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The Ice Storm (1997)

R  |   |  Drama  |  11 March 1998 (France)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 44,787 users   Metascore: 72/100
Reviews: 281 user | 124 critic | 23 from Metacritic.com

1973, suburban Connecticut: middle class families experimenting with casual sex, drink, etc., find their lives out of control.



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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 4 wins & 29 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dorothy Franklin
William Cain ...
Ted Shackley
Michael Cumpsty ...
Mrs. Gadd
Libbets Casey


In the weekend after thanksgiving 1973 the Hoods are skidding out of control. Benjamin Hood reels from drink to drink, trying not to think about his trouble at the office. His wife, Elena, is reading self help books and losing patience with her husband's lies. Their son, Paul, home for the holidays, escapes to the city to pursue an alluring rich girl from his prep school. And young, budding nymphomaniac, Wendy Hood roams the neighborhood, innocently exploring liquor cabinets and lingerie drawers of her friends' parents, looking for something new. Then an ice storm hits, the worst in a century. Things get bad... Written by Emory Herbertson <shrikes.fox@worldnet.att.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

virgin | storm | ice storm | drink | ice | See All (225) »


The American Dream was over. But the hangover was just beginning. See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and drug use, including scenes involving children, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

11 March 1998 (France)  »

Also Known As:

La tormenta de hielo  »

Box Office


$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$75,183 (USA) (26 September 1997)


£939,110 (UK) (27 February 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The book Janey is reading while sitting on the water bed is "When She Was Good" by Philip Roth. See more »


George Clair's wedding ring disappears when he greets Ben Hood at the key party, but it reappears when his keys are picked from the bowl and he leaves the party. See more »


[first lines]
Train Conductor: Good morning ladies and gentlemen. This train, originating from New York's Grand Central Station, is back in service. Next stop will be New Canaan, Connecticut. New Canaan, Connecticut next stop.
Paul Hood: [narration] In issue 141 of the Fantastic Four, published in November, 1973, Reed Richards had to use his anti-matter weapon on his own son, who Aannihilus has turn into the Human Atom Bomb. It was a typical predicament for the Fantastic Four, because they weren't like other superheroes. ...
See more »


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User Reviews

The Victims of Spoilhood
4 November 2004 | by (Providence, RI) – See all my reviews

Set in upscale, suburban New Canaan, Connecticut in 1973, The Ice Storm (based on a novel by Rick Moody) is a scathing social criticism of the values and ideals of upper-class American society during that time period. With the background for the movie being the Nixon Watergate scandal, the corruption is portrayed as extending all the way into the American Home through a short glimpse into the lives of two families: The Hoods and the Carvers.

Both families have two children (Carvers: two sons, Hoods: one son, one daughter), and appear perfectly normal and supportive at first glance. However, through a series of common experiences, and through the way the families struggle to communicate both within and with one another, it becomes clear there are deeply rooted problems. Director Lee uses the children to exemplify the failures of the parents, and their mistakes reflect heavily and harshly on the adults in their lives. The adults also make their own mistakes, and these are depicted as far worse - for as adults, they should know better. Their struggles in dealing with their children are at times almost comical, and show their lack of proper parenting skills. As a criticism, this structure is flawless, comprehensive, and unrelenting throughout. Except for a few fleeting scenes, the irresponsibility of the adults dominates the screen.

Of course, all these events are building up to a climax of epic proportions. The saying, "a stitch in time saves nine," comes to mind when discussing this movie. Had any of the adults taken the proper steps of good parenting anywhere along the way, the events that unfold would not have occurred. Like the failed parenting of the adults, however, it's too little, too late. Bad parenting, selfishness, lavishness, sexual promiscuity, greed, lack of communication, and foolishness lead these adults to make mistakes within their lives, the lives of their children, and the lives of their friends. And come the closing credits of this incredibly well directed, well acted film, they are the ones left to pick up the pieces.

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