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The Life of David Gale (2003)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  21 February 2003 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 79,696 users   Metascore: 31/100
Reviews: 416 user | 136 critic | 36 from Metacritic.com

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Barbara Kreuster
Constance Jones ...
Reporter A.J. Roberts
...
...
Lee Ritchey ...
Joe Mullarkey
...
...
...
Motel Waitress
Cindy Waite ...
Margie
...
...
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

Official Sites:

Country:

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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:

$205,747 (South Africa) (13 June 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alan Parker:  briefly appears during the party scene at the beginning of the film - he is seen helping himself to some food. See more »

Goofs

After Gale puts his son to bed he feeds his fish. Before he feeds them you can see food floating down from a previous take. 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] ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Features The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

La Peña Huasteca
(2001)
Written by Rafael Samperio, Willy Samperio
Performed by Correo Aereo
Courtesy of Correo Aereo
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Very Depressing Movie
16 December 2008 | by (India) – See all my reviews

It is strange how much this movie was ignored. It doesn't rank on many critics top 10 list and it wasn't a huge box office success anyway. Weird considering it is one of Kevin spacey's best performances. I almost cried at the end so the movie achieved what it set out to achieve.

The movie is about a man named David Gale(Kevin Spacey) who is a philosophy professor and also a anti-death penalty campaigner. He was arrested some time ago and convicted on the crime of raping and murdering a fellow death penalty campaigner named Constance(the gorgeous Laura Linney). He has been given a death sentence. He asks for a reporter during his last week to tell the real story supposedly. That reporter is Bitsey Bloom(Kate winslet) who shows a genuine disinterest at first towards the case but who has a reputation of reporting on difficult and controversial stories. Bitsey bloom travels with her partner Zack to the facility where Gale is held.

The movie has many twists and turns showing the collapse of David Gale's life as he changes from respected philosophy professor to an ostracised man because of some events in his life. These scenes are quite sad and depressing and Gale doesn't have many friends who stand by him in the hour of need. The way the movie flows is actually quite excellent and the revelation in the middle is quite surprising. It doesn't seem like a gimmick and that's where the movie triumphs.

The performances are quite amazing. Kevin Spacey as David Gale has given one of the best performances in his career and Laura Linney as Constance is cute,smart and amazingly compassionate. Kate winslet as Bitsey Bloom also gives a great performance as a woman who starts off as indifferent to the case but then transforms into a woman who feels genuine sympathy for the plight of David Gale. The background music is also quite amazing and this is one of the best in movies. At the very least it should have gotten an award for this category. The music at certain points is quite emotional and towards the end it is one of the reasons for the beautiful climax.

The only problem I have might be the rewatchability factor. I think I might not watch it again. Maybe because it is too depressing. But it should be definitely watched by people who are interested in the issue of death penalty and its accompanying ethical questions. The questions raised by David Gale in the interview with the Texas governor are one of the best examples. That scene alone is enough for people to watch this movie. The movie is also an example of how one mistake changes the life of a respected person in society and how quickly things can change in life if we are not careful about everything we do. So in essence it is not just a movie for death penalty campaigners and those who are interested in the concept of death penalty. But it is also a movie for people who are interested in human nature in general.

9/10


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Message Boards

Recent Posts
The ending nullifies the entire point the film was trying to make. the-twist
So Gale basically committed...... jami1331
Is this movie pro- or anti- death penalty? ts_flanders
Plot Hole? matheusmagalhaes10
Gale's debating technique matt_toner
Small goof I noticed kperovic
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