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The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio (2005)

PG-13  |   |  Biography, Drama  |  1 June 2007 (Spain)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 4,989 users   Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 75 user | 48 critic | 28 from Metacritic.com

In order to support her ten children, Evelyn Ryan (Moore) enters a commercial jingle-writing contest. Based on a true story.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Dortha Schaefer
...
...
...
Ray the Milkman
Monté Gagné ...
Lea Anne Ryan at 17 yrs
...
Dick Ryan at 16 yrs
...
Bub Ryan at 15 yrs
...
Jake Scott ...
...
Ryan Price ...
Shae Norris ...
Barb Ryan at 4 yrs
Abigail Falle ...
Betsy Ryan at 2 yrs
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Storyline

Kelly and Evelyn Ryan live in Defiance, Ohio with their 10 children. At first glance their life seems idyllic; they call each other "Mother" and "Father" and seem to dote on the kids. But Kelly was a garage-band crooner whose voice was ruined in an auto accident. He's resigned to a dead-end factory job that barely pays the bills, and is given to fits of alcohol-induced rage. Evelyn, a stay-at-home wife and mother, deals with this abuse by appealing to her priest, who is no help at all. She deals with their poverty by entering the jingle contests that were the rage in the 50's and early 60's, even sending in multiple entries in the names of the children. She is very clever at it, winning more than her share of prizes, but her successes aren't enough to keep the wolf from the door. Further, they trigger Kelly's insecurities and he retreats deeper into the bottle, using food and mortgage money to support the habit. Can the loving, optimistic Evelyn hold the family together? Is she ... Written by Joe Jurca

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The true story of how a mother raised ten kids on twenty-five words or less.

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some disturbing images and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 June 2007 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

La ganadora  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$159,056 (USA) (30 September 2005)

Gross:

$626,310 (USA) (18 November 2005)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Laura Dern was pregnant during filming. See more »

Goofs

When Mother throws the Jell-o at Father, it runs down his chest in a narrow "V" shape. But in the later close-up, there is much more Jell-o, covering most of the front of his t-shirt. See more »

Quotes

Evelyn Ryan: Everything is possible.
See more »

Connections

Features Queen for a Day (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

Sitting on Top of the World
(1925)
Music by Ray Henderson
Lyrics by Sam Lewis and Joe Young
Performed by Woody Harrelson
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hard to believe...but it's all true
30 September 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If you haven't read the book, at least go see the movie; that will inspire you to read the book! If any of you movie goers are avid readers, you know you are always a bit disappointed when Hollywood has its way with the written word. This neat little movie is no exception. I guess it is difficult to be unbiased since I live in Defiance, Ohio, and grew up with the Ryan kids. We love all the positive publicity that has come from this movie. There are many of us Defiance-ites that truly, absolutely, fanatically love this town. Then there are others that hate it; but I digress... This movie is one of those human interest, true-to-life, feel good movies. There's no "f" word every other line, no frontal nudity, no murders, etc. It's a movie that the family can enjoy together. And, as strange as it may seem in the movie when Evelyn miraculously wins a prize every time her family is in financial difficulty, it absolutely happened that way. I'm not sure I enjoyed the screenplay all that much, but I think most people will be tolerate it. The "asides" the character of Evelyn gives by talking directly to the audience, to me, were somewhat disconcerting, but I guess the director, Jane Anderson, decided to give more information through asides rather than have a narrator. The movie does tend to rely too heavily on the relationship between Evelyn and her husband, Kelly, because the book is 98 % about Evelyn, her love for her family, her talent for contesting, and Terry's (the author) love for her mother. Terry (Tuff)has contracted brain cancer and is not in the best of shape. Visit "The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio" website to learn more about Terry. Considering the content of this movie and the condition of the world today, I think most of you movie goers will enjoy a 98-minute "escape" from the real world as you are transported back to the '50s. Whether you lived in the '50s or wished you did, you will enjoy the flavor the movie gives to the era. And, one last thought, if you enjoyed the movie, and haven't read the book, you might want to run to your nearest library and pick up a copy. You might be disappointed in the movie, but you certainly won't be disappointed in the book. Long live Defiance!


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