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The Pledge (I) (2001)

 -  Crime | Drama | Mystery  -  19 January 2001 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 37,808 users   Metascore: 71/100
Reviews: 522 user | 148 critic | 33 from Metacritic.com

A retiring police chief pledges to catch the killer of a young child.

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Writers:

(book), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

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:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 January 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Asesino oculto  »

Box Office

Budget:

$45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£142,100 (UK) (12 October 2001)

Gross:

£732,861 (UK) (9 November 2001)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The picture was a passion project for writer/director Sean Penn and actor Jack Nicholson. Unfortunately, the screenplay was turned down by every major studio in Hollywood. Producer Elie Samaha, and his studio Franchise Pictures, who specialized in picking up screenplays in turnaround, quickly pounced on the material and signed up Penn and Nicholson for a reduced fee. The pair agreed as long as Penn could have complete creative and casting control. See more »

Goofs

As Jerry cleans Lori's face with a cotton wool swab, it is blood red from her lip, but as he takes his hand away the swab is clean. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

References M (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

Da Da Da
Written and Performed by Jerry Hannan
Courtesy of Jerry J. Hannan Music
By Arrangement with Spire Artist Management
See more »

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User Reviews

Unbelievable
10 January 2003 | by (Lancaster, Kentucky) – See all my reviews

Reviewers failed to recognize implausible psychology of the cop. The police inspector in the novel, according to the review in "Sight and Sound," simply wanted to catch the big fish and showed little feeling for the child he used as bait. Such a character is too repellent to make a movie about, so the movie version "humanizes" the character by making him become attached to the mother and child, and indicates that he is concerned that the monster will kill another child. This concern would place him in a moral dilemma: should he use the child as bait in order to prevent the monster from killing more children? The movie does not deal with this: it presents him as subject to a compulsion or something of the sort, which is not interesting. Inner conflict is not shown and his behavior is not explained. His evidence would have to be very strong to compel him to use the little girl as bait, and the other cops would never have joined his crazy scheme, for at least three reasons: first, they didn't accept his suspicions; secondly, no one with children would consider putting a child at risk; and thirdly, if the trap had resulted in harm to the little girl, they would all have had to move to another planet. The mom showed up and said, "How could you do this?," which is what the other cops would have said. Some reviews saw the cop's journey as a "descent into madness", which is about as good as you can do with it, I guess, but it just makes the cop crazy instead of evil. The movie does not illuminate or deal with the psychological or moral issues, which is to say the makers were in over their heads.


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