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Bully is a 2001 drama film, based on actual events, starring Brad Renfro, Rachel Miner, Bijou Phillips, Nick Stahl, and Michael Pitt. The screenplay was written by David McKenna (under the pseudonym Zachary Long) and Roger Pullis, who adapted the book Bully: A True Story of High School Revenge (ISBN 0-380-72333-6) by Jim Schutze. The story concerns the plot to murder the title character, in revenge for his continual abuse and psychological torture of others. The film was directed by Larry Clark, whose other credits include Kids and Ken Park.


Ali Willis (Bijou Phillips) and Lisa Connelly (Rachel Miner) visit Bobby Kent (Nick Stahl) and Marty Puccio (Brad Renfro) at the sandwich shop where they work. Bobby slams Marty's head against a refrigerator in full view of the girls. Marty, Bobby, Ali, and Lisa go out on a double date, eventually having sex. Lisa and Marty enter a relationship, and Lisa confesses that she "loves him and would do anything for him." Lisa takes a pregnancy test and learns she is pregnant, most likely with Marty's child (although prior to this, Bobby had raped her after he assaulted her with a belt and punched Marty into submission).

As the movie progresses, Bobby's cruelty worsens, culminating in a graphic scene in which he anally rapes Ali while watching gay pornography. Lisa eventually plans to murder him, in part to defend Marty, who is also a victim of Bobby's torment. Before the act, Ali and Donny (Michael Pitt) drive to a rehabilitation center to pick up Ali's friend, Heather Swallers (Kelli Garner), who has been abusing drugs.

After much drug use and a failed attempt at murder, they hire a supposed hitman (Leo Fitzpatrick), but as the story progresses it becomes comically apparent that the "hitman" is just a tough-talking adolescent. Initially, much of the group dismisses the plan as a lark, but eventually they all come to the realization that they will go through with it, particularly when they lure Bobby out to a nearby swamp armed with knives and other weapons.

As the teenagers arrive at the swamp, the hitman tells the teenagers what to do. He has Heather give the group a signal by asking Bobby if there are any alligators in the canal. He has Donny attack him when he hears Heather's signal; he has Marty back up Donny, and Lisa, Derek, and himself make sure that Bobby doesn't escape.

After the plan is set, Heather goes up to Ali and Bobby, and nervously asks about the alligators in the canal. Bobby sarcastically tells her to go skinny dipping. After Heather asks a second time, Donny runs up behind him, and stabs him in the back. Shocked, Ali and Heather go and hide in her car. Marty then goes up to Bobby and stabs him in the stomach, as Donny stabs him multiple times in the back.

After a while, Bobby tries to leave the group by limping out of the area. He fails to do so, as he falls in front of Ali's car. She turns on the headlights, and then Marty slits his throat. Afterwards, the hitman bashes in Bobby's head with a bat. Finally, the hitman forces Derek to help him throw the body in the swamp.

The teens then drive to a beach to formulate their alibi. The hitman threatens to kill anyone who reports details of the crime to the police. Their commitment eventually unravels, however, leading to a police arrest several days later.

At the end of the film, subtitles show the prison sentences that the teenagers received. Heather Swallers received seven years, Derek Dzvirko received 11 years, Ali Willis received 40 years, Donny Semenec, Derek Kaufman (the hitman), and Lisa Connelly received life sentences, and Marty Puccio was sentenced to death in the electric chair, which was later commuted to life in prison, as mentioned in the closing credits.


The movie is based on the 1993 murder of Bobby Kent in Cooper Citymarker, a suburb west of Fort Lauderdale, Floridamarker. Specifically, Marty Puccio (Renfro), Alice Willis (Phillips), Lisa Connelly (Miner), and others are the real-life counterparts of the characters in the film. Many of the convicted teens were released after serving several years in prison; today, only three are still serving prison sentences. The book, Bully: A True Story of High School Revenge, was released in 1998.

The actual co-perpetrators of the murder were convicted and sentenced as follows:
  • Marty Puccio: first-degree murder and conspiracy (death by electric chair initially, but later changed to life).
  • Heather Swallers: second-degree murder and conspiracy (seven years imprisonment).
  • Derek Dzvirko: second-degree murder and conspiracy (eleven years imprisonment).
  • Alice Willis: second-degree murder and conspiracy (forty years imprisonment. Reduced on appeal to 17 years in prison. Released on parole in 2002. Currently under community supervision for 40 years).
  • Donald Semenec: second-degree murder and conspiracy (life plus 15 years imprisonment).
  • Derek Kaufman: first-degree murder and conspiracy (life plus 30 years imprisonment).
  • Lisa Connelly: second-degree murder and conspiracy (life plus five years imprisonment. Reduced on appeal to 22 years. Released on parole in 2004).



According to the end credits:


  1. James Berardinelli 2001 A review of Bully

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Information on actual participants


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