5.9/10
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59 user 59 critic

The Caveman's Valentine (2001)

A cave-dwelling man sets out to track down the killer of a homeless boy, and bring him to justice.

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Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)

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4 nominations. See more awards »

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Director: E. Max Frye
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Lerner
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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Damir Andrei ...
Arnold
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...
...
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Joey / No Face
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Matthew
...
Bob
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Betty
...
Shaker / Greater No Face (as Leonard Thomas)
...
Boy Toy / Andy (as Joris Jorsky)
Pierre Alcide ...
Toupee
Richard Fitzpatrick ...
Walter
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Storyline

Romulus is mentally ill, a troglodyte in a New York City park. He's also a gifted composer and the father of a city cop. On Valentine's Day, a young man freezes in a tree near his cave. The police determine it's the accidental death of someone behaving bizarrely, but Romulus believes a friend of the dead youth who says that noted avant-garde photographer, David Leppenraub, murdered him. Romulus, urged on by hallucinations of his wife as a young woman, resolves to catch the killer and manages to be invited to Leppenraub's farm to play a new composition. Can Romulus hold it together long enough to get to the bottom of the death and also to make a breakthrough with his daughter? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Romulus Ledbetter lives on the edge. The view is incredible. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some violence and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

20 September 2001 (Malaysia)  »

Also Known As:

Az ösztönember  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$112,041, 4 March 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$687,194
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Choreographer Otis Sallid originally tried professional dancers to play the moth-seraphs, but decided to switch to athletes instead, saying they had "the bodies, the mentality, and the strength". See more »

Goofs

In one shot when Bob and Betty toast Romulus in his new suit, Bob's "z-ray" green drink is orange (though this may have been intentional, since it is unclear if the "z-rays" are simply in Romulus's mind). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Romulus Ledbetter: Don't you watch me! You think you're gonna crawl into my brain and see a show? That what I am? Is that what you think?
Social Worker: What I think, Mr. Ledbetter, is that the temperature is dropping.
Romulus Ledbetter: I got freezing temperatures all over my brain. And I got legends of angels up there! Like little moths, and they'll beat the hell out of you with their wings!
See more »

Crazy Credits

For "Billie" 1955-1999 - "love you baby. always have. always will." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #2.21 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Regnava nel Silenzio from Lucia di Lammermoor
By Gaetano Donizetti
Performed by Ying Wong and London Symphony Orchestra (as The London Symphony)
Conducted by James Conlon
Courtesy of Sony Classical
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
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User Reviews

 
Fantasy becomes reality
6 January 2006 | by See all my reviews

I picked this up in the video store not knowing what to expect and was I pleasantly surprised. This film is a real work of art and works on many levels. First, the direction is magnificent. Lemmons works magic blending reality with flashbacks, imaginings and fantasies. Weaving all these together is a true feat. This is a film one could watch without the sound just to appreciate the images.

Second, the arts that are portrayed are excellent, from the dancing to the music to the photography. Lemmons has a fantastic arts sense.

Third, the performances. Jackson is magnificent. A musician who cannot take the pressure of his career and of the context in which he must perform yet maintains his artistic sensibility. Like so many real people, his fears become externalized, but he still maintains a sense of his reality. And it is this sense which makes his character credible when it comes to the plot.

The plot is a good mystery but would have been hackneyed in lesser hands. And the plot works on at least two levels. Romulus may be crazy, but he knows what is going on and the images of his wife beautifully portrayed by Tamara Tunie keeps Romulus grounded. And since this is a character driven film, this conflict between Romulus's fears and fantasies with the realities he finds himself in, works beautifully thanks to Jackson's performance. On the second level the mystery qua mystery also works well. There are enough confusions to keep the viewer guessing.

All in all a great film.


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