The Raggedy Rawney

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Raggedy Rawney
Directed byBob Hoskins
Written byBob Hoskins
Nicole de Wilde
StarringBob Hoskins
Dexter Fletcher
Zoë Wanamaker
Music byMichael Kamen
CinematographyFrank Tidy
Edited byAlan Jones
Release date
Running time
103 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

The Raggedy Rawney is a 1988 British drama film starring Bob Hoskins, Dexter Fletcher, Zoe Nathenson, and Zoë Wanamaker. The story is about a young army deserter (Fletcher) in an unspecified time and country, who disguises himself as a madwoman and joins a nomadic gypsy caravan. The film involves the themes of the destruction and futility of war, the culture of the Romani people, and the bonds generated by love and family. The film was also co-written and directed by Bob Hoskins. Musician Ian Dury has a small role as a character named Weazel. The movie marked Hoskins' debut as a director.

The film was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1988 Cannes Film Festival.[1]


The film centres around the character of Tom, a young army recruit in an unnamed time and country (presumably World War II-era Eastern Europe) who deserts after an artillery barrage kills his sergeant, in the process blinding a sadistic officer who tries to stop him. He is shell-shocked into muteness and takes refuge with a travelling gypsy caravan, led by Darky (Hoskins). Among the principal members of the clan are Darky's mentally disabled son, Simon, Simon's mother Elle (Wanamaker) who harbours a grudge against Darky, and Darky's only daughter, Jessie (Nathenson), who forms a romantic bond with Tom, eventually becoming pregnant by him. In order to avoid arrest and execution by the army, Tom disguises himself as a "rawney", described in the film as a kind of "magic" madwoman, who (in the gypsy culture) is able to see the future and can control animals. Frightened at first, Darky befriends the "rawney", thinking him or her to be good luck, but soon Darky is revealed to be a flawed leader, unable to protect his clan from war, and beset by family turmoil which is exacerbated by Tom's presence. Throughout the film, the army and the partially blinded officer is a menace, threatening the gypsies' way of life and those who befriend them. In a moving finale, the army corners the gypsy clan, who manage to hold them off with meagre rifles and pistols long enough to enable the young members of the clan, including Tom and Jessie, to escape, at the cost of their own lives.



  1. ^ "Festival de Cannes: The Raggedy Rawneyt". Retrieved 31 July 2009.

External links[edit]