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Wade Whitehouse is a sheriff of a small New Hampshire town who achieved nothing in life in the opinion of his ex-wife Lillian and daughter Jill and is a heavy drinker. His girlfriend Margie accepts him the way he is. On the first day of the hunting season, Wade's friend Jack takes a wealthy businessman to hunt - and only Jack returns alive. Wade decides to play detective and starts investigating the case despite the fact Jack insists it was an accidental self-inflicted shot. Written by
'James Coburn''s part was first turned down by Paul Newman and then James Garner, both turned it down because they felt that it would be very tiring to play such a dark, awful character. Both actors were friends of Coburn, and Garner suggested him for the part. See more »
The jackets the NHSP were wearing were not used since the 1980s, and the badges worn were also fake. See more »
You will say that I should have known terrible things were about to happen. You will say that I was responsible. But even so, what could I have done by then? Wade lived on the edge of his emotions. He was always first to receive the brunt of our father's anger. He had no perspective to retreat to, even in a crisis.
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Based on a novel by Russell Banks who also wrote "The Sweet Hereafter", and directed by Paul Schrader of "Raging Bull" and "The Mosquito Coast" fame, the winter landscape and cold bleakness of the town sets the tone for this exploration of the dark legacy of what it is to be a man.
Nick Nolte stars in this dark story of a the lone policeman in a small New Hampshire town investigating a hunting accident. James Coburn is excellent as Nick Nolte's father, a brutal and angry old man who typifies a sick machismo which has in turn afflicted his son. His acting is extraordinary as is Nolte's although their styles are different. Noltle is subtle; his facial expressions are controlled and typical of a man who has learned to hold in emotion. Coburn's face, on the other hand, is more deeply expressive; his eyebrows move, his mouth hardens, his eyes glare.
This is the kind of dark, brooding movie that I like. For a brief few hours I enter its world and get completely absorbed in the characters in the way I did with "A thousand Acres" or "The Horse Whisperers". Like these films, there are no easy answers and the conclusion does not wrap up in a neat little Hollywood package that is soon forgotten.
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