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An Enemy of the People (1978)

 -  Drama  -  17 March 1978 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 494 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 11 critic

A scientist stands against an entire town when he discovers their medicinal spa is polluted.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Michael Higgins ...
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Robin Pearson Rose ...
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John Levin ...
Ham Larsen ...
Louise Hoven ...
Glenn Ransom
Leon Charles
Harry Frazier
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Storyline

Based on a play by Henrik Ibsen. A small forest town is trying to promote itself as a place for tourists to come enjoy the theraputic hot springs and unspoiled nature. Dr. Stockmann, however, makes the inconvenient discovery that the nature around the village is not so unspoiled. In fact, the runoff from the local tanning mill has contaminated the water to a dangerous degree. The town fathers argue that cleaning up the mess would be far too expensive and the publicity would destroy the town's reputation, so therefore news of the pollution should be suppressed. Dr. Stockmann decides to fight to get the word out to the people, but receives as very mixed reaction. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The story of a man of courage. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 March 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Inimigo do Povo  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It was hard for McQueen once he found the book to convince his partners at First Artists to make the film, he agreed to take a union scale fee and promised to keep the budget under 3 million. See more »

Connections

Version of Doktor Stockmann (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Vastly underrated, obscure performance by Steve McQueen
9 November 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Late in his brief career, Steve McQueen, a superstar for his roles in action movies, intensely wanted a chance to demonstrate his abilities in a classical framework. To that end he produced this cinematic version of the Ibsen play about a 19th-Century whistleblower and worked for scale, as did other actors. The script is adapted from the excellent adaptation done by Arthur Miller a half-century ago.

The screenplay closely follows the original work and utilizes a minimum of sets with only one exterior shoot. Despite this constriction, this film is truly unforgettable. The acting by McQueen, Richard Dysart, Charles Durning and Bibi Anderson is superb. The cinematography is excellent as well, conveying an almost tactile appreciation of period costumes and interiors of the sort found in Matewan by John Sayles.

The examination of the political and emotional whirlwinds described by Ibsen would be topical today.

The regrettable part of this enterprise was the inexplicable failure of the studio to release the film in the U.S. DVD versions can be found and used PAL videotape versions are available from the U.K., Australia and other countries that use that format.


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