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The Proposition (2005)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Western  |  9 June 2006 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 41,762 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?


One of the gunmen in the Burns' fort at the beginning is named "Jack Bradshaw". Although the movie's plot was fictitious, there had been a real 19th century Australian "bushranger" (outlaw) by that name. See more »


Although the story takes place in the 1880s, Jellon sings "Danny Boy" - which wasn't published until 1913. 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 »


The Rider Song
Composed by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis
Performed by Nick Cave
See more »

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User Reviews

A Different Kind Of 'Western'
26 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Wow, what a brutal "western." I put "western" in quotes because most people think of the western half of the United States as being the locale for western movies. This movie was made and set in Australia but the time frame is similar: around 1880. What's "brutal" about the story is the violence, bloodshed and language - but only in spots. The language is odd in that the vocabulary of most of the people is above-average, but be warned there are a number of f-words. I question whether that word was around in the 19th century, but it's prevalent in this film. Actually, the violent scenes will be more offensive to viewers than the profanity. Like the profanity, however, the violence only comes in spurts. Most of the film has much calmer moments, surprisingly low-key.

One thing that is there throughout the 104 minutes is the excellent cinematography. This is a pretty film, nicely shot with some beautiful scenery and colors, stylish at times, too. To me, this was the best part of the movie. It's indeed a visual treat. Benoit Delholmme deservedly won several international awards for his camera-work in here.

The story is uniquely presented, different enough that it kept me very involved wondering what was coming next. For those expecting a brainless revenge story or shoot 'em up western, they will be disappointed. There is a lot of thought to this film, and it varies scene- to-scene from classy to crude.

Guy Pearce, Ray Winstone and Emily Watson are three actors I am familiar with, and I enjoyed all three of their performances. This is not a well-known movie here in the States, but if you like tough westerns and something a bit different, check it out.

38 of 57 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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