Fracture (2007) Poster


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  • Ted Crawford (Anthony Hopkins), a wealthy aeronautical engineer in Los Angeles, shoots his wife Jennifer (Embeth Davidtz) after learning that she is having an affair with Police Lieutenant Robert "Rob" Nunally (Billy Burke). Crawford promptly confesses his crime to Nunally, and the police take the gun into possession. It looks like an open-and-shut case, so hotshot District Attorney William "Willy" Beachum (Ryan Gosling) has no qualms prosecuting, even though he is preoccupied with his new appointment as corporate lawyer to Wooton & Simms, a high-paying private civil law firm. When Crawford waives his right to defense counsel and asks to defend himself, Beachum is doubly convinced that this case is easily going to bolster his record of a 97% conviction rate...until the evidence before him starts to crumble. Ballistics finds that the supposedly "smoking" gun has not been fired, and Crawford retracts his confession on grounds that it was obtained from the police detective who was sleeping with his wife. With no solid evidence in the case, it looks like Crawford is going to walk and Beachum's career is in jeopardy, but that doesn't stop him from digging further into the case.

  • Fracture is based on a screenplay by screenwriters Glenn Gers and Daniel Pyne.

  • The title comes from a scene in which Crawford tells Willy about his first experience candling eggs (holding an egg up to the light of a candle and looking for imperfections) on his grandfather's egg farm. "He told me to put all the eggs that were cracked or flawed into a bucket for the bakery," he explains: He came back an hour later, and there were 300 eggs in the bakery bucket...I had found a flaw in every single one of them...thin places in the shell and fine hairline cracks. You look closely, enough, He goes on, "and you find that everything has a weak spot where it can break sooner or later." He then assures Willy that he has already found his weak spot, his crack, the hairline fracture of his character. "You're a winner, Willy," Crawford concludes.

  • Crawford knew that Nunally was LAPD's Hostage Negotiator, which is why he set up a supposed hostage situation. When Crawford is speaking on the payphone prior to shooting his wife, he asks if Nunally is working at the time. Although Nunally is not in at the moment, Crawford is informed that he will be on duty at 6 PM, providing Crawford with a time frame for the shooting. When Nunally arrives at the scene and phones Crawford, he identifies himself as the Hostage Negotiator, so Crawford's plan is set in motion.

  • It's from Oh, the Places You'll Go! (1990) by American children's book author Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr Seuss. In it, Seuss writes about the "waiting place." Here, people wait for other people, the weekend, the phone to ring, money, possessions, anything, everything ...even a second chance.

  • Crawford purchased his gun a full month before the shooting. He obviously had known about the affair between Nunally and Jennifer for quite some time and had his 'dick' (private detective) following them all the while. It wouldn't be difficult for a 'good dick' to determine what type of gun Nunally was using.

  • After failing to stop Crawford from "pulling the plug" on Jennifer, Willy is still dissatisfied. Because of the Double Jeopardy Clause, however, he knows that, regardless of any new evidence he might find, Crawford cannot be tried again for Jennifer's attempted murder. While in the office going over his papers, he and Detective Flores (Cliff Curtis) have a moment where Flores places his cell on Willy's desk then picks up Willy's phone by mistake. A light bulb goes on in Willy's head. He drives to Crawford's house where Crawford is packing for a vacation. Willy tells him that, even though it's too late now, he just noticed that both Crawford and Nunally had the same types of guns. He describes a scenario where Crawford switches their guns on the day he went to their hotel room then later shoots Jennifer with Nunally's gun. When Nunally arrives to negotiate and they both put down their guns, Crawford quickly switches them back while Nunally is momentarily distracted, having just seen Jennifer lying on the floor. Thus, it is Crawford's unfired gun that is seized as evidence, while Nunally's gun, the actual murder weapon, goes back into Nunally's holster and is carried out the door. Willy points out that, now that Jennifer is dead, he can prove his scenario by getting the bullet from her brain and matching it to Nunally's gun. Crawford reminds him that the Double Jeopardy Clause prevents him from being tried twice for the same crime. Willy points out that his first trial was for "attempted murder", but now that he has pulled the plug on Jennifer, he can be tried for first degree murder. In the final scene, Crawford's new trial begins with Willy Beacham as the prosecuting attorney.

  • Ballistics tests could show that it came from the same gun that Nunally used to kill himself. Because it was the same type gun that Crawford had, it would explain how the murder weapon got out of the house. Corroborating this is the security footage showing that Crawford was at the hotel when Nunally and Jennifer were there, so they have a plausible explanation for how Crawford switched guns the first time.

  • Double jeopardy refers to a clause in the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution that prevents an individual from being tried twice for the same offense. The key words here are "same offense." Crawford was not being tried twice for the same offense. He was first tried for the offense of "attempted murder" and was acquitted. His second trial is for the offense of "first degree murder".


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