7.5/10
54,717
423 user 130 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)

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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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Lou
Jack Walsh ...
Tom Butler
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Tom Carey ...
Dwight Stephanson
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Marie Mathay ...
Paul Magers ...
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:

$17,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$390,563, 13 December 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$16,311,763, 16 May 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

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

During a 2002 interview on the National Public Radio program "Fresh Air," Bil Paxton told interviewer Terry Gross that he didn't know that his own father had been cast in this movie (in the small role of Mr. Schmitt) until he arrived at a production office at the start of filming and saw his father's headshot on the wall among the other cast members'. It turned out that John Paxton had written a letter to director Sam Raimi saying, "I've always admired your films, and I was wondering if there were any small parts that I'd possibly be right for." And Raimi gave him an audition. See more »

Goofs

In an early scene, Jacob's pickup is coming up the driveway, but the tire tracks at the top of the screen indicate it was parked there prior to it snowing. 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

Referenced in Special Report (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

So Sleepless You
Written by John Crooke, David Burris, Mike Kenerley & Mike Mitschele
Performed by Jolene
Courtesy of Sire Records Group
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
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User Reviews

 
Twisted, but exceptionally crafted.
4 January 1999 | by 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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