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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 & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Cliff
Stephen J. Lang ...
...
Sam
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Oni Faida Lampley ...
Celie
...
Molly
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Deputy Travis
Gonzalo Castillo ...
Amado
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Enrique
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Hollis
Tony Frank ...
Fenton
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Mercedes Cruz
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Charlie Wade
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Young Hollis
...
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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:

$3,845,000 (USA) (19 July 1996)

Gross:

$13,269,963 (USA) (10 January 1997)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The hands seen laying out the bones in this movie belong to David Glassman, a forensic anthropologist at Southwest Texas State University. See more »

Goofs

When Col. Payne enters Big O's bar, the birds (Eagles denoting full colonel rank) on his shoulders are upside down. 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.
See more »

Connections

References Pulp Fiction (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Papertrail
Written by Mason Daring
Performed by Duke Levine
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User Reviews

 
An entrancing yarn.
15 October 2001 | by (Sauk City, Wisconsin) – See all my reviews

An entrancing yarn that takes place in a small, quiet Texas border town where the memories of two former lawmen, the crooked Charlie Wade (Kris Kristofferson) and the legendary Buddy Deeds (Matthew McConaughey) are slowly resurrected when the remains of Wade are found on an deserted Army firing range by Deeds' son, Sam (Chris Cooper), who is the current town sheriff. Throughout the movie, Sam visits some of the locals and asks each one if they knew what happened to Wade and if Buddy had a role in the murder. Writer-director-editor John Sayles serves up an unpredictable gem here with a great cast that includes Joe Morton, Elisabeth Pena, Frances McDormand, etc., and to me, it seems like nearly all the characters here make sense right up to the end.


17 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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