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The Pledge (2001)

0:30 | Trailer
A retiring police chief pledges to catch the killer of a young child.



(book), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
3,998 ( 69)
1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Wendy Donaldson ...
Resort Owner (as Wendy Morrow Donaldson)
Sheriff (as P. Adrien Dorval)
Shawn Henter ...
Bus Driver
Kathy Jensen ...
Store Clerk
Taryn Knowles ...
Monash Deputy
J.J. McColl ...
Real Estate Agent
Gordon May ...
Criminologist #1
Deputy #3 (as Gardinar Millar)


The night he retires as a Nevada sheriff, Jerry Black pledges to the mother of a murdered girl that he will find the killer. Jerry doesn't believe the police arrested the right man; he discovers this is the third incident in the area in the recent past with victims young, blond, pretty, and small for their age. So he buys an old gas station in the mountains near the crimes in order to search for a tall man who drives a black station wagon, gives toy porcupines as gifts, and calls himself the wizard: clues from a drawing by the dead girl. Jerry's solitary life gives way to friendship with a woman and her small, blond daughter. Has Jerry neglected something that may prove fatal? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Detective Jerry Black has made a promise he can't break, to catch a killer he can't find. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

19 January 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Asesino oculto  »

Box Office


$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$5,765,347 (USA) (19 January 2001)


$19,719,930 (USA) (30 March 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film is dedicated to Michael D. Haller and Jack Nitzsche, "our brothers in arms". Haller and Nitzsche were respectively the production designer and the composer of Sean Penn's first two films : The Indian Runner (1991) and The Crossing Guard (1995). Both passed away, Haller in 1998, Nitzsche in 2000. See more »


When Jerry flips the light switches on when Lori comes to the station for the first time, the lights come on before he flips the switches. See more »


[first lines]
Jerry Black: She said it. She said it. She did.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In memory of our Brothers In Arms Michael D. Haller and Jack Nitzsche See more »


Referenced in Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) See more »


Poor Twisted Me
Written by James Hetfield & Lars Ulrich
Performed by Metallica
Courtesy of E/M Ventures/Elektra Entertainment
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

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User Reviews

11 January 2003 | by (Englewood, New Jersey) – See all my reviews

Faithful to the book in most regards, the film is excellent, and Nicholson's performance is beyond reproach. While the denouement may have had issues (not with the point or the meaning, but rather the delivery), the film is still outstanding.

Nicholson's relationship with the girl (he is beautiful as an aged father) and his inexorable obsession with the murderer are perfect in the film. Sadly, Penn's pacing is inconsistent, as is the sense of "detective" that Duerenmatt was careful to give his novel: the film's heartbeat ranges from driving to rambling, and most thematically appropriate may have been a measured beat which is lacking here.

Nonetheless, the film is gripping, and captures the point, spirit and feel of the novel perfectly. It may not pull off the trick of being both faithful and profitable, but the film is true, and the acting impeccable.

64 of 75 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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