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The Boys of St. Vincent (1994)

Henry Czerny , Johnny Morina , John N. Smith  |  NR |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Henry Czerny, Johnny Morina, Brian Dooley, Philip Dinn, Brian Dodd
  • Directors: John N. Smith
  • Writers: John N. Smith, Des Walsh, Sam Grana
  • Producers: Claudio Luca, Colin Neale, Martine Allard, Nicole de Rochemont
  • Format: Color, Letterboxed, Widescreen, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: New Yorker Video
  • DVD Release Date: September 28, 2004
  • Run Time: 186 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000DIJON
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #223,355 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Boys of St. Vincent" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Trailer

Editorial Reviews

Inside the walls of St. Vincent’s Orphanage, young boys fall victim to sexual, physical and emotional abuse at the hands of their guardians. Henry Czerny (Mission: Impossible, Clear and Present Danger) gives a terrifying performance as Brother Lavin, the head of the orphanage who must juggle the teachings of the church with his own personal demons. The plight of the boys under his care remains a secret until the orphanage janitor and a local policeman speak out against the Brothers’ appalling treatment of the orphans. During the ensuing investigation, the boys courageously testify against the Brothers. Fearing a scandal, religious and civil authorities conspire to shut down the case and quietly transfer the accused Brothers to new postings. Fifteen years later, still unhealed, the victims go public with their ordeal. As the veil of secrecy is finally lifted, their story will shock the world.

From the director of Dangerous Minds comes this controversial story that was one of the year’s most powerful and critically acclaimed films.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
56 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fearsome July 5, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
Horror films as such have nothing on the THE BOYS OF ST. VINCENT. Loosely based on the Roman Catholic child molestation scandals as they unfolded in Canada, this 1991 film was first show on Canadian television but later shown theatrically in the United States. Directed by John N. Smith, featuring an extraordinary cast, and boasting an excellent script, the film is one of the most fearsome experiences you could ever endure.
The story falls into two parts, first offering a portrait of St. Vincent, a Catholic orphanage for boys, as it existed in the early 1970s; then presenting a portrait of the various characters some fifteen years later as the original accusations of child molestation and abuse result in a high profile court case. The film focuses on a number of characters, but most particularly on Henry Czerny, who begins the film as Brother Lavin of St. Vincent--a truly dangerous pedophile who uses his position to sate his desires while also looking the other way re abuse of children by other Brothers at the orphanage. When the scandal at last breaks around him, it is quickly hushed up by the authorities, and Lavin leaves the church. Some fifteen years later he is a respected businessman, a husband, and the father of two sons when the long-forgotten and covered-up case begins to explode relentlessly in the public eye.
The cast is truly amazing here, chief among them Henry Czerny as Lavin, who creates a truly multilayered portrait of a man at once pitful but both vicious and dangerous. Equally amazing are the cast of children and their adult counterparts in the latter half of the film, most particularly Johnny Morina and Sebastian Spence, who play the role of Kevin as a child and an adult respectively.
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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A haunting masterpiece July 10, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Glowing superlatives are so common nowadays--especially those applied to less-than-deserving movies--that it sounds both trite and excessive to say that "The Boys of St. Vincent" is one of the most engrossing and indescribably powerful films I have ever seen.
This is one time I'll risk sounding trite and excessive. A galvanizing drama of sprawling and intimate proportions, "The Boys of St. Vincent" tells the devastating story of several young boys at a Catholic orphanage and the priests who subjected them to years of physical and sexual abuse. The first half focuses on one particular ten-year-old, Kevin Reevey (Johnny Morina), who attempts to escape the sinister and violent affections of Brother Peter Lavin (Henry Czerny). A good-hearted janitor alerts the police, and an investigation begins--but forces above halt the proceedings for the sake of protecting St. Vincent's reputation. The second half begins fifteen years later, when the boys are all grown men, and documents their attempts to bring their abusers to trial, and expose the cover-up that delayed the cause of justice.
"The Boys of St. Vincent" tells its story so convincingly, and with such little display of effort, that it's easy to underestimate its effectiveness. As a horror story, it creates a claustrophobic environment dominated by a man who is both unspeakably evil and recognizably human--thanks to Czerny, who turns in a performance as terrifying as it is eerily complex. The actual molestation is depicted with enormous restraint, and although you are never left in doubt about exactly what is going on, the film leaves plenty to the imagination--and that, of course, makes it doubly appalling.
What prevents "The Boys of St.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Searing And Heartbreaking Portrait March 1, 2006
Let me just say that this is possibly the finest Canadian film ever produced. And it also foreshadows the scandal that would hit the headlines in the US a decade later.

Although fictionalized, the movie is clearly based on the case of Mount Cashel Orphange in Newfoundland in the 1970s. The investigation into allegations of abuse by the clergy against their young charges was hushed up. And, for fear of scandal, suppressed and brought to light some years later, igniting a media firestorm.

The performances of the cast could not have been better. Henry Czerny, as Brother Peter Lavin, manages to be both repulsive and strangely sympathetic at the same time. His dominating, abusive [...]control over the institution and the children makes his performance absolutely riveting. The other adult performers are perfectly matched, and the child actors are remarkable. When it airs on American TV, it is always heavily censored, so it is best to see it on Canadian channels, or better yet, on video and DVD. The portrayal of abuse is not overly graphic, but enough is shown so that the viewer can have no doubts as to what is taking place. When the police, headed by Detective Noseworthy (a terrific Brian Dooley) begin to investigate the abuse reports through social services, Lavin really gets nervous, but conceals this behind tremendous arrogance and defensiveness. [...] many of his fellow priests also harbor a sick desire for these young boys they are supposed to protect. Johnny Morina, Brian Dodd, Ashley Billard, Jonathan Lewis, and Jeremy Keefe are touchingly vulnerable as the kids who are constantly victimized and terrified by these supposed "Men Of God".
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful Film to Watch
Good film, but hard to watch. The story is powerful, even for someone like myself who works in the counseling field addressing sexual abuse.
Published 23 days ago by Skip
5.0 out of 5 stars The Boys of St. Vincent
A number of times, I have viewed this DVD when it arrived. On first impression, the contents in the production of this DVD could be offensive in regards to all the scenes of Nude... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Gary W. Phelps
4.0 out of 5 stars Wow what a movie!
I have heard about this movie from friends, so, decided to buy it myself and watch it. To think that a "decent" catholic church would do such things to innocent boys is... Read more
Published 2 months ago by God's Baby Girl
4.0 out of 5 stars Well crafted film about an important social issue.
This is a well crafted film about an important subject. At times it is difficult to watch. Beyond the issue of pedophilia it raises the issue of how the welfare of children is... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Citris1
2.0 out of 5 stars So sad
wish there was something done about it for those poor boys who had to go thought all that I'll gave this poor rating.
Published 3 months ago by Ryan Rabesca
5.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing, but informative
Perhaps this is hyped up a bit, but it is probably not too far off base, either.

It came along during a period of exposed allegations of sexual abuse of minors, by... Read more
Published 5 months ago by G. Murphy
5.0 out of 5 stars Most of what was "exposed" had merrit, but the directors should have...
The treatment these boys received at the hands of the people responsible for their care. This movie uses the Catholic Church as the responsible party of these "sins",... Read more
Published 7 months ago by George E. Russell
5.0 out of 5 stars hi
The movie is geat and sad at the same time but thanx for the movie see u next time bro
Published 12 months ago by nick
3.0 out of 5 stars Not to good disks
The movie itself is good, but the disks is in not so good shape. They are at bit scratched and therefor the movie is sometimes out of focus and the picture jumps.
Published 17 months ago by Heidi Andersen
1.0 out of 5 stars Rip off
THis is only part one. This is a two part movie, no where does it say that it is just part one. Without the second part it makes no sense.
Published 23 months ago by Merle J. Yost
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