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Dogville (2003)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  23 April 2004 (USA)
8.1
Your rating:
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 99,510 users   Metascore: 59/100
Reviews: 599 user | 226 critic | 39 from Metacritic.com

A woman on the run from the mob is reluctantly accepted in a small Colorado town. In exchange, she agrees to work for them. As a search visits town, she finds out that their support has a price. Yet her dangerous secret is never far away...

Director:

(as Lars Von Trier)

Writer:

(as Lars Von Trier)
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Title: Dogville (2003)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Gangster
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Martha (as Siobhan Fallon Hogan)
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Narrator (voice)
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Ben
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Storyline

Late one night, a beautiful and well-dressed young woman, Grace, arrives in the mountainous old mining town of Dogville as a fugitive; following the sound of gunshots in the distance which have been heard by Tom, the self-appointed moral spokesman for the town. Persuaded by Tom, the town agree to hide Grace, and in return she freely helps the locals. However, when the Sheriff from a neighbouring town posts a Missing notice, advertising a reward for revealing her whereabouts, the townsfolk require a better deal from Grace, in return for their silence; and when the Sheriff returns some weeks later with a Wanted poster, even though the citizens know her to be innocent of the false charges against her, the town's sense of goodness takes a sinister turn and the price of Grace's freedom becomes a workload and treatment akin to that of a slave. But Grace has a deadly secret that the townsfolk will eventually encounter. Written by Neil Hillman.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A quiet little town not far from here.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Language:

Release Date:

23 April 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Film 'Dogville' as Told in Nine Chapters and a Prologue  »

Box Office

Budget:

DKK 83,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$661,452 (France) (23 May 2003)

Gross:

$1,530,386 (USA) (11 June 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lars von Trier would allegedly sometimes try to strip and direct scenes naked in order to provoke and agitate the cast. See more »

Goofs

When Chuck takes the scarf from Grace's neck it shows up two shots later, then is gone again in next shot. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: This is the sad tale of the township of Dogville. Dogville was in the Rocky Mountains in the US of A, up here where the road came to its definitive end, near the entrance to the old abandoned silver mine. The residents of Dogville were good honest folks, and they liked their township. And while a sentimental soul from the East Coast had once dubbed their main street Elm Street, though no elm had ever cast its shadow in Dogville, they saw no reason to change anything. Most of the ...
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Crazy Credits

Closing credits play over photographs depicting crime and poverty in the United States. See more »


Soundtracks

America the Beautiful
(uncredited)
Lyrics by Katharine Lee Bates
Music by Samuel A. Ward
Sung by residents of Dogville on July 4th
See more »

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User Reviews

Not as anti-American as you might think.
24 October 2004 | by (Calgary, Canada) – See all my reviews

Dogville is long, and if you don't have the patience for a slow ramp-up of tension, it'll turn you right off. There are a couple story devices Von Trier uses that really bugged me, and I almost shut it off once. I'm glad I stuck with him, though, because he really took it somewhere and I came away really enjoying the experience..

Critics who hated Dogville talk about it's hamhanded anti-American slant (Lars von Trier refuses ever to set foot in that country). I knew nothing about this film or Von Trier before seeing it and I have to say I entirely missed the anti-America thing until the backcredits. Don't get me wrong, there are several scenes that make commentary about rampant nationalism, prejudice towards immigrants and small town xenophobia, but those comments could be made about the zealous in ANY region of ANY nation at ANY time.

If we are to criticize 21-st Century America, and there are plenty of reasons to criticize it, we must also criticize other peoples and governments who are screwing up royally. I think if Dogville has a point to make to America, its not that it is uniquely problematic, but that it is as problematic as any other nation. Where on this planet can you NOT find a group of people who think:

THE WORLD WOULD BE A BETTER PLACE IF EVERYONE WAS JUST LIKE US.

That statement is the kernel of failure for every major conqueror and every major religion in history and it portends the long, inevitable swirl down the toilet and the people who want you toppled have only to sit back and watch you do it to yourself.

America is a great nation, with a lot of culture, history and art to be proud of, and maybe that's why modern artists feel the need to make pieces like Dogville. To remind America that, as great as it is, it's still a nation of crying, barfing, excreting, whining, greedy, worried, scared mouths to feed, just like the rest of us -- no better or worse.

That's all I think Dogville does as an anti-American piece. If Von Trier meant to just poo on America, he missed his mark and ended up making a point about all of us. Regardless, he among many others wants America to change it's mind about itself, and it doesn't matter if he hates it or loves it. Much more interesting to me is the blatantly obvious point Dogville makes -- to what point do you forgive the transgressions upon you by others who may be less fortunate but are nonetheless doing wrong? It sure made me take a look at my own pacifism.

Nicole Kidman was brilliant, as was Paul Bettany and the simpler townsfolk who will play so skillfully with your emotions. It seems I've been flooded with Kidman movies regularly for a couple weeks now and this is my favourite of her performances.

Good film, Dogville.


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