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A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)

When a massive fire kills their parents, three children are delivered to the custody of cousin and stage actor Count Olaf, who is secretly plotting to steal their parents' vast fortune.

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(screenplay), (books) (as Lemony Snicket)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Lemony Snicket (voice)
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Bald Man (as Luis Guzman)
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Storyline

Three children - Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire - are left orphaned when their house burns down, with their parents in it, in mysterious circumstances. They are left in the custody of a distant relative, Count Olaf (played by Jim Carrey). It is soon apparent that Count Olaf only cares about the children for their large inheritance. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

On December 17, Christmas cheer takes a holiday. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements, scary situations and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

17 December 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Series of Unfortunate Events  »

Box Office

Budget:

$140,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£2,210,979 (UK) (17 December 2004)

Gross:

$118,627,117 (USA) (22 April 2005)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the house of Count Olaf, one of the walls of the dining room is decorated with his portrait. The portrait is a parody on Cecil Beaton's photograph of Maria Callas. See more »

Goofs

At the end, various shots of the Bauedelaire children from previous scenes are shown. The flashback of Sunny at Uncle Monty's home, where she had been following a CGI image of the "Incredible Deadly Viper", shows her to instead be following a little red toy on a string, pulled along by a crew member off camera. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Lemony Snicket: [the Littlest Elf has just come to an abrupt halt] I'm sorry to say that this is not the movie you will be watching. The movie you are about to see is extremely unpleasant. If you wish to see a film about a happy little elf, I'm sure there is still plenty of seating in theatre number two. However, if you like stories about clever and reasonably attractive orphans, suspicious fires, carnivorous leeches, Italian food and secret organizations, then stay, as I retrace each and every one...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Jim Carrey sings a sea shanty as Captain Sham towards the end of the end credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Face Off: Going for Gold (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Hungarian Dance #5
(uncredited)
Written by Johannes Brahms
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Yummm...lemony...and snickety, too!
23 December 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

First of all, let me go on record saying that I think this is a wonderfully entertaining film. The sets and costumes are perfect; even the little details like the odd instruments on the car dashboard were carefully thought through for their effect. Jim Carrey is perfect as Count Olaf and his disguises, partially because he has always been adept at creating convincing odd characters with his flexible face and voice. The kids were likable, even the cute baby. Thomas Newman's score is a quirky mix that's just right for the film. (I want to ask him if there's a reason why one of his themes sounds like "We Three Kings" gone awry.) I'm writing this comment primarily to respond to the wacky criticisms of LEMONY that I've been reading here on IMDb. Most fall into two categories: 1) people who don't "get" the movie and haven't read the books (and therefore are offended by its dark tone), or 2) adolescents who are obsessed with the books and are disappointed that their little dreams of how the movie should be haven't been perfectly realized (e.g., "the boy doesn't have glasses, so this movie stinks").

Let me address the second group. WAKE UP!! The Lemony Snicket books are a pre-packaged, heavily-marketed series that was deliberately created to appeal to your age group...the Harry Potterites. Unlike the history of J. Rowling and the Potter books, the Snicket books were the result of some money-mad marketing guru coming up with the idea and finding a writer to execute it.

The Snicket series is not "classic children's literature," although I must say that the actual author has done a fun job with the idea (yes, I have read several of the books, in case you're wondering). One Snicket book does NOT equal one Potter book in length or quality; therefore it's perfectly suitable that they put three Snickets together for this movie. The little gimmicks that made the early books amusing (the author's asides to define words, the translations of the baby's gurgles) become tediously annoying tics in the later books. And if you're going to have a tantrum because someone's hair isn't the color you imagined, or an actor is taller than you thought he should be, WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD of movie adaptations! Perhaps if someone took liberties with Jane Austen, Dickens, or Tolstoy, it would be worth getting upset...but this is LEMONY SNICKET, for crying out loud! Read some real books for a change; not just cynically contrived kiddie lit designed to make big bucks with marketing deals and product tie-ins.

And to the first group I say...lighten up and read a couple of the Snicket books before you lament about the "dark tone," or the abuse of children, etc., etc. It's part of the joke, and one of the aspects of the books that the producers did a good job conveying on screen. In fact, the movie even softened the tone a bit with the touching flashbacks about the missing parents, building a "sanctuary," etc.

And what's with the wonderful, yet thrown-away closing credits? Seems to me these were made for the opening, but they realized that they would conflict with the "faux" Elf movie that starts the film. As someone else said, this is one of the most delightful parts of the film, but my son and I were the only ones who stayed to watch! DON'T LEAVE THE THEATER 'TIL IT'S OVER!


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