7.6/10
93,097
423 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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3,174 ( 199)

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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

Official Sites:

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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)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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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

When Zack and Bitsey are re-creating Constance's death, you can clearly see Zack bump the tripod-mounted camera as he moves. But in the next shot, the view on the monitor is the same. Such a jolt would have severely changed the composition of the shot. See more »

Quotes

Constance Harraway: The TA just finished transcribing all the governor's radio and TV comments. Listen to this gem: Journalist - "Governor, don't you think three executions in one week is a little excessive?" Governor - "I say let's bring them in, strap them down, and rock and roll."
David Gale: Oh, it's good to know our governor is in touch with his inner frat boy.
See more »

Connections

References Dead Man Walking (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Another Bleeding Heart
(2003)
Written by Alex Parker
Performed by Alex Parker
See more »

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User Reviews

 
I found this to be an excellently executed film in all respects with tight, compelling writing, superb acting, and an ending for which they should employ the old technique of not letting anyone in during the
22 February 2003 | by (Honolulu, HI) – See all my reviews

Don't be put off by one movie critic's assessment (morally dishonest, no stars) of this film - he just didn't "get it." This character driven murder mystery is one of the decade's best! Definitely four stars!

The layered conflicts drive the story forward like a Mack truck careening down the side of a mountain, making the movie seem much shorter than its 130 minutes. Kevin Spacey's compelling portrayal of David Gale, a brilliant, principled man with more than his share of human flaws and bad luck, is excellent and is surely Oscar material.

The story begins four days before Gale's execution in a Texas prison. Gale is finally breaking his years of silence by agreeing to tell his side of the story to news-magazine reporter, Bitsey Bloom. Skeptical that this Death Row inmate is out to convince her, and the world, of his innocence, Bitsey takes the assignment expecting it to be a typical, no-brainer.

Gale's story is told in a series of tightly choreographed flashback sequences, each building in character, motive and momentum toward an exciting and most unexpected conclusion.

The story also puts a very fine point on the debate over the death penalty and gives its audience something to talk & think about on the way home.

Not since "Presumed Innocent" have I been so deliciously unable to predict an ending! It is a pleasure to leave the theater feeling completely happy about having invested the price of my ticket in this movie! It is two hours very well spent.


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