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The Slaughter Rule (2002)

 -  Drama | Sport  -  11 January 2002 (USA)
6.1
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 1,885 users   Metascore: 65/100
Reviews: 31 user | 17 critic | 13 from Metacritic.com

A young man finds solace with a young woman, his mother, and a high-school football coach who recruits him to quarterback a six-man team.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Gideon Ferguson
...
Skyla Sisco
...
Studebaker
...
Tracy Two Dogs
...
Evangeline Chutney
...
Ken White ...
Russ Colfax
...
Waylon Walks Along
Kim DeLong ...
Lem Axelrod
...
Gretchen Two Dogs
...
Uncle Peyton
Cody Harvey ...
Coach Motlow
Melkon Andonian ...
Devo
J.P. Gabriel ...
Jute
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Storyline

In Blue Springs, Montana, high school student Roy Chutney is beginning to lose his way in life largely the result of two simultaneous events. The first is that his father, Nelson Chutney, dies. Roy hadn't seen his father much since his parents divorced and his father remarried. Nelson was run over by a train, but Roy's mother, Evangeline Chutney, with who Roy has a somewhat emotionally distant relationship, believes he committed suicide. The second is that because funding to the school has reduced the football program to just a varsity team with no junior varsity, Roy, along with half the other players, is cut from the football squad, as his coach doesn't believe he is mentally tough enough despite he being a skilled player. The two incidents combined make the situation even worse for Roy as football was his primary connection to his father. Into Roy's life enters Gideon Ferguson, the local newspaper seller, who asks Roy to be part of his newly formed football team, which will play in... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexual content | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 January 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Drive to Dream  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,461 (USA) (10 January 2003)

Gross:

$13,134 (USA) (28 March 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Some of the songs referenced by Gid and/or Floyd throughout the movie include
  • "Ragged But Right" by Riley Puckett 1934


  • "Nothing But Trouble" by Lonnie Johnson 1929


  • "Cash On The Barrelhead" by The Louvin Brothers 1954


  • "Rank Stranger" by Albert E. Brumley 1954


  • "Will Jesus Wash The Bloodstains From Your Hands?" by Hazel Dickens 1964


  • "Straighten Up And Fly Right" by The Nat King Cole Trio 1949


  • "Wayfaring Pilgrim" by Almeda Riddle 1932


Gid also references "Drifting Too Far From The Shore" and "Going Back To Jericho" during the ice fishing scene but he doesn't state an artist or year. There is a deleted scene in which Floyd references "I Ain't Drunk, I Am Just Drinkng" by Jimmy Liggins but Gid interrupts him before he can state the year. See more »

Quotes

Roy Chutney: My father told me if I was hard enough, I wouldn't break. He lied. Everything breaks.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 2003 IFP Independent Spirit Awards (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, Is To Be High)
Written by Ryan Adams
Performed by Ryan Adams
See more »

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User Reviews

Football as Male Life in Cold Montana
18 May 2003 | by (Queens, NY) – See all my reviews

I don't usually find movies first by their soundtrack, but I first heard of "The Slaughter Rule" because Jay Farrar, of the late Uncle Tupelo, did the score and song selections, including by Vic Chestnutt, the Flatlanders, and the Pernice Brothers. So I was intrigued when I saw it was on Sundance Channel as it hadn't appeared on screens in New York.

The debut jointly written/directed feature of twin brothers Andrew and Alex Smith, the film has a lot of similarity to Tom Cruise's early "All the Right Moves," even down to charismatic young star Ryan Gosling clearly being a movie star hunk of the future.

Set in the brothers' home area of rugged (and very desolate) Montana in the fall, this film takes its working class football frame of athlete seeking father figure and coach conflict much further in examining maleness and the implications of the homo-eroticism of such sports much further.

It bravely (particularly by David Morse in a touchingly agonized performance) goes into the breach of what much discussion of current scandals has avoided, at the confused nexus of pedophilia and sexual identity, particularly for teen-age boys.

There's also a dollop of racial issues via the very realistically portrayed poverty of the Native Americans.

The women are mostly helpless within this overwhelmingly male environment, and their best choice for survival is just to leave, as unromantically satisfying as that is.

This ranks in the gritty tradition of sports movies as a setting to demonstrate social tensions like "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner" than more popular fare.


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