A History of Violence (2005) Poster


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William Hurt received an Oscar nomination for this film for Best Supporting Actor despite only being in one scene which lasted less than 10 minutes.
For the sex scene on the stairs, David Cronenberg was concerned about the two actors getting hurt on the hard wooden steps. He asked his stunt man whether or not he had any stunt pads to soften up the stairs. The stunt man laughed, saying that in the twenty years he had been working as a stunt man, no director had ever asked him for stunt pads for a sex scene. Pads were not used for most of the scene however, and in the shot when Edie is naked on the bed with bruises visible on her back, make-up was used to hide the amount of bruises that Maria Bello received from the scene.
During an interview, Viggo Mortensen stated that during the shooting of the first bar scene with Ed Harris he could not stop laughing, and as a result, the scene had to be re-shot several times. Due to Viggo Mortensen's behavior, Ed Harris completed the scene without pants; he only wore his underwear, yet this cannot be seen as the bar table impedes our view. Thus, Viggo Mortensen had to act seriously while Ed Harris was not wearing any pants, and this is the scene that is used in the movie.
During the robbery scene at the diner, Orser crudely rubbing his hand down Charlotte's breast and then sniffing his hand, was thought up by the two actors themselves (Greg Bryk and Deborah Drakeford).
The mobsters were originally supposed to be Italian, but after the casting of Ed Harris and William Hurt, David Cronenberg decided to change the mob to Irish, giving Viggo's character the Irish surname Cusack. He felt, Mortensen, Harris and Hurt wouldn't make convincing Italians.
Has the distinction of being the last major Hollywood movie to be released in the VHS format. However, since then, The House of the Devil was released on VHS in 2010.
The scenes in the diner were all shot on a sound stage in Ontario. They constructed a street scene for outside the window and lit it appropriate to day or night time.
Thomas Jane and Harrison Ford turned down the role of Tom Stall.
According to Bart Beatty, in his book "David Cronenberg's A History of Violence", Cronenberg did not know that this movie was based on a paradox Press/Vertigo Comics graphic novel until after he signed on to direct. Cronenberg has stated that he does not care for superhero comics/films, feeling they are all adolescent at their core, no matter how dark, edgy or intelligent critics and fans alike feel they are.
Maria Bello, who plays the onscreen mother of Ashton Holmes in the film, is only 11 years older than he is in real life.
The fictitious town that the film is set in (Millbrook, Indiana) is named after the town where the film was actually shot (Millbrook, Ontario, Canada). The scenes set in Philadelphia were actually shot in Toronto, Canada.
The actors who played the two robbers in the cafe came up with their own backstory about why the men were travelling together. According to them the older man was the younger man's uncle and was taking him across country after the younger man had been released from prison.
William Hurt filmed his role in only five days.
Viggo Mortensen bought many props for the Diner and the Stall home from his trip in the American Mid West. This helped him get deeper into his character.
The last major Hollywood film to be released on VHS.
In a deleted scene, Tom dreams of shooting Carl Fogarty in the diner, but the scene was cut because David Cronenberg thought it was too reminiscent of the director's own previous Videodrome (1983). In the scene, Fogarty, his chest blown open by a shotgun, the exposed ends of ribs smoking, nonetheless rises from the floor and aims a handgun at Tom. Along with the deleted scene, the director and crew joke that Fogarty should pull the gun out of his gaping abdomen, an "homage" by the director to himself and to "Videodrome".
The first four minutes and 28 seconds of the movie at the seedy roadside hotel is a single, uninterrupted take without a single cut until Billy enters the motel office.
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In the scene where Mortensen's character meets his brother's henchman in the bar, two TVs in the background are showing harness racing from Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto. The distinctive voice of long-time Ontario Jockey Club announcer Frank Salive can be clearly heard in the first few moments of the scene.
The names of "William Orser" and "LeLand Jones" are a play on the name of the character actor Leland Orser.
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Director Trademark 

David Cronenberg: [composer] 'Howard Shore' scored the music for the film.
David Cronenberg: [carnage] Multiple instances throughout the film


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

In the original script, the front yard confrontation between Tom, Carl Fogarty, and Carl's thugs was meant to be more brutal. The script called for Tom to rip off one thug's nose and then take his gun and kill everyone else, including Carl Fogarty. David Cronenberg wanted this movie to be realistic and not stylized in any way.
David Cronenberg expressed dismay that some viewers interpreted the rough stairwell sex scene as a rape, stating that he deliberately directed Maria Bello to passionately kiss Viggo Mortensen at the beginning of the scene in order to avoid such confusion by the audience.
Viggo Mortensen hung out with Maria Bello's uncle and brother, both Philadelphia residents, to develop Joey's Philly accent.
The final shootout was originally going to be scored with suspense music, but David Cronenberg realized that there were moments of unintentional irony and dark humor during the scene that were more apparent if the sequence was played quietly.
The scene in the restaurant where Tom foils the robbery was cut to some extent. The original cut had the younger shooter being shot over seven times and having the older shooter being shot in the head twice. It was cut, not because of the MPAA, but because of David Cronenberg himself. Cronenberg thought the scene was way too much and thought it glorified violence, which he was against.
Body count: 13.

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