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A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)

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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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Writers:

(screenplay), (books) (as Lemony Snicket)
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1,225 ( 251)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »

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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:

Ruinning Christmas December 17. 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

The beginning of the film features a false-start opening sequence called "The Littlest Elf". The sequence was created in CGI, but designed to resemble the stop-motion animated children's specials common in the 1960s and '70s, most famously by Rankin-Bass. See more »

Goofs

In the train scene, when Violet calls Mr. Poe, Mr. Poe is driving alongside the very same train that is about to crush Violet, Klaus and Sunny. However, in the next shot, the train is shown to be coming at them from the right (if you're using the direction from the back of the car to the front of the car as a reference). This would mean that Mr. Poe is: a) driving off-road and b) is merely seconds away from the children. However, when Mr. Poe arrives, he does so by pulling in on the same road as Olaf's car from behind. 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

References The Karate Kid (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

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

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Quality movie, unless you're a die-hard fan of the books
23 December 2004 | by (IL, USA) – See all my reviews

I first heard of these books when I saw my younger brother reading them. I got curious and when I saw they were making a movie was sure to read the first three before seeing it. Right off the bat, I can tell you that if you are a completely possessive fan of these books you might be rather disappointed by this movie. The movie condenses books "The Bad Beginning," "The Reptile Room," and "The Wide Window" by slicing the first book in half and placing the other two inside of it, like a sandwich. Of course in order for this to be possible the story has to change to make it work, so some elements are not factual. Combine this with Snicket's usually clever details in the book having to be cut down and very loyal fans are going to be disappointed. The movie also adds in a subplot that the first three books do not possess, but that the later ones (according to my brother) do, so I was a bit bothered by having that element ruined if i choose to read more of the series.

I, however, understand the difference between books and movies, and think that on the whole they succeeded in keeping the tone and uniqueness of this series. Carrey as Olaf is wonderful and adds something to a character that seems to be rather dry in the books and the children are believable and easy to sympathize with. While humor was scarce, the tone of the books is more clever than humorous anyway.

Overall my only issues are plot-wise and how this creates a choppy feel to the film, but I don't know of a way it could have been done better. The movie was well done with(as many are saying) excellent scenery, costumes, etc., yet nothing made this film completely amazing. It is however, worth the time and money and one should definitely read the books. ~Steven C


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