6.3/10
21,433
160 user 117 critic

The Ice Harvest (2005)

A shady lawyer attempts a Christmas Eve crime, hoping to swindle the local mob out of some money. But his partner, a strip club owner, might have different plans for the cash.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Rusti
Bill Noble ...
Culligan
Brad Smith ...
Ronny
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Roy Gelles
T.J. Jagodowski ...
Officer Tyler
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Francie
Tab Baker ...
Dennis
Frank Gallo ...
Restaurateur
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Manager
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Councilman Williams

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Storyline

Larceny, lust and lethal behavior. In icebound Wichita, Kansas, it's Christmas Eve, and this year Charlie Arglist just might have something to celebrate. Charlie, an attorney for the sleazy businesses of Wichita, and his unsavory associate, the steely Vic Cavanaugh have just successfully embezzled $2 million from Kansas City boss Bill Guerrard. But the real prize for Charlie is the stunning Renata, who runs the Sweet Cage strip club. Charlie hopes to slip out of town with Renata. But as daylight fades and an ice storm whirls, everyone from Charlie's drinking buddy Pete Van Heuten to the local police begin to wonder just what exactly is in Charlie's Christmas stocking - and the 12 hours of Christmas Eve are filled with surprises. Written by focus features

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Thick Thieves. Thin Ice. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, language and sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

23 November 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La cosecha de hielo  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$3,740,799 (USA) (25 November 2005)

Gross:

$8,819,059 (USA) (9 December 2005)
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Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

'The Sweet Cage' is a defunct restaurant Harold Ramis and his family used to eat at when he was a kid. Its flatware and cutlery were used for the upscale restaurant where Vic was eating. See more »

Goofs

The $2,147,000.00 would not fit in that bag. When Charlie opens the bag you can see bricks of hundred dollar bills. Each "brick" contains 1,000 bills or $100,000.00. The bag would need to hold 21 bricks of hundred dollar bills. The bag is too small to hold 21 bricks. See more »

Quotes

Pete Van Heuten: [standing outside his home where his wife's family is waiting to have Christmas dinner] That's my chair in there. You wanna know the truth? I can't fill it.
Charlie Arglist: Neither could I, if it makes you feel any better.
Pete Van Heuten: Listen, Charlie. Before we go in, there's something I have to tell you. It's been on my conscience, and you can punch me if you want to.
Charlie Arglist: I don't think I'm gonna want to.
Pete Van Heuten: Back when you and Sarabeth were still married, that last year... she and I were fucking.
Charlie Arglist: [not surprised] No kidding?
Pete Van Heuten: Like ...
[...]
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Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Alternative Christmas Movies (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

I Saw Three Ships
Traditional
Performed by Tony Kinsey
Courtesy of FirstCom Music, Inc., a division of Zomba Enterprises
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User Reviews

 
twisty noir brings out the best in Cusack, Platt
29 October 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Take the sardonic wit of "Prizzi's Honor" or "Body Heat." Combine with not-too- bright characters working a shady deal for quick riches in a caper that could have been written by Elmore Leonard. That's what you have in "The Ice Harvest," a highly entertaining dark comedy.

It's Christmas Eve during a terrible ice storm in Kansas City. Charlie (John Cusack) and Vic (Billy Bob Thornton) have stolen a bundle from the mob. This could create an awkward situation for Charlie if they don't get out of town fast. He's the lawyer for the local mob boss, Bill (Randy Quaid), who has a terrible temper.

So as not to arouse suspicion, Vic and Charlie go their separate ways early in the evening. Both have family duties and Charlie has other things to take care of. There's the beautiful Renata (Connie Nielson), for one. And Pete (Oliver Platt), who shares part of Charlie's past. Life becomes more complicated as the night goes on and Charlie meets up again with Vic. More twists and surprises follow.

I almost didn't go to this movie, because the teaser for the Austin Film Festival made it look like a Cusack-Thornton buddy movie, and I'm tired of the character Thornton keeps playing. Happily Thornton is not on screen much. This is John Cusack's movie and he has created an interesting, unhappy man looking for a way out. Oliver Platt, who steals every scene he's in, provides comic relief and story exposition.

Director Harold Ramis introduced the film and did a Q&A afterwards. He talked about how the snowstorm in the book became an ice storm because that's the weather they had to work with. He talked about the many ideas Cusack and Platt brought to their characters. New to me was Connie Nielson, originally from Denmark. Ramis said she told him she was channeling Jessica Rabbit in the part of the femme fatale. I think she succeeded. Kudos also to Pulitzer-prize winning author Richard Russo and Robert Benton for a snappy script.


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