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He Was a Quiet Man (2007)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  7 December 2007 (UK)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 19,130 users   Metascore: 53/100
Reviews: 81 user | 52 critic | 5 from Metacritic.com

An office worker inadvertently becomes a hero after he saves a woman's life.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Detective Sorenson
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K.C. Ramsey ...
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Jessica Light (as Frankie Lou Thorn)
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Lisa Arianna ...
ADD Assistant
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Shelby's Secretary (as Levia Trevino)
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Storyline

A troubled loner, Bob Maconel, imagines blowing up the tower in Los Angeles where he works. He takes a revolver to his office intent on killing colleagues, and then himself. At home, he holds conversations with his fish, who encourage him to do it. His supervisor picks on him. As he's screwing his courage to the sticking place, he drops a bullet; while on the floor looking for it, another colleague does exactly what Bob has been planning. Bob emerges a hero and the one colleague he likes, a woman with a bright smile, is severely wounded. Can Bob help her through despair and find himself and joy in life? Or, as everyone says, is this impossible for a man like him? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

office | bullet | fish | alter ego | suicide | See more »

Taglines:

Bob Maconel is about to have a very bad day... See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

7 December 2007 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A Fúria  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the director's commentary on the DVD the entire movie was shot in only 21 days. See more »

Goofs

The cartridges that Bob loads into his revolver are real, but the primers are indented, indicating that the rounds have already been fired. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Bob Maconel: It was easier in the past. A man knew what it was to be a man. He stood up to things that were wrong, and had the right to do so. Were expected to do so. And the way you lived, the training you put yourself through, prepared you for the inevitable confrontations. Ones that could end in dismemberment or even death. Then something happened. We passed laws of decency, lawyers became our shepherds. And what was once a fairly easy thing to understand, became muddled in a bureaucracy of ...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

A still photo of a child appears in the Very Special Thanks section. See more »

Connections

References Zabriskie Point (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

Not today
Written by Frank A. Cappello (as Frank Cappello)
Performed by Robert Cosio
(Elevator Scene)
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
This was a brilliant film
8 December 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It seems that every once and a while, an occasionally brilliant film will catch my attention in the late hours of the night (or the early hours of the morning, as it was in my case); I found that film in "He Was a Quiet Man," writer-director Frank A. Cappello's brilliantly acted, smartly written satire about that unlikely hero whose "heroic" act may not have been so heroic, and in fact masked an inner rage that may actually make him the villain.

A seriously understated Christian Slater stars as Bob Maconel, a frustrated office worker whose first words in the picture have him counting the amount of bullets in his gun and who his intended targets are going to be. Bob lives alone and works as a drone in one of those big technology firms where it's never made clear what it is that they actually do, or what everyone's jobs are. Bob's day-to-day existence consists of him feeding his fish (who he talks to and they occasionally give him bad advice, fueling his murderous rage), going to work, rarely being acknowledged by his neighbors, being picked on by his co-workers, and working up the courage to go on his deadly shooting spree.

Well, just when Bob finally gets the courage to do the deed, he is beaten to the punch by a fellow enraged office worker. In the middle of the carnage, Bob and the shooter manage to strike up a casual conversation. When Bob asks why he's not going to shoot him, the man replies, "Because you're the only person in this office who's more pathetic than I am." Bob takes this personally and guns down the assailant. Afterward, he rushes to the side of the office beauty, Vanessa Parks (Elisha Cuthbert), who was seriously wounded in the attack and is the only person Bob ever really liked. Her smile could "light up a room," we're told throughout the film.

Bob is then branded a hero. The people he despised are now his best friends, including the office bully and the office slut, who would have never given the time of day before. (She gets her comeuppance in one particular scene that is all of hilarious, disgusting, and disturbing.) He gets a promotion, a brand-new office next to the big boss, Mr. Shelby (William H. Macy), and the company car. His neighbors finally acknowledge him; when one of them asks when did he move in, Bob replies, "I've lived here five years." He soon begins to visit Vanessa in the hospital, whose spine was severed by a bullet and is now a quadriplegic. She begs him to finish what the shooter started. When he relents, that's when the two begin a tentative relationship that begins to calm the deadly monster lurking within him. Later on in the film, however, troubling questions begin to arise about Bob's sanity and his grip on his new reality that he has found himself in.

As many have mentioned, "He Was a Quiet Man," seems to combine elements of past similar-themed features including "Falling Down," "Office Space" and "A History of Violence," plus a few of the artistically weird storytelling aesthetics of a David Lynch picture. Similarities seem to end fairly early in the picture after Bob first becomes a hero and a media darling. It seems that when you finally have a grasp on where it's all headed, the picture does a 360 and winds up going right back to where it started, both metaphorically and literally.

Slater was pretty good in this film; his performance here worked from his first seconds on screen, his character of office drone Bob Maconel combining elements of the main characters from the films I mentioned earlier and hitting all the right emotive notes. For years, he's been hounded by his Jack Nicholson obsession and I think here he seems to have finally come into his own as a seriously demented loner who is quickly losing his grip on reality.

While by no means one of my favorite actresses, it was a delight to see Elisha Cuthbert in a role where her gorgeous looks are only part of her performance and are not THE performance; here is a beautiful woman who freely admits to using her sexuality as a means of getting ahead in life and now she's been reduced to nothing - a fact that she freely admits to having accepted - and finally having to take things extra slow because her most valuable asset has been taken away from her: her own body. Maybe I'm overreaching or being overly critical - I did like her in "The Girl Next Door" (2004) - she can act, it's that I haven't liked too many of her film projects since '04. Anyway, when she's confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life, for me, it's almost like stepping back to truly appreciate a fine piece of art. Only then, is she truly beautiful.

"He Was a Quiet Man" is not a perfect film. The script is prone to occasional slips of the pen in certain places, but the performances (especially by Christian Slater and Elisha Cuthbert) and Cappello's artistic direction and grip on the finer points of the material make up for it. "He Was a Quiet Man" is one of those brilliant movies that forces us to look at ourselves and see what makes us tick. It's funny, it's dramatic and it's also occasionally quite disturbing, but it is an example of all-around great, late-night fanfare that deserves more respect from the movie-going public.

9/10


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