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The Proposition (2005)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Western  |  9 June 2006 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 41,760 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 231 user | 167 critic | 31 from Metacritic.com

A lawman apprehends a notorious outlaw and gives him nine days to kill his older brother, or else they'll execute his younger brother.



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13 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Brian O'Leary
Jeremy Madrona ...
Asian Prostitute
Jae Mamuyac ...
Asian Prostitute
Mick Roughan ...
Mad Jack Bradshaw
Shane Watt ...
John Gordon
Sergeant Lawrence
Bryan Probets ...
Officer Dunn
Patrick Hopkins
David Vallon ...
Tom Cox
Daniel Parker ...
Henry Clark


Rural Australia in the late nineteenth century: Capt. Stanley and his men capture two of the four Burns brothers, Charlie and Mike. Their gang is held responsible for attacking the Hopkins farm, raping pregnant Mrs. Hopkins and murdering the whole family. Arthur Burns, the eldest brother and the gang's mastermind, remains on the loose and has retreated to a mountain hideout. Capt. Stanley's proposition to Charlie is to gain pardon and - more importantly - save his beloved younger brother Mike from the gallows by finding and killing Arthur within nine days. Written by Armin Ortmann {armin@sfb288.math.tu-berlin.de}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


This land will be civilized.


Crime | Drama | Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong grisly violence, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:





Release Date:

9 June 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Proposition  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$215,987 (Australia) (14 October 2005)


$1,900,725 (USA) (8 September 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Neither Captain Stanley (Ray Winstone) nor Jellon Lamb (John Hurt) kill anybody or even fire their guns throughout the whole movie, despite being a policeman and a bounty hunter, respectively. See more »


When preparing for the rescue of Mike, Samuel Stoat places his two revolvers in their holsters close together at the front. Two shots later, the holsters are moved back on opposite hips. See more »


[first lines]
Captain Stanley: Do I need to introduce myself?
Charlie Burns: I know who you are.
Captain Stanley: Good. I know who you are.
See more »


Referenced in At the Movies: Episode #7.19 (2010) See more »


Danny Boy
Music Traditional
Words by Nick Cave
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User Reviews

Aussie Western makes Tombstone look like Paradise.
8 October 2005 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Nick Cave's essay in the true and tried Western format, shows how a harsh land (Colonial Australia) brutalizes the men who try and conquer it. Yet this tale has passages of lyricism that counterpoint the sudden moments of savagery. It is a very gritty often grisly picture of 19th Century Australia, warts and all, right down to swarms of blowflies. Perhaps the sadistic violence gets a bit over the top especially towards the end, but thanks to a fine cast, crisp direction, and the scorched cinematography it generally works. A standout performance in a minor role by John Hurt rather steals the show, while Ray Winstone and Emily Watson are particularly sensitive together. One suspects the harsh conditions are somewhat overstated for dramatic purposes, though the story is supposedly based on fact. Tombstone Territory never looked as unpleasant as this. It is certainly one of the most interesting period dramas made in Australia.

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Penis point...serious question Gruntled222
Was anyone not satisfied with the ending? Ninja_Assassin
Was I the only one reminded of Heart of Darkness? thomas-doohan
what was wrong with Cpt. Stanley? benexpapex
Nick %+#@ing Cave!!! babs_the_movie_freak
Ray Winstone j_gold422
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