7.5/10
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175 user 71 critic

Lone Star (1996)

R | | Drama, Mystery | 21 June 1996 (USA)
When the skeleton of his murdered predecessor is found, Sheriff Sam Deeds unearths many other long-buried secrets in his Texas border town.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 15 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Stephen J. Lang ...
...
Sam
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Oni Faida Lampley ...
Celie
Eleese Lester ...
Molly
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Gonzalo Castillo ...
Amado
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Enrique
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Tony Frank ...
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Mercedes Cruz
...
...
...
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Storyline

John Sayles' murder-mystery explores interpersonal and interracial tensions in Rio County, Texas. Sam Deeds is the local sheriff who is called to investigate a 40-year-old skeleton found in the desert....As Sam delves deeper into the town's dark secrets, he begins to learn more about his father, the legendary former sheriff Buddy Deeds, who replaced the corrupt Charlie Wade. While Sam puzzles out the long-past events surrounding the mystery corpse, he also longs to rekindle a romance with his old high-school flame. Sayles' complex characters are brought together as the tightly woven plot finally draws to its dramatic close. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

John Sayles invites you to return to the scene of the crime.

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brief language, sex and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

21 June 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Estrella solitaria  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,845,000, 19 July 1996

Gross USA:

$13,269,963, 12 January 1997
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is known for its excellent use of live seques, in which scenes change within a single camera shot; in this case, shifting in back and forth through time in the same location. See more »

Goofs

When COL Payne is reprimanding PVT Johnson about her failing the drug test, she has her hat on. Members of the US Army do not wear hats indoors. When he's finished he salutes her and she returns his salute--that's backwards. She should salute him first and hold the salute until he returns it. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Cliff: [cataloging the flora] We got cenizo, that's purple sage, agave, nopal... What's that stuff? Yeah that's it, that's whatchamacallit. That's horse crippler.
Mikey: This place is a gold mine.
Cliff: Lead mine.
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Soundtracks

Since I Met You Baby
Written by Ivory Joe Hunter
Performed by Ivory Joe Hunter
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User Reviews

 
My favourite film of all time.
11 September 1999 | by See all my reviews

This is the only film I've ever seen for the first time, and then rewound and watched straight through again without even getting up for a cup of coffee. I don't even know where to begin in listing its qualities. Few films succeed in addressing such complex issues as race; our relationships with our parents; the nature of our attitudes to history; and the way the past shapes our lives in so subtle a manner as this. Somehow, John Sayles has managed to touch on all of these questions, without at any point being didactic, and to deal with them realistically and with respect to their complexity.

Most amazingly of all, Sayles shows all sides of the various arguments running through the film and yet still manages to produce solutions, or at least the hope of solutions. That he is able to achieve this is a consequence of the humanity of his outlook. With the exception of Charlie Wade - the one straightforward character in the script - everybody in this film is complicated, realistic and, above all, sympathetic. The smallest cameo parts - the old lady playing a gameboy; the "as liberal as the next guy" bartender - are more interesting and plausible than the central characters in the majority of films.

All this in a film which is not ostensibly character- or issue-driven. A film which instead features an involving mystery and an affecting romance, as well as numerous subplots (all beautifully paced and integrated), and in which almost everything proves to be connected.

Great works of art shouldn't have to throw their message into the audience's faces. Instead, as the audience looks at their more superficial aspects of beauty or excitement, they should be drawn into their subtleties and more interesting depths. In Lone Star, everything - the arguments about race and the past, the tangible sense of a real community, the subversiveness of the film's ending - flows from what is at base simply a good story. This film is one of the outstanding achievements of 90s American cinema 10/10.


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