6.8/10
7,006
46 user 26 critic

Ironweed (1987)

R | | Drama | 12 February 1988 (USA)
An alcoholic drifter spends Halloween in his home town of Albany, New York after returning there for the first time in decades.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
Reviews

Watch Now

With Prime Video

WATCH NOW
ON DISC
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A professional hitman and hitwoman fall in love.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Kathleen Turner, Robert Loggia
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A mother whose child was killed in a Dingo attack in the Australian outback fights to prove her innocence when she is accused of murder.

Director: Fred Schepisi
Stars: Meryl Streep, Sam Neill, Dale Reeves
Heartburn (1986)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A food writer pregnant with her second baby finds out her husband is having an affair.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson, Jeff Daniels
Silkwood (1983)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A worker at a plutonium processing plant is purposefully contaminated, psychologically tortured and possibly murdered to prevent her from exposing worker safety violations at the plant.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Meryl Streep, Kurt Russell, Cher
The Border (1982)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A corrupt border Agent decides to clean up his act when an impoverished woman's baby is put up for sale on the black market.

Director: Tony Richardson
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Harvey Keitel, Valerie Perrine
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A film is being made of a story, set in 19th century England, about Charles, a biologist who's engaged to be married, but who falls in love with outcast Sarah, whose melancholy makes her ... See full summary »

Director: Karel Reisz
Stars: Meryl Streep, Jeremy Irons, Hilton McRae
Plenty (1985)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A young Englishwoman spends twenty years to make whatever kind of life for herself, at the expense of others around her, in post-World War II England.

Director: Fred Schepisi
Stars: Meryl Streep, Sam Neill, André Maranne
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A career woman reassesses her parents' lives after she is forced to care for her cancer-stricken mother.

Director: Carl Franklin
Stars: Meryl Streep, Renée Zellweger, William Hurt
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Freddy Gale is a seedy jeweller who has sworn to kill the drunk driver who killed his little girl.

Director: Sean Penn
Stars: Jack Nicholson, David Morse, Anjelica Huston
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The sensuous wife of a lunch wagon proprietor and a rootless drifter begin a sordidly steamy affair and conspire to murder her Greek husband.

Director: Bob Rafelson
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Jessica Lange, John Colicos
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A substance-addicted actress tries to look on the bright side even as she is forced to move back in with her mother to avoid unemployment.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Meryl Streep, Shirley MacLaine, Dennis Quaid
The Two Jakes (1990)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The sequel to Chinatown (1974) finds J.J. "Jake" Gittes investigating adultery and murder, and the money that comes from oil.

Director: Jack Nicholson
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Harvey Keitel, Meg Tilly
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Peg
...
...
...
Jake Dengel ...
...
Harold Allen
...
...
Rowdy Dick
Laura Esterman ...
Nora
...
Jack
...
Edit

Storyline

Albany, New York, Halloween, 1938. Francis Phelan and Helen Archer are bums, back in their birth city. She was a singer on the radio, he a major league pitcher. Death surrounds them: she's sick, a pal has cancer, he digs graves at the cemetery and visits the grave of his infant son whom he dropped; visions of his past haunt him, including ghosts of two men he killed. That night, out drinking, Helen tries to sing at a bar. Next day, Fran visits his wife and children and meets a grandson. He could stay, but decides it's not for him. Helen gets their things out of storage and finds a hotel. Amidst their mistakes and dereliction, the film explores their code of fairness and loyalty. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 February 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tallo de hierro  »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$27,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$36,973, 20 December 1987, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$7,393,346
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Jack Nicholson's contract included a clause which allowed him to leave the shooting location to attend all Los Angeles Lakers basketball games. See more »

Goofs

When the vigilantes' cars approach the hobo camp, they are observed across the steel-ribbed top of a boxcar with no running board, impossible in 1938. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Pee Wee: [gathered around a fire barrel] Oh God, it's too damn cold out here. Hey, Francis.
Francis Phelan: Hey, Pee Wee.
Pee Wee: Have you come back?
Francis Phelan: Yeah. You, uh, seen Helen around?
Pee Wee: No. I haven't seen her in a couple days.
Francis Phelan: Well, I'll catch up with her.
See more »


Soundtracks

He's Me Pal
Performed by Meryl Streep
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Streep's Greatest Performance
21 April 2001 | by See all my reviews

There are many reasons why this film is a masterpiece, but the most significant element is surely Streep's portrayal of a homeless alcoholic in 1930's Albany. Her appearance, about half an hour into the film, is quite frankly, astonishing. She walks into a soup kitchen and sits down next to Nicholson and your jaw drops at the transformation. Beyond the technical virtuosity, you marvel at the choices that Streep makes that express the character so movingly, from the vocal production which is almost like a groan of pain, to the body language including her constantly averted glance and shuffling walk which express the woman's lost self esteem, to her bursts of rage when we see the glimmer of the spirit she once posessed. There's a scene in a bar in which she sings for the patrons that you will never forget.

Every other element of the film succeeds: the other performances (Nicholson, Tom Waits and Carol Baker stand out), the production design recreating a vanished era flawlessly without resorting to the phony perfection of say a Merchant Ivory film, the sound design which is surprisingly complex for such an intimate film, the screenplay, the cinematography, the direction. How is it that Hector Babenco has only made two films since this one?


26 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 46 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page