The Neon Bible

  • 15
  • Terence Davies (1995)
  • UK / US
  • 87 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

Adapted from the novel by John Kennedy Toole, this measured, beautifully photographed but harrowing study of family angst in Georgia around the time of the Second World War marked the American debut of director Terence Davies. Although far from his Liverpool home, Davies revisits much of the territory covered in his acclaimed Distant Voices, Still Lives and The Long Day Closes. Yet he manages to breathe some new life into the familiar small-town formula, thanks to his keen eye for detail and a supremely assured performance from Gena Rowlands as the nightclub singer aunt who shakes up the lives of the ten-year-old Drake Bell and his careworn parents Diana Scarwid and Denis Leary.

Plot Summary

Drama starring Gena Rowlands, Diana Scarwid and Denis Leary. The life of a young boy growing up in a small town in the Bible Belt of the American South during the 1940s changes dramatically with the arrival of his glamorous and eccentric Aunt Mae.

Cast and crew


Aunt Mae
Gena Rowlands
Diana Scarwid
Denis Leary
David aged 15
Jacob Tierney
Bobbie Lee Taylor
Leo Burmester
Miss Scover
Frances Conroy
Reverend Watkins
Peter McRobbie
Joan Glover
David aged ten
Drake Bell


Terence Davies

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
Artificial Eye Film Co. Ltd
Contains violence and swearing.
Available on video
Certificate 15