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Sommersby (1993)

A farmer returns home from the Civil War, but his wife begins to suspect that the man is an impostor.

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(film The Return of Martin Guerre), (film The Return of Martin Guerre) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Buck
...
Travis
...
Orin
Brett Kelley ...
Little Rob
...
Reverend Powell
...
Esther
...
Joseph
...
Dick Mead (as Ronald Lee Ermey)
Richard Hamilton ...
...
Mrs. Evans
Carter McNeese ...
Storekeeper Wilson
Dean Whitworth ...
Tom Clemmons
Stan Kelly ...
John Green
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Storyline

Set in the south of the United States just after the Civil War, Laurel Sommersby is just managing to work the farm without her husband Jack, believed killed in the Civil War. By all accounts, Jack Sommersby was not a pleasant man, thus when he returns, Laurel has mixed emotions. It appears that Jack has changed a great deal, leading some people to believe that this is not actually Jack but an impostor. Laurel herself is unsure, but willing to take the man into her home, and perhaps later into her heart... Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She knew his face. His touch. His voice. She knew everything about him... But the truth.

Genres:

Drama | Mystery | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

5 February 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Stranger Within  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$50,081,992 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(DuArt)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Steven Reuther, one of the producers behind the project commented about the casting of Gere and Foster: "A lot of people questioned us about this coupling. And it was a gamble, because there are the obvious romantic leading females, and Jodie really is not one of them. Also, I don't think anyone had ever seen Jodie in a period costume. But once we got her in the period clothes and the hair, it was like, 'How could there have been a question?' I think that part of why she was attracted to the character was because it was something she had never done before." See more »

Goofs

The fiddle being played at the homecoming dance is fitted with a chin piece, which was not used until the 20th century. See more »

Quotes

Laurel Sommersby: You are not Jack Sommersby, so why do you keep going on pretending that you are?
John Robert 'Jack' Sommersby: How do you know I'm not?
Laurel Sommersby: I know because...
John Robert 'Jack' Sommersby: How do you know?
Laurel Sommersby: I know because...
John Robert 'Jack' Sommersby: How do you know?
Laurel Sommersby: I know because I never loved him the way that I love you.
John Robert 'Jack' Sommersby: Now Laurel tell me, from the bottom of your heart. Am I your husband?
Laurel Sommersby: Yes, you are.
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Connections

Referenced in Saved by the Bell: The College Years: Rush Week (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Engaging and well acted, with an intriguing plot twist
12 February 1999 | by (West Frankfort, Illinois) – See all my reviews

"Sommersby" is an intriguing film that keeps the audience barely outside the scenes but close enough to be touched by them. The story, of Jack Sommersby (or so it appears) a changed man after returning to his wife and hometown years after being held captive in the Civil War, was borrowed from the French film "The Return of Martin Guerre." But apparently this one has some new twists.

As we watch this movie, we're not quite sure what to think. The townspeople, his friends, his dog and even his own wife aren't certain this is the man who left for the war. That, and the trial toward the end of the movie, stretches credulity a bit, my minor complaints. But after all, this is the movies, and there is a pretty good story here. A real tear-jerker, for certain.

Jodie Foster and Richard Gere carry this plot well, both putting in what I believe is some of their best work. The direction and cinematography also shine.

In the end, this movie is all about pure love of a man for a woman, in which he literally loves her more than life itself. That may seem a bit hokey, but it's a refreshing and enduring message in an movie age in which a one-night stand passes for a long-term relationship.


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