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Shot in the Heart (2001)

The story of a man coming to terms with the sins and secrets of his notorious brother and, in the process, exploring the legacy of violence in his own family.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ashley Edwards ...
Evyn Clark ...
Bessie (Age 12)
Kim Abunuwara ...
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Terry Beaver ...
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Reid Sasser ...
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Trevor Gosden ...
Mikal (Age 5-12)
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Gary (Age 15-22) (as Paul Wasilewski)
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Storyline

In fall 1977, Mikal Gilmore and his older brother Frank Jr. ride through the Salt Lake Valley in a Rolls-Royce driven by ACLU lawyer Richard Giaque. They are on their way to Utah's Draper Prison for a "one-time-only" visit with their notorious brother Gary, a death-row inmate set to be executed in a few days. Convicted a year earlier of the brutal murders of two Mormon men, Gary has been sentenced to death in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision to reinstate capital punishment. Since he stands to become the first American in more than a decade to be executed, Gary has become the subject of enormous national attention, and his request to die stuns his ailing mother Bessie and confuses his brothers. Mikal and Frank hope to meet with Gary, change his mind, and get papers signed that will stay the execution. Written by <Laffz00@aol.com>

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He was worth more dead than he ever was alive... but not to me. I was Gary Gilmore's brother. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some strong violence | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

13 October 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Shot in the Dark  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Version of The Executioner's Song (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Old Shep
Written by Red Foley
Performed by Elvis Presley
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User Reviews

A brilliantly acted non-addition to the Gilmore pantheon
27 August 2002 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Shot In The Heart tells the familiar Gary Gilmore story from a slightly different perspective, that of his estranged brother Mikal. Those familiar with Gilmore's tale will find this an interesting take on his story, reminding us that the victims he left behind included his own family as well as the families of the men he murdered so senselessly. Gilmore himself (played by Elias Koteas in a fantastic performance) is all here, from his cod philosophy (trust him to have read Nietsche and only quote the bits that suit him) to his complete lack of understanding of his own motives.

The star of the show is, however, Giovanni Ribisi as Mikal. He has a rabbit-in-the-headlights quality, looks fragile and vulnerable and you can't believe the two are related, never mind brothers. Since Gary has been in jail pretty much continuously since the age of 14 you can see why they don't know each other, but when the movie starts you also can't see how they ever will. However blood will out ... and they find enough shared memories to build something between them that transcends the time and place in which they do it.

Unfortunately there are a few things wrong with this movie. It doesn't purport to tell the whole story of Gilmore's life but that's OK, it doesn't have to. I'm pretty familiar with the source material though, so my boyfriend called on me to answer a seemingly endless run of questions: What happened to Galen? Who's Nicole? How did the two murders happen and how did he get caught? And when the younger Gilmores first appeared ... Who is everyone - which brother's which? Now I don't think a movie has to tell you everything and its sometimes better to leave things hinted at rather than explained, but there is an unnecessary level of confusion here that distracts a neophyte viewer from the action. But I'm nitpicking ... the acting alone is more than worth the price of admission.

High points? The two main performances, the slimy, self-interested supporting cast, the theme of white horses, and the mysterious stranger with the sandwiches. Mikal's last meeting with Gary will make you cry ... and if it doesn't, it darn well should.

I don't believe this movie got a cinema release in the UK but it is out on video this week so go get it. Highly recommended.


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