theatrical)
Release date(s) April 4, 2008 (UK)
May 2, 2008 (USA)
Running time 96 min.
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget £4,500,000[1]
Gross revenue $10,058,121

Son of Rambow is a 2007 British comedy-drama film written and directed by Garth Jennings. The film premiered 22 January 2007 at the Sundance Film Festival.[2] It was later shown at the Newport Beach Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, and Glasgow Film Festival.[3] The film was also shown at the 51st BFI London Film Festival. Son of Rambow was released in the United Kingdom on 4 April 2008 and opened in limited release in the United States on 2 May 2008.[3] Set during an English summer during the early 1980s, the film is a coming of age story about two schoolboys.



Will (Bill Milner) is quiet and shy, and comes from a family that belongs to the strict Plymouth Brethren religious sect. Will is forbidden to watch films or television and is made to leave his classroom when the teacher puts on a documentary. In the corridor he meets Lee Carter (Will Poulter), the worst-behaved boy in school, thrown out of another class for bad behaviour. They accidentally break a fish bowl in the corridor; Lee volunteers to take the blame, pretending that the punishment is torture, in exchange for Will's watch, which belonged to his dead father. Moreover Lee demands that Will performs the stunts in a film Lee is making with his bullying older brother Lawrence's (Ed Westwick) home video equipment, which he uses in his video pirating enterprise. He intends to enter the Screen Test Young Film-Makers' Competition.

Will accepts; after seeing the film Rambo: First Blood he becomes very enthusiastic, and plays several dangerous action scenes. The two become best friends, but Will has to keep it secret from his family.

French exchange students arrive, of whom the suave Didier Revol (Jules Sitruk) becomes very popular. He asks Will if he and his acolytes can play in the film, and Will agrees. Lee does not like this, as he is no longer in control, and finally quits after a fight with Will during filming of the last sequence, which takes place at a disused power station. After Will becomes trapped when part of the unstable structure collapses, Lee returns to ostensibly rescue his friend but has actually come to collect his brother's camera. He too gets hurt, and has to go to hospital. Lawrence visits him, but is angry about the fact that the camera is broken.

Will's mother, from whom he has struggled to hide his activities, finally realises that her son must be allowed to be himself and her family leaves the Brethren.

When Lawrence looks at Lee's footage he is impressed. With Will's help, he adds a part in which he acts himself — including a message for his brother. When Lee leaves hospital, as a surprise he is brought to a cinema, where his film is shown before the main feature and the two boys reunite.





U.S. poster

Son of Rambow is a project that Garth Jennings and Nick Goldsmith — collectively known as Hammer & Tongs — worked on for some years. Its development was interrupted when they were asked to make The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and it is their second major feature film. It was inspired by Jennings' own experiences as a child in the 1980s, when video equipment first became available to the public, and the film recreates the atmosphere of an English comprehensive school of the time, using a soundtrack of both familiar and lesser known pop tracks from the era.[4]

Pre-production and filming

The film was shot primarily in the English town of Berkhamsted, and the nearby Ashridge Estate owned and managed by the National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty Hertfordshire: featuring Ashlyns School and The Rex, a recently refurbished listed Art Deco cinema which had been left derelict between 1989 and 2004. The two roads where both boys live are approximately 1200 metres apart, being located next to Berkhamsted Castle. They are the two most exclusive residential roads in the town.

The film includes a vintage clip of Jan Pinkava winning the BBC Screen Test competition. The minor role of Danny, an acolyte of Didier, a glamorous French exchange student, is played by Stanley Kubrick's grandson, Sam Kubrick-Finney.[5]


The film includes excerpts from First Blood and is endorsed by Sylvester Stallone, the star of the Rambo series.[6] At the very end of the closing credits, Carter's voice-over points out that "Rambo" is not spelled with a "w". Will states, "Oh OK," and Carter answers, "It was still good though."

The UK distributor, Optimum Releasing, is owned by StudioCanal - which owns ancillary rights to the first three Rambo films. The American distributor, Paramount Vantage, is a division of Paramount Pictures - which owns TV and digital rights to said films in North America (with the former being sublicensed to Trifecta Entertainment & Media).

Critical reception

Son of Rambow received generally favourable reviews from critics. As of 10 January 2009, the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 74% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 113 reviews.[7] Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 66 out of 100, based on 29 reviews.[8]

The film appeared on several critics' top ten lists of the best films of 2008. Both Kimberly Jones of The Austin Chronicle and Ty Burr of The Boston Globe named it their eighth best, and Marc Savlov of The Austin Chronicle named it his ninth.[9]

DVD release

Son of Rambow was released on DVD and Blu-ray disc in the United Kingdom on 11 August 2008, and on DVD in the United States on 26 August 2008.


External links



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