The Young Poisoner's Handbook

Teenage toxicologist Graham Young (O'Conor) is a budding genius with a predilection for ketchup and difficulties at home and school. Girls are turned off by his fascination with decapitation, and his family resent the chemical residue which clings to the kitchen utensils after his experiments. Undaunted, Graham resolves to solve his social problems once and for all, and make a name for himself in the process. He will be Neasden's most famous poisoner. Recounted by the arch-criminal himself, Graham's exploits have an unsettling rationality about them. O'Conor plays him unblinking and wide-eyed. Like a downwardly mobile Kind Hearts and Coronets, the film is at its sharpest satirising the suburban domestic kitsch of the '60s and '70s, the trendy psychological theories prison psychiatrist Dr Zeigler (Sher) uses to 'cure' Graham, and the doleful social camaraderie at the photographics laboratory where he's placed for rehabilitation. Director Ross has the confidence to pitch his malicious wit very close to the bone, so that at times you don't know whether to laugh or cry (or both).

Release details

Duration: 105 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Benjamin Ross
Screenwriter: Jeff Rawle, Benjamin Ross
Cast: Hugh O'Conor
Antony Sher
Ruth Sheen
Roger Lloyd Pack
Charlotte Coleman
Paul Stacey
Samantha Edmonds
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Alec Walbridge

I was the psychologist who first dealt with Graham Young.. This film several biographies are mostly fiction with gross mainpulation of the facts. What the public did not know was invented.