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Defiance (2002)

R | | Western
A man sacrifices everything when a bounty is put on his brother's head.




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Credited cast:
Brandon Bollig ...
Will Cross age 12
John Blade
Walker Deibel
Kenn Drescher ...
Ned's wife
John Gerbin ...
Joe Hanrahan ...
Charles Heuvelman ...
John Ross ...
Mary Schnitzler ...
Woman In Will's House
Poker player
Craig Thrasher ...
Unnamed outlaw


When a boy's father is brutally murdered by the town's most powerful citizen because he's not willing to knuckle under, the boy devotes his life to avenging his father's death. Years later, he becomes swept up in a vicious cycle of revenge and must sacrifice everything he has to protect himself and his family. Written by bdimag

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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and brief language | See all certifications »




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Did You Know?


Tony Twist wasn't the only NHL player to take a part in this movie. Brandon Bollig, while not an NHLer during filming, as of March 29th 2012, is a member of the Chicago Blackhawks. Like Twist, Bollig is also considered an enforcer in the league. See more »

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User Reviews

Comments from one of the actors...
29 February 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I have just finished reading the very mixed reviews of this film. This should interest some of you as I had a small part in the movie and was (I think) responsible for it being a little better than it otherwise would have been.

DEFIANCE was (I think) originally a school project for the director Doveed Linder. When I got involved, they had been filming off and on for well over a year. I think the project might have started as a short subject that the director decided to expand into a feature length (almost) film when it appeared to him that more financial backing might be there. One major cash backer was Tom Burnham, who played the part of the "Old Rancher" in the film. He got partial producer credit and I think his financial contribution was $5000. Tom has a SERIOUS collection of original Old West guns of the mid-to-late 19th century. He served as the film's Gun Wrangler (or whatever it's called), providing well over half the guns used in the film, loading all the blanks, and making sure all guns were always safe on the set. He did an excellent job of this. It pained me a little that one online reviewer thought his gunshots sounded like rocks thrown in a trash can.

Tom is a personal friend of mine and he is the one that recruited me for involvement in the film. When I was a teenager I was a (regional) champion speed shooter, including out of western-style rigs, and Tom thought I would be an asset to the project. He and Doveed recruited me in a bar. My hope was to coach the other actors in gun handling and fast draw to make them look competent on screen, but unfortunately most of the shooting scenes had already been filmed by the time I was brought in. That's why you seldom see the actor draw and fire the gun--they filmed it, but had to edit it out because everyone was so clumsy. I showed them I could shoot dynamite out of the air with rifle or revolver, and they were originally excited about me doubling for Nathan Cross (Tony Twist) doing this, to show what a fearsome gunman he was. Unfortunately, at that time my weight had ballooned to over 300 pounds and I was too fat to stand in for Tony, no matter what camera angle was used. Hollywood directors would have a coronary at the idea of using live ammunition and real dynamite on a movie set, but we were on my land and I had the proper licenses, so it would have been fun if we could have pulled it off for the final cut.

The small acting part I had was the gun dealer with the beard and big black hat who is exasperated by the incompetence of the gang they are trying to organize. However, my main contribution to the film was something else. The story was originally set just after the Civil War, in 1867. I told them I refused to be involved in any western project set in a year that was before the guns they were using had been invented. That's a pet peeve of movie-going gun guys. Many of the guns used in the movie had first been made in 1873, so I made Doveed change the caption at the beginning of the film from "Missouri 1867" to "Missouri 1874" or maybe it was 1876, I forget which. It is unlikely that in a small town so many of the men would have state-of-the-art weaponry that was only a year old, but it would not have been impossible.

The entire movie was made with almost everyone working for free and some who contributed money in return for a small acting part. BTW Mister Clay Randall was played by the director's dad. Cash was only spent for equipment rentals, film costs, processing, editing, etc. None of the actors got paid to my knowledge, and all of the locations, horses, saddles, catering, and such were donated by friends who wanted to see the film succeed. The main sound guy, who also played the guitar music and had a small acting part, worked for free as well. The final scene (filmed before I became involved) was, as many suspected, a BIG part of the budget. They brought in Eric Stanze for that, and he was not cheap. I think the entire movie cost $130,000 to make in 2001 dollars; that figure meaning stuff they actually had to write checks for.

When I saw the finished product, it was much better than I had feared. Skillful editing had made clumsy on screen gun handling look smooth and fast. My biggest beef was the same as many in that almost all the clothes looked waaay too new. That was because all the actors had to provide their own wardrobe items, and I guess nobody thought to distress the fabric until after many of the scenes had been shot. A few of us had older, worn stuff.

All in all, I had terrific fun being involved with this project, and found out that Tony Twist is a great guy to be around. As to the finished product being as terrible as some people have claimed, I'll say this: I would rather sit through ten consecutive screenings of DEFIANCE than one showing of either BLAIR WITCH PROJECT or PARANORMAL ACTIVITY.

Final fun fact: I had a party where Tom Burnham was in attendance. When people found out he was co-producing a western movie, a woman guest in her 40s asked if there were any parts available. Tom replied, "No, we've already cast all the old whores, but some of the young whore parts are still open. Have your daughter give me a call." Fun times.

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