7.3/10
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The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio (2005)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama | 1 June 2007 (Spain)
In order to support her ten children, Evelyn Ryan (Moore) enters a commercial jingle-writing contest. Based on a true story.

Director:

Writers:

(book), (screenplay)

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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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

At the very end of the film, several children are seen fading in and out of the picture, which shows the passing of several years. One of the young boys is Evelyn Ryan's young grandson who happened to be there that day. See more »

Goofs

The all-weather pith helmet that Ray the mailman wears when the milkman came collecting would not be introduced until the 1980s. Though pith helmets have existed since the 1840s, they were made of cloth or cork. His was obviously wearing a modern plastic one. See more »

Quotes

Evelyn Ryan: [singing] My frisk the Frigidaire, clean the cupboard bare sandwich.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Before the ending credits roll, updates are given of all the children and of Ms. Schaefer along with their real life photos. 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
Produced by Teddy Borowiecki (as Teddy Borowlecki)
Performed by k.d. lang
k.d. lang appears courtesy of Nonesuch Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Inspirational
19 September 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Julianne Moore was excellent in her role of Evelyn Ryan. The movie is inspirational and thought provoking for women everywhere. A great family story. Woody Harrelson was perfectly cast as her alcoholic husband. He portrayed his character Kelly Ryan with just enough intensity and a touch of humor to not take the spotlight away from Julianne's character. The movie was taken from the book by the same name. It was written by Terry Ryan the daughter of Evelyn Ryan. You can sense the genuine connection between each character. Definitely see this one you will not regret it. There is none of that over the top Hollywood glitz and effects just a great story and excellent acting.


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