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A Separate Peace (2004)

TV Movie  |  R  |   |  Drama  |  12 September 2004 (USA)
5.4
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 487 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 1 critic

Strong friendship between students slowly turns into bitter rivalry with fatal consequences.

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(novel), (teleplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Gene
...
...
Brinker
Danny Swerdlow ...
Leper
...
Chad
...
Harry
...
Rach (as Matt Austin)
Sean McCann ...
Dr. Stanpole
...
Beth
R.D. Reid ...
Farmer
...
Professor Carmichael
Colin Fox ...
Professor Fitzwinkler
Lise LeBel-Wagner ...
Mlle. Lebecque
John Bayliss ...
Mr. Radford
Linda Goranson ...
Mrs. Carmichael
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Storyline

Strong friendship between students slowly turns into bitter rivalry with fatal consequences.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Four friends with one dark secret they could never outrun.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

12 September 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A béke szigete  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$4,600,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Production finished one day under schedule at 28 shooting days. See more »

Goofs

When Leper is headed into the woods "touring", he has a conversation with Brinker and Gene. While speaking he struggles with knitted mittens. At first he has both in hand. One falls, and when he is seen again, he has both. A moment later he has only one again. See more »

Connections

Remake of A Separate Peace (1972) See more »

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User Reviews

Great casting, but fails to tell Knowles' story.
13 September 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"A Separate Peace" is one of my favorite books. An absolutely horrible film version was made of it in 1974, so I knew Showtime's updated version was virtually guaranteed to be an improvement. An improvement it is... but it could - and should - have been much better.

First the Good: Finny has got to be one of the hardest parts out there to cast. The part calls for natural athleticism and tremendous charisma – a truly rare combination (especially in actors). Toby Moore was inspired casting. I have no idea who he is or where he came from. He had an almost impossible task, and he nailed it. The actors who played Gene and Brinker also performed admirably. If it had a script that stuck to the actual Knowles' story, this film might have been something very special.

Now to the Bad: Knowles' story is much more than a story about adolescent friendship and betrayal. It is about how a person can only find peace within himself when he is forced to face his own darkness. Finny, who knows only love and forgiveness, seems to be the only exception to this rule – and because of that, he is destroyed by his best friend. By the end, Gene makes peace with Finny and finally finds peace within. The writer and director missed much of these key elements. Important scenes are brought to life beautifully, but we never really get inside Gene's head, so we can't understand how or why he achieves a 'separate peace.'

The writers also decided to omit the other key theme of the book: Finny as a representation of peace in world at war. While Finny talks like he was rearing to go to war, he in fact is unable to do so - because of his leg, but also because it is not possible for him to hate (as Gene describes in the final 'you'd be terrible in a war, Finny!' dialogue). Alas, none of it makes it into the film.

All in all, it was great to see a terrific performance by Moore as Finny, as well as some great scenes from the book brought to life (The Headmaster's Tea, The Winter Olympics, The Trial). However, I will still have to wait for a film to be made that is true to the spirit of this American classic.


5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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