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A prospector sells his wife and daughter to another gold miner for the rights to a gold mine. Twenty years later, the prospector is a wealthy man who owns much of the old west town named Kingdom Come. But changes are brewing and his past is coming back to haunt him. A surveyor and his crew scout the town as a location for a new railroad line and a young woman suddenly appears in the town and is evidently the man's daughter. Written by
John Sacksteder <email@example.com>
Originally entitled "Kingdom Come", until the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) awarded the title to a rival production claiming the rights to the title. Other titles considered for renaming the movie were "Sierra Nevada", "The Ballad of Daniel Dillon", and "Sierra City". See more »
Around the 1:43 mark when the prospector is torching the town we see a ski lift running in the background with people on it. Again around the 1:54 mark in the last few minutes of the film we see the ski lift again in the background for a good 10-15 seconds. See more »
[first lines - overlapping conversations]
Alright ladies, let's go. I'm Vauneen, I take care of you from this point on. Ya get down, and we're going to get you to work real soon...
Alright gents, let's hand-up your firearms.
It's a town's rule.
These firearms are the property of the Central Pacific Railroad.
That don't matter, Mr. Dillon says no firearms in town, so no firearms in town, come on...
You can't take these weapons...
I said, leave that...
Well then you can't come into Mr. ...
[...] See more »
Although set in a remote Sierra Nevada mining town in 1867, `The Claim' is really Thomas Hardy's classic novel, `The Mayor of Casterbridge' transported to American soil. The move is a good one.
The story concerns a wealthy miner named Daniel Dillon who practically runs the town of Kingdom Come as his own personal fiefdom. One fateful day three groups of people arrive into town: some railroad surveyors who offer the possibility that a train may soon be passing through the town, bringing with it people, wealth and prosperity; some prostitutes who plan to open up shop in this all-male community; and a sickly woman and her beautiful young daughter, who, it turns out, are the wife and daughter that Dillon sold for a bag of gold in his desperate youth a decision he has lived to rue ever since.
Given this multi-character canvas, writer Frank Cottrell Boyce and director Michael Winterbottom take an almost painterly approach, allowing the drama to unfold at an unhurried pace, so that they can concentrate on the bleak snowy winter setting which ends up playing as great a role in the drama as the characters themselves. The most compelling of these is Dillon, a figure of almost tragic proportions, a man who seizes the chance to make amends for his heinous sin, yet who discovers, all too late, that, for some sins, there can be no redemption. Peter Mullan provides a superbly understated interpretation of a man whose acquisition of immense wealth and power only mask the loneliness and guilt he feels inside. Wes Bentley as the chief railroad surveyor, Nastassja Kinski as Dillon's ailing wife, Sarah Polley as their daughter and Milla Jovovich as Dillon's devoted mistress all turn in outstanding performances. Although none of these characters are afforded the same richness and depth that Dillon is, they still create a fascinating tapestry of conflicting dreams and emotions. For the concept of `dreams' is a core element of the story's pioneer theme. Here are a group of rugged individualists, all enduring great hardships on a wild outpost far away from the soothing amenities of civilized life yet all dreaming of being a part of the building of a burgeoning new nation, of which the makeshift towns and railroad-building are truly indelible symbols.
And, indeed, in many ways, it is the images of rugged mountains, of the relentlessly falling snow, of a house being pulled by horses across a snowy plain that stick with us most profoundly. `The Claim' is a somber, moving and fascinating glimpse into our pioneer past.
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