6.4/10
4,892
122 user 60 critic

Northfork (2003)

PG-13 | | Drama, Fantasy | 1 August 2003 (USA)
Trailer
2:31 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

Set in 1955, the residents of a small Montana community are forced to move their homes to make way for a new dam.

Director:

3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Jackpot (2001)
Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Sunny Holiday, an aspiring singing star, abandons his wife and young baby to set off on a nine-month tour of bleak western towns. He takes off with his road manager in a pink Chrysler in ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Polish
Stars: Jon Gries, Daryl Hannah, Garrett Morris
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  

Disturbing the Peace follows a group of former enemy combatants - Israeli soldiers from the most elite units, and Palestinian fighters, many of whom served years in prison - who have come ... See full summary »

Directors: Stephen Apkon, Andrew Young
Adventure | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Claire Lescot is a famous prima donna. All men want to be loved by her. Among them is the young scientist Einar Norsen. When she mocks at him, he leaves her house with the declared ... See full summary »

Director: Marcel L'Herbier
Stars: Jaque Catelain, Léonid Walter de Malte, Philippe Hériat
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Francis and Blake Falls are conjoined twins who live in a neat little room in a rundown hotel. While sharing some organs, Blake is always fit and Francis is very sickly. Into their world ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Polish
Stars: Michael Polish, Mark Polish, Michele Hicks
Eve's Bayou (1997)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The story is set in 1962 Louisiana. The Batiste family is headed by charming doctor Louis. Though he is married to beautiful Roz, he has a weakness for attractive female patients. One night... See full summary »

Director: Kasi Lemmons
Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Meagan Good
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A journey of love on a transplant waiting list.

Director: Paul Cox
Stars: David Wenham, Jacqueline McKenzie, Shahana Goswami
Body and Soul (1925)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A minister is malevolent and sinister behind his righteous facade. He consorts with, and later extorts from, the owner of a gambling house, and betrays an honest girl, eventually driving ... See full summary »

Director: Oscar Micheaux
Stars: Paul Robeson, Marshall Rogers, Lawrence Chenault
The Laramie Project (TV Movie 2002)
Drama | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The true story of an American town in the wake of the murder of Matthew Shepard.

Director: Moisés Kaufman
Stars: Christina Ricci, Steve Buscemi, Kathleen Chalfant
Into My Heart (1998)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Two childhood best friends grow up and go to Columbia University together where they meet a young woman at the local bar. One marries her. After several failed relationships and a bad ... See full summary »

Directors: Sean Smith, Anthony Stark
Stars: Rob Morrow, Claire Forlani, Jake Weber
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An American photographer runs into an old flame while on assignment in Paris.

Director: Michael Polish
Stars: Mark Polish, Stana Katic, Jean-Claude Thibaut
Triggermen (2002)
Crime | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

One of two deadly hired kilers switches places with one of a duo of conmen in order to pursue love.

Director: John Bradshaw
Stars: Pete Postlethwaite, Neil Morrissey, Bill MacDonald
Magicians (2000)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A con-man and a wannabe professional magician team up with a waitress and an old professional on their way to Vegas.

Director: James Merendino
Stars: Til Schweiger, Claire Forlani, Fabrizio Bentivoglio
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Mayor
...
Mrs. Hadfield
...
Irwin
...
Willis O'Brien
...
...
Marvin
...
Matt (as Joshuin Barker)
...
Eddie
...
Arnold
...
Rudolph
...
Cup of Tea
...
Cod
...
Happy
Edit

Storyline

In a near-empty Northfork orphanage, Father Harlan gently tends to Irwin, an eight-year-old who lies between a dream state and death. As orphanage caretaker Harlan reads aloud about Northfork's years-ago forced evacuation to make way for a hydro-electric dam, Irwin's imagination takes flight. While a team of six men evacuate the last remaining citizens of the town, Irwin, too, invents a cast of characters to prepare himself for his own evacuation. (the above states the caretaker - who is actually the priest - is reading about a years-ago evacuation. In the movie, the evacuation is taking place as the boy lays dying!) Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief sexuality | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 August 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Antistasi mehris eshaton  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,900,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$61,481 (USA) (11 July 2003)

Gross:

$1,420,578 (USA) (26 December 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Mr Stalling says that he is waiting for a sign from God, when Walter O'Brien visits him at the ark. Walter imparts a tale about when the water has risen, men will come by in a boat to take him and the two Mrs Stallings's to safety. They will not go, because they are waiting for a sign and they will drown. And God will say, I sent you a boat, what more did you want? This story also appears in the The West Wing season one episode "Take This Sabbath Day" and is told by the Karl Malden character, Father Thomas Cavanaugh. See more »

Goofs

When the six committee members get out of their three cars at the dam, we hear eight doors slam. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Walter: [reading a letter] To the loving O'Brien family. It has been brought to our attention that the remains of a Mrs. Patricia O'Brien have yet to be excavated. Please make arrangements immediately.
See more »

Crazy Credits

John Tuell special thanks See more »

Connections

Featured in The 2004 IFP/West Independent Spirit Awards (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Just a Closer Walk with Thee
(1959)
Performed by Patsy Cline
Traditional
Arranged by W.S. Stevenson (1959) (a pseudonym of William A. 'Bill' McCall)
Courtesy of Sony/ATV Acuff-Rose Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
"Depends on how you look at it ...halfway to heaven or halfway to hell"
14 August 2006 | by (Trivandrum, Kerala, India) – See all my reviews

"It all depends on how you look at it –we are either halfway to heaven or halfway to hell," says the priest Rev. Harlan in "Northfork." The Polish brothers' film is an ambitious one that will make any intelligent viewer to sit up, provided he or she has patience and basic knowledge of Christianity. The layers of entertainment the film provide takes a viewer beyond the surreal and absurd imagery that is obvious to a less obvious socio-political and theological commentary that ought to provoke a laid-back American to reflect on current social values. The film's adoption of the surreal (coffins that emerge from the depths of man-made lakes to float and disturb the living, homesteaders who nearly "crucify" their feet to wooden floor of their homes, angels who need multiple glasses to read, etc.) and absurd images (of half animals, half toys that are alive, of door bells that make most delicate of musical outputs of a harp, a blind angel who keeps writing unreadable tracts, etc.) could make a viewer unfamiliar with the surreal and absurdist traditions in literature and the arts to wonder what the movie is un-spooling as entertainment. Though European cinema has better credentials in this field, Hollywood has indeed made such films in the past —in "Cat Ballou", Lee Marvin and his horse leaned against the wall to take a nap, several decades ago. "Northfork," in one scene of the citizens leaving the town in cars, seemed to pay homage to the row of cars in "Citizen Kane" taking Kane and his wife out of Xanadu for a picnic.

The film is difficult for the uninitiated or the impatient film-goer—the most interesting epilogue (one of the finest I can recall) can be heard as a voice over towards the end of the credits. The directors seem to leave the finest moments to those who can stay with film to the end. If you have the patience you will savor the layers of the film—if you gulp or swallow what the Polish bothers dish out, you will miss out on its many flavors.

What is the film all about? At the most obvious layer, a town is being vacated to make way for a dam and hydroelectric-project. Even cemeteries are being dug up so that the mortal remains of the dead can be moved to higher burial grounds. Real estate promoters are hawking the lakeside properties to 6 people who can evict the townsfolk. Of the 6, only one seems to have a conscience and therefore is able to order chicken broth soup, while others cannot get anything served to them.

At the next layer, you have Christianity and its interaction on the townsfolk. Most are devout Christians, but in many lurk the instinct to survive at the expense of true Christian principles, exemplified in the priest. Many want to adopt children without accepting the responsibilities associated with such actions.

At the next layer, you have the world of angels interacting with near angelic humans and with each other. You realize that the world of the unknown angel who keeps a comic book on Hercules and dreams of a mother, finds one in an androgynous angel called "Flower Hercules." While the filmmaker does give clues that Flower is an extension of the young angel's delirious imagination, subsequent actions of Flower belie this option. You are indeed in the world of angels--not gods but the pure in spirit—and therefore not in the world of the living. The softer focus of the camera is in evidence in these shots.

At another layer the toy plane of Irwin becomes a real plane carrying him and his angels to heaven 1000 miles away from Norfolk.

The final layer is the social commentary—"The country is divided into two types of people. Fords people and Chevy people." Is there a difference? They think they are different but both are consumerist.

To the religious, the film says "Pray and you shall receive" (words of Fr Harlan, quoted by Angel Flower Hercules). To the consumerist, the film says "its what we do with our wings that separate us" (each of the 6 evictors also have wings-one duck/goose feather tucked into their hat bands but their actions are different often far from angelic as suggested by the different reactions to a scratch on a car).

The film is certainly not the finest American film but it is definitely a notable path-breaking work--superb visuals, striking performances (especially Nick Nolte), and a loaded script offering several levels of entertainment for mature audiences.


15 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
was it just me, or did this movie REALLY suck peopleeatingcows
I understand everything except... CorkyS626
Anyone think Northfork will grow into a cult film JPersh
Does anybody has a complete explanation about the movie? Still_Asking
'1774' on the Town's Founding Date? YorkvilleGirl
ideas? dude-wheres-my-car
Discuss Northfork (2003) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?