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Pearls and Pigs (2003)

Helmiä ja sikoja (original title)
When their bootlegging father ends up in jail, four twenty-something brothers need money to pay his debts to local crooks. Next, their 9-year-old half-sister is dumped on their doorstep by ... See full summary »


Perttu Leppä


Perttu Leppä
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mikko Leppilampi ... Läde
Laura Birn ... Laura
Amanda Pilke Amanda Pilke ... Saara Mäkinen
Unto Helo Unto Helo ... Timo
Timo Lavikainen ... Ruho
Jimi Pääkallo Jimi Pääkallo ... Poju
Pekka Valkeejärvi Pekka Valkeejärvi ... Erkki 'Ukko' Valtteri Hirvonen
Outi Mäenpää ... Saara's Mom
Antti Reini ... Laura's Boyfriend
Antti Virmavirta Antti Virmavirta ... Sika
Tomi Salmela ... Limppu
Sakari Kuosmanen ... Lehikoinen
Matti Onnismaa Matti Onnismaa ... Mom's Boyfriend
Risto Salmi Risto Salmi ... Liquor Store Vendor
Marko Tiusanen Marko Tiusanen ... Bailiff


When their bootlegging father ends up in jail, four twenty-something brothers need money to pay his debts to local crooks. Next, their 9-year-old half-sister is dumped on their doorstep by her prostitute mother. A karaoke set helps reveal that the little girl is quite a singer, just as a talent contest for children is coming up on national television offering more than enough money to the winner. If only the kid weren't so hopelessly shy... Written by Markku Kuoppamäki

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Naurat tai itket ja naurat!




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Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

29 August 2003 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Pearls and Pigs See more »

Filming Locations:

Rantakylä, Joensuu, Finland See more »


Box Office


EUR1,300,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

During the credits the main characters are seen answering questions in a police interrogation. See more »


References Ein Fall für zwei (1981) See more »


Written by Happo, Hiironniemi and Pasi Hiidenniemi
Performed by Unto Helo
See more »

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User Reviews

Well, how should I put this...
19 September 2003 | by jessecrowderSee all my reviews

...I would hate to say that it kind of sucked and I'm not gonna, it's just that it wasn't exactly my cup of tea.

I think it was very honest attempt to make laid back comedy which in Finland usually has something to do with heavy boozing or (male) nudity.

I didn't laugh one single time and I really had wanted to like this flick. I would like to say it was sympathetic, but it really wasn't.

It was way too long and it's pacing was most of the time off note. The whole mid section of the movie just kind of blurred and when the lame ass finale finally came, I couldn't care less for any of the characters.

Acting was over all mediocre - the little girl was very good though. The four brothers were natural, but quite uninteresting and stereotyphical. Taneli Mäkelä & the-guy-who-played-Sibelius were straight out of a goof ball comedy skit and really painfully stuck out. The bad guys were from a different genre also, somewhere between "Sopranos" and "Tankki täyteen".

Cinematography was like in many other finnish films: fairly up to TV standards. Not enough pictures and not enough cinematic vision.

The beautiful song sung by the kid was of course, well, beautiful BUT NOT THAT GOD DAMN BEAUTIFUL. I mean, jeez, everytime she sung it the camera gets close to her slowly, people's eyes get moist and the movie going audience is almost litarally forced to feel emotional. I was waiting for a "YOU SHOULD CRY NOW" subtitles appear on the screen the final time this happened. Once used this kind of overly overwhelming scene would've worked, but they wasted that ammo pretty early on.

Maybe I'm a cynic and should be happy with what I'm given, but I know that finnish filmmakers could do better. Perttu Leppä including, whose previous films (especially his great short films) worked a lot better in my oppinion. "Helmiä ja sikoja" is a hyper naive picture and you should follow the main characters' example and drink heavily thru the whole film. That might have helped me.

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