7.6/10
92,303
422 user 141 critic

The Life of David Gale (2003)

A man against capital punishment is accused of murdering a fellow activist and is sent to death row.

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3,058 ( 470)

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ON DISC
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Barbara Kreuster
Constance Jones ...
Reporter A.J. Roberts
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Lee Ritchey ...
Joe Mullarkey
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Motel Waitress
Cindy Waite ...
Margie
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Jesse De Luna ...
Supervising Guard
Vernon Grote ...
Door Guard
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Storyline

When anti-death-penalty activist David Gale is convicted and condemned to death for the murder of a colleague, reporter Bitsey Bloom sets out to learn the story behind Gale's crime. What she finds challenges her belief in Gale's guilt and, finally, in the justice system. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The crime is clear. The truth is not.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violent images, nudity, language and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

21 February 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das Leben des David Gale  »

Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$7,117,225 (USA) (21 February 2003)

Gross:

$19,593,740 (USA) (28 March 2003)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The diner scene on the morning after Bloom and Stemmons arrive in Texas was originally shot at a different diner. During the original shooting, they were hit by a tornado and the cast and crew had to huddle together in the kitchen until the tornado passed overhead. See more »

Goofs

When Bitsey enters the prison for the first time, the sign reads in Spanish "Cierre la puerta fuerta." It is misspelled, it should read "fuerte." The word "fuerta" doesn't exist. See more »

Quotes

[Governor Hardin and David Gale are engaged in a debate on Batter's Box]
Governor Hardin: Alan, let me say something I always say and I'm gonna keep on saying. And that is that I HATE killin'. That's why my administration is willing to kill to stop it.
David Gale: So, you don't subscribe to the idea that 'a good state is the one that protects its most despised members?'
Governor Hardin: It's a nice liberal idea. But, like most nice liberal ideas, naive.
David Gale: It's a quote from you, Governor. From your first state attorney campaign
Governor Hardin: [flustered] ...
[...]
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Connections

Features Wagon Train (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

Sand
(1966)
Written by Lee Hazlewood
Performed by Einstürzende Neubauten
Courtesy of Thirsty Ear Recordings / Some Bizarre, Ltd.
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User Reviews

 
Very Underrated
26 September 2007 | by (Lisbon, Portugal) – See all my reviews

Directed by the legendary Sir Alan Parker, this is the story of David Gale, a University of Texas professor of philosophy against capital punishment who is accused of murdering a fellow activist and is sent to death row.

Kevin Spacey and Laura Linney deliver great performances in the flashbacks. This movie is by far one of Spacey's strongest performances, he is always very subtle and insightful portraying David Gale. Laura Linney really makes a name for herself in this motion picture, she's as consistently complex and likable here as she is in "Primal Fear" and "You Can Count on Me". Kate Winslet, however, has problems in carefully crafting her character. She's called upon to cry about four or five times in this film and each time she does so, the action unfortunately rings more and more false. Other than that, she is average. Meanwhile, Gabriel Mann, Leon Rippy and Matt Craven also provide colorful backdrops to the story at hand with their credible supporting characters.

"The Life of David Gale" is a film that had a great opportunity to create controversy about the death penalty. Unfortunately, it is excessively underrated by critics, despite being nominated for the Human Rights Award from the Political Film Society and being present at the prestigious Berlin International Film Festival.

Sad and stunning. 8/10


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