7.5/10
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423 user 125 critic

A Simple Plan (1998)

When three blue collar acquaintances come across millions of dollars in lost cash they make a plan to keep their find from the authorities but find complications and mistrust weaving its way into their plan.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
2,224 ( 50)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 15 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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...
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Lou
Jack Walsh ...
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Carl
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Nancy Chambers
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Baxter
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FBI Agent Renkins
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FBI Agent Freemont
Tom Carey ...
Dwight Stephanson
...
Mr. Schmitt
Marie Mathay ...
News Reporter
Paul Magers ...
Anchorman
Joan Steffand ...
Anchorwoman
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Storyline

Three diverse characters, for the most part intellectually challenged, find a deserted plane with a bag full of millions of dollars inside. They devise a simple plan to keep the money if no-one claims it. Ofcourse, nothing turns out simple... Written by Filmtwob <webmaster@filmfreak.co.za>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Four million dollars and plenty of change. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

22 January 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Thousand Miles  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$390,563 (USA) (11 December 1998)

Gross:

$16,311,763 (USA) (14 May 1999)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A scene with Billy Bob Thornton and Bill Paxton was lost by Northwest Airlines in January 1998 while in transit from Minnesota to Los Angeles. The missing scene had been shot in Minnesota. The film was insured, and the missing scene was re-shot. See more »

Goofs

Directly after a shot of the full moon, when Hank is lying in bed, the scrape on his forehead moves from above the right eye to above the left eye. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Hank Mitchell: [narrating] When I was still just a kid, I remember my father telling me what he thought that it took for a man to be happy. Simple things, really. A wife he loves, a decent job, friends and neighbors who like and respect him. And for a while there, without hardly even realizing it, I had all that. I was a happy man.
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Connections

References Easy Rider (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

Spirit in the Sky
Written and Performed by Norman Greenbaum
Courtesy of Trans/Tone Productions
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User Reviews

 
Twisted, but exceptionally crafted.
4 January 1999 | by (Arlington, VA) – See all my reviews

This is not the film to see if you're looking for a feel-good Hollywood anesthetic to cope with the end of the holiday season. If, however, you wish to experience a great film, then I highly recommend *A Simple Plan*. Its disturbing twist on the American dream may be too difficult for some--especially the very dark ending--but that is part of what makes the film such quality fare. Scott B. Smith's screenplay is tight and flawless. Sam Raimi's inspired direction may finally reveal to the rest of the film industry what fans of the Evil Dead trilogy have known for years: that, though his tongue is often firmly in his cheek, Raimi is a fine and grossly underrated filmmaker. Especially impressive is the way he and cinematographer Alar Kivilo approach the snow-covered landscapes. There is an immensity to the frozen wastelands of the film's crucial scenes that is almost worthy of David Lean. Also commendable is Raimi's skillful use of animals (among them crows and foxes) for symbolic purposes.

But the cast, not to be outdone by their crew, is equally notable. Billy Bob Thornton gives his best performance to date, surpassing even his award-winning role in *Sling Blade*. Bill Paxton is phenomenal as a straight-laced-family-man- turned sociopath, and Bridget Fonda's convincing portrayal of Paxton's determined wife complements him well.

Audiences at the screening I saw were commenting on the film's similarities to *Fargo* as they exited the theater, and seemed to belittle *A Simple Plan* for its lack of "originality." Granted, *A Simple Plan* is not entirely original. There are indeed vague shadows of *Fargo*, as well as *Macbeth* and Robert Frost, among others. But there is no such thing as an entirely original work, as great art is made by standing on the shoulders of giants. Make no mistake, this is NOT a cheap replay of *Fargo*. The differences are too numerous to note here, but suffice it to say that *A Simple Plan* is a great work in its own right, and deserves to be appreciated as such.


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