The Raggedy Rawney

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Time Out says

Hoskins' first outing as a director, a World War I tale of Romany Folk, is set somewhere unspecific in the East European theatre. Fletcher plays a drafted boy soldier who escapes the carnage by donning woman's clothing and taking to the countryside. Port in a storm is provided by a passing band of gypsies, led by the ever-the-cockney Hoskins, who mistake Fletcher for a rawney -- a traveller's word meaning a kind of vagabond female fortune-teller - and take him/her into their company. From here on in, Hoskins' darkening tale focuses on the lives of this less than merry band, with various set pieces - a traditional wedding, a ritual burial - strung together by a meandering plot concerning the group's various sexual and social rivalries and problems. The film suffers from disconcerting shifts of tone, mood, and focus, and threatens to become a case of paving over with good intentions; but its themes - the warts-and-all humanity of the travellers culture, the all pervasive destructiveness of war, the survival instinct - are delivered with sufficient sympathy and commitment to overcome the doubts.
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Release details

UK release:

1987

Duration:

103 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Bob Hoskins

Cast:

Ian McNeice, Ian Dury, Dave Hill, Zoe Wanamaker, Zoe Nathenson, Dexter Fletcher, Bob Hoskins, Veronica Clifford

Music:

Michael Kamen

Production Designer:

Jirí Matolin

Editor:

Alan Jones

Cinematography:

Frank Tidy

Screenwriter:

Nicole de Wilde, Bob Hoskins

Producer:

Bob Weis

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