Film: The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys

The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys is a 2002 independent film directed by Peter Care. The film stars Emile Hirsch, Kieran Culkin, Jena Malone, Jodie Foster, and Vincent D'Onofrio. The film is based on the semiautobiograhical coming-of-age novel by Chris Fuhrman.

The film is about a group of Catholic school friends in the Southern United States in the 1970s who engage in a series of pranks and general mischief. The boys also collaborate on a comic book they call The Atomic Trinity. Interspersed within the film are segments of animated footage based on the comic book.

Fuhrman died of cancer before completing the final draft of the novel. The film is dedicated to his memory. Probably has about the most unfortunate name in the history of unfortunate names.

This film provides examples of:

  • Growing Muscles Sequence: Tim turning into The Muscle in the Imagine Spots.
  • Dawson Casting: While the film specifies that the boys are in eighth grade, Kieran Culkin was 19, Jena Malone was 17, and Emile Hirsch and Jake Richardson were 16 around the time of filming