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A film about the life and career of the American painter, Jackson Pollock.

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(book), (book) | 2 more credits »
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Sande Pollock
...
Arloie Pollock
...
...
Stella Pollock
...
Arloie's Baby (as Eulala Grace Harden)
Matthew Sussman ...
Reuben Kadish
...
Howard Putzel
...
Peggy Guggenheim
Everett Quinton ...
James Johnson Sweeney
...
May Rosenberg
...
Harold Rosenberg
...
Tony Smith
Kenny Scharf ...
William Baziotes
Tom McGuinness ...
Franz Kline
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Storyline

At the end of the 1940's, abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) is featured in Life magazine. Flashback to 1941, he's living with his brother in a tiny apartment in New York City, drinking too much, and exhibiting an occasional painting in group shows. That's when he meets artist Lee Krasner, who puts her career on hold to be his companion, lover, champion, wife, and, in essence, caretaker. To get him away from booze, insecurity, and the stress of city life, they move to the Hamptons where nature and sobriety help Pollock achieve a breakthrough in style: a critic praises, then Life magazine calls. But so do old demons: the end is nasty, brutish, and short. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A True Portrait of Life and Art.

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 March 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pollock, o asymvivastos  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$44,244 (USA) (15 December 2000)

Gross:

$8,596,914 (USA) (20 July 2001)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The veterinarian who comes out to check the dog that Pollock finds lying hurt in the road is played by Ed Harris' father, Bob L. Harris, who initially gave Harris the idea to make a movie about Pollock. See more »

Goofs

Camera shadow on Jackson's face as he starts the mural. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jackson Pollock: [drunk] Who's the greatest drummer in the world?
Sande Pollock: What?
Jackson Pollock: Crupa.
See more »

Connections

References Works of Calder (1950) See more »

Soundtracks

He's Funny That Way
Written by Charles Daniels and Richard A. Whiting
Performed by Billie Holiday (as Billie Holliday)
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

 
As vivid and real as Hollywood is likely to make about the painter
28 August 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Pollock (2000)

There's no question this is a well made film, and based pretty much on truth, and an interesting truth--the life of a great Abstract Expressionist. Some would say the greatest of them all.

For myself, this isn't enough, and I know this is me. I'm an art critic and professor of Art in my real life, and I'm never very patient with movies about artists. The reason isn't that there are inaccuracies, but that there is a subtle or not-subtle goal of aggrandizing the subject. This reaches a beautiful but, again, romanticized, peak when Pollock makes his famous break into true gestural, raw work in a large commissioned piece for Peggy Guggenheim (who is portrayed, oddly, as a shy and dull sort, which I've never pictured). Then later he makes his drip works. And then he dies, again over dramatized and made aesthetic, as tragic and ugly as it had to have been in life.

If you want to really get into Pollock's head, especially if you aren't already a fan (I love Pollock's work), this is a convincing movie. At the helm as both director and playing the artist is Ed Harris. He is especially believable as a painter, which is something of an important point. This isn't like those movies about musicians where the actor is clearly not playing. Harris actually paints the darned thing, the big masterpiece, on the cusp of the drip works. I don't know if Harris was drinking, too, but he's a good drunk, and of course Pollock was a better drinker than a painter, even.

It's a cheap shot to say a movie could have been shorter, but this one sure would have propelled better with less atmosphere, less filler that is meant to create his life but is interesting only as an illustration of historical facts. It wore me thin for those reasons. Again, it might be a matter of how much you can get sucked into the given drama that is Jackson Pollock's life. It was quite a life, crude, untempered, brave, and immensely connected to what matters as an artist.


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