IMDb > An American Crime (2007)
An American Crime
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An American Crime (2007) More at IMDbPro »

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An American Crime -- In Tommy O’Haver’s heartbreaking and hard-hitting film, AN AMERICAN CRIME, Academy Award nominee Catherine Keener portrays Gertrude Baniszewski, the seemingly ordinary housewife who imprisons and tortures a beautiful teenager.
An American Crime -- The true story of suburban housewife Gertrude Baniszewski, who kept a teenage girl locked in the basement of her Indiana home during the 1960s.
An American Crime -- In Tommy O’Haver’s heartbreaking and hard-hitting film, AN AMERICAN CRIME, Academy Award nominee Catherine Keener portrays Gertrude Baniszewski, the seemingly ordinary housewife who imprisons and tortures a beautiful teenager.

Overview

User Rating:
7.4/10   21,586 votes »
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Director:
Writers (WGA):
Tommy O'Haver (written by) &
Irene Turner (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for An American Crime on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
7 December 2007 (Sweden) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
This has been the most terrible crime ever committed in the state of Indiana See more »
Plot:
The true story of suburban housewife Gertrude Baniszewski, who kept a teenage girl locked in the basement of her Indiana home during the 1960s. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for Golden Globe. Another 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A non-fiction horror film, hard to watch but important See more (110 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Ellen Page ... Sylvia Likens

Hayley McFarland ... Jennie Likens

Nick Searcy ... Lester Likens

Romy Rosemont ... Betty Likens

Catherine Keener ... Gertrude Baniszewski

Ari Graynor ... Paula Baniszewski

Scout Taylor-Compton ... Stephanie Baniszewski

Tristan Jarred ... Johnny Baniszewski

Hannah Leigh ... Shirley Baniszewski (as Hannah Leigh Dworkin)

Bradley Whitford ... Prosecutor

Michael O'Keefe ... Reverend Bill Collier

Carlie Westerman ... Marie Baniszewski

Michelle Benes ... Hope Orbach
Patricia Place ... Mrs. Doyle
Calvin Keet ... Mr. Doyle

Jeremy Sumpter ... Coy Hubbard

James Franco ... Andy

Brian Geraghty ... Bradley

Channing Nichols ... Patty
Eliza Dean ... Mary

Michael Welch ... Teddy

Evan Peters ... Ricky Hobbs

Amy Ferguson ... Sally

Scott Eastwood ... Eric (as Scott Reeves)

Will Carter ... Officer Waters (as William Carter)

Edward James Gage ... Bailiff

Kuma ... Dog
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Chris Harris ... Jury Member (uncredited)
James Meehan ... Defense Attorney (uncredited)

Paul Palo ... Newspaper Reporter (uncredited)
Isabel Shaw ... Juror (uncredited)

Gary Sievers ... Carnie (uncredited)

Directed by
Tommy O'Haver 
 
Writing credits
(WGA)
Tommy O'Haver (written by) &
Irene Turner (written by)

Produced by
Jocelyn Hayes .... producer (as Jocelyn Hayes Simpson)
Pamela Koffler .... executive producer
Hans Ritter .... co-producer
Katie Roumel .... producer
Richard Shore .... executive producer
Kevin Turen .... producer
Christine Vachon .... producer
Ruth Vitale .... executive producer
John Wells .... executive producer
Henry Winterstern .... producer
 
Original Music by
Alan Ari Lazar  (as Alan Lazar)
 
Cinematography by
Byron Shah (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Melissa Kent 
 
Casting by
Anya Colloff 
Judy Cook 
Amy McIntyre Britt 
Michael V. Nicolo 
 
Production Design by
Nathan Amondson 
 
Art Direction by
Zach Bangma 
 
Set Decoration by
Lisa Alkofer 
 
Costume Design by
Alix Hester 
 
Makeup Department
Mandy Danielle Benton .... additional makeup artist (as Mandy Benton)
Marc Boyle .... additional hair stylist
Essie Cha .... additional makeup artist
Daniel Curet .... hair department head
Jorjee Douglas .... makeup department head
Rebecca Perkins .... special effects makeup
Randa Squillacote .... key hair stylist
Nancy Stimac .... additional hair stylist
Liz Webster .... additional hair stylist (as Elizabeth Webster)
 
Production Management
Stuart Burkin .... executive in charge of production
Beau J. Genot .... post-production supervisor
Jonathan McCoy .... unit production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Lance W. Lanfear .... day player first assistant director (as Lance Lanfear)
Chad Rosen .... first assistant director
Tessa Lyn Stephenson .... second assistant director
Frank Tignini .... second second assistant director
Frankie Tignini .... second second assistant director
 
Art Department
Isaac Amondson .... set dresser
Rachel Amondson .... art department production assistant
Bruce Bellamy .... set dresser
Craig D. Bentley .... propmaker
Max Bozeman .... leadman (as Max K. Bozeman)
Nelson Bush .... leadman
Michael A. Clark .... propmaker gang boss
Scott Cockerell .... assistant property master (as Scott C. Cockerell)
Billy Constantine .... painter
Juliane Crump .... conceptual researcher
Scott Enge .... plasterer
David Esparza .... painter
Eduardo H. Esparza .... propmaker gang boss (as Eddie Esparza)
Brian Fernandez .... plasterer
Craig Handschu .... set dresser
Ken Howland .... plasterer
Sean D. Jackson .... set dresser
Roger Kelton .... construction coordinator
Jina Kim .... p.a.
Scott Kitchen .... propmaker foreman (as Scott A. Kitchen)
Chris Larsen .... set dresser
Robert C. Moore .... propmaker
Jeffrey M. O'Brien .... property master
Doreen Parker .... painter
Chris Patterson .... set dresser
Paul V. Picerni Jr. .... on-set property (as Paul V. Picerni)
Kip Sawyer .... paint foreman
Jamie Silverstein .... set intern
Dan Thompson .... set intern
Dennis J. Vannatta .... set dresser (as Dennis Vannatta)
Helen Wilson .... swing
Herbert James Winterstern .... art department intern
Adam C. Woods .... propmaker
 
Sound Department
Albert Aquino .... boom operator
Vince Balunas .... adr & dialogue editor
Jeff K. Brunello .... sound effects editor
Dennis Carlin .... sound utility
Daniel Colman .... sound effects editor
Mick Davies .... boom operator
Bill Devine .... adr recordist
Michael J. Fox .... adr mixer
David Holmes .... sound utility
Marti D. Humphrey .... sound re-recording mixer
Chris M. Jacobson .... sound re-recording mixer
Jack Levy .... supervising sound editor
Doug Madick .... foley artist
Richard Partlow .... foley artist (as Rick Partlow)
Scott Stolz .... sound mixer
Steve Weiss .... sound mixer
Ronald L. Wright .... boom operator
 
Special Effects by
David Waine .... special effects coordinator
 
Visual Effects by
Travis Baumann .... Flame artist
Kristin Johnson .... digital compositor
Kristin Johnson .... visual effects supervisor
Albert Mason .... visual effects producer
Christopher Stack .... imaging supervisor: Digiscope
 
Stunts
Ed McDermott II .... precision driver
Lou Simon .... stunt coordinator
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Jeb Banegas .... camera intern
Amy Bojanowski .... additional loader
Cris Borgnine .... additional electrician
Richard W. Botchlet .... additional best boy electric
Patrick Brennan .... lighting board operator
Nathaniel R. Brown .... additional electrician (as Nate Brown)
Danielle C. Carroll .... additional loader
Brian Christie .... dolly grip
Jeff Clark .... Steadicam operator
Kelly Cummins .... second assistant camera
Jeanne Dear .... additional company grip
Guido Egger .... additional company grip
Eric Forand .... additional gaffer
Michael Francisco .... additional electrician (as Michael A. Francisco)
Samuel Buddy Fries .... camera operator (as Bud Fries)
Stephen Furry .... best boy rigging grip
Kevin C. Goff .... additional second assistant camera: "b" camera
Erik Gonzales .... additional set electrician
Jilliane Grodecki .... camera intern
Timothy Hedgecock .... electrician (as Tim Hedgecock)
Mike Horan .... best boy grip (as Mike 'Mega' Horan)
Paul Janossy .... first assistant camera
Hunter Laizure .... electrician
Heather Lea .... first assistant camera: "b" camera (as Heather Leroy)
Eric Lee .... still photographer
Sabyn Mayfield .... key grip
Wes Meilandt .... additional electrician
Gerald Mermian .... additional company grip
Daniel Miller .... additional company grip
Cris Moris .... additional electrician (as Chrisobal Moris)
Michael M. Mosley .... additional electrician (as Mike Moseley)
Kevin Mucha .... additional electrician
David Newbert .... grip
Elmer S. Osorio .... generator operator (as Elmer Osorio)
Rich Paisley .... gaffer (as Richard Paisley)
Matt Perry .... rigging best boy
Michelle Pizanis .... loader: "b" camera
Michelle Pizanis .... second assistant camera: "b" camera (as Michele Pizanis)
Kelly Price .... additional company grip (as Kelly Prize)
Avi Roffman .... additional electrician
Michael Roy .... rigging gaffer (as Michael Victor Roy)
Aaron Schulte .... best boy electric
Kevin Sheedy .... additional company grip
Michael Silva .... additional electrician (as Mike Silva)
Erik Solorio .... additional company grip
Travis Stewart .... electrician
Daniel Taylor .... second assistant camera
Maxwell Thorpe .... grip intern
Rick Tschudin .... additional first assistant camera: "b" camera
Kenny Tucker .... additional electrician
Jim West .... additional company grip
Matt Whitted .... grip (as Matthew Whitted)
Chad Wilson .... Steadicam operator
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Tiana Aiello .... costumer
Lori Ayala-Read .... costume supervisor (as Lori Reed)
Molly O'Haver .... costumer
 
Editorial Department
Stacy Katzman .... assistant editor
Mato .... color timer
 
Music Department
Spring Aspers .... music supervisor
Greg Dennen .... scoring crew: studio engineer
Ryan Gaines .... music coordinator
Petra Haden .... vocalist
Alan Ari Lazar .... orchestrator
David Low .... orchestra contractor
Mike Nowak .... conductor (as Michael Nowak)
Larry Rench .... orchestrator
Casey Stone .... music recordist
Casey Stone .... music scoring mixer
Dean Menta .... music editor (uncredited)
Ashley Waldron .... executive in charge of music (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Morris Aroesti .... driver
Michael Perrotti .... transportation coordinator
 
Other crew
Caleb Aldrich .... production intern
Carlos A. Aragon .... location manager
Matt Baker .... key set production assistant (as Matthew Baker)
Greg Bernstein .... legal services
MaryEllen Blair .... assistant: Mr. Winterstern
Meghan Burchfield .... production assistant
Yee Yeo Chang .... assistant: Ms. Vachon
Marjorie Chodorov .... production accountant
Sarah Clifford .... head animal trainer
John Patrick L. Crum .... production assistant
Gloria De Leon .... production intern
Chris Disher .... assistant: Mr. O'Haver (as Christopher Disher)
Sean P. Galvin .... set production assistant
Danny Illouz .... payroll accountant
Paul Jaconi-Biery .... production coordinator
Eloy Lara .... key set medic
Joanna Lara .... assistant production coordinator
Jan McWilliams .... script supervisor
Ania Milaszewicz .... assistant: Mr. O'Haver
Beth Newbauer .... assistant: Mr. Winterstern
Hans Ritter .... head of production (as Hans Christian Ritter)
Karen Roberts .... post-production accountant
Matt Rubin .... assistant: Mr. Turen
Kristina Santoro .... key assistant location manager/scout
Lou Simon .... fight choreographer
Jonathan Stopek .... assistant: Ms. Hayes-Simpson
Fiona Walsh .... production assistant
 
Thanks
Jonathan Bell .... thanks
Hugh Dancy .... special thanks
Billy Mulligan .... special thanks
Kirsten Smith .... special thanks
John Waters .... very special thanks
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial Effects
  • Digiscope (digital effects) (as Digiscope, LLC)
Other Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated R for strong and disturbing depiction of child abuse and torture
Runtime:
98 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Ellen Page was the only choice to play Sylvia Likens.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: At one point during a punishment scene, the shot changes to the neighbors outside, and a fan is visible in an open window. The shot returns to the same view a moment later, but the window is closed, the curtains are drawn, and no fan is visible.See more »
Quotes:
Sylvia Likens:She sacrificed me to protect her children, and she sacrificed her children to protect herself.See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in The 60th Primetime Emmy Awards (2008) (TV)See more »
Soundtrack:
The Birds and the BeesSee more »

FAQ

What has become of the Baniszewski house?
Where are the Baniszewskis now?
Is Sylvia's sister Jenny still alive?
See more »
226 out of 252 people found the following review useful.
A non-fiction horror film, hard to watch but important, 30 January 2007
Author: larry-411 from United States

I attended the world premiere of "An American Crime" at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. Among the several decidedly downbeat films I saw this past week, this one was by far the hardest to watch. But something about it is compelling, like craning your neck to see what horrors can be spotted at the scene of a car crash. You know it can't be anything pretty, yet you can't take your eyes off it. Perhaps it was knowing that the film is, in fact, based on a true story. The opening courtroom scenes and disclaimer that "actual transcripts" were used make that clear. There's something about a "true crime" drama that triggers a desire to sit through whatever terrifying images lie ahead. And the images conjured up here are bone-chilling.

In 1965, Betty Likens (Romy Rosemont) and her husband Lester (Nick Searcy) decided it was best to leave their two daughters with a neighbor while they went off with a traveling carnival. So Sylvia Likens (Ellen Page) and her sister Jennie Fae (Hayley McFarland) settled in with the Baniszewski clan. And what a clan it was. Mother Gertrude (Catherine Keener) already had five of her own in tow, and now she added two more. What happened then, well documented in the record, is now played out for us with horrifying realism.

This is Keener and Page's film, despite the large ensemble cast assembled for the story. And both actors create frighteningly devastating portrayals of characters we still can't quite believe really endured these horrors. Mommie Dearest doesn't hold a candle to Keener's Gertrude, and Page is as heartbreaking as any victim I've seen in modern cinema. Both turn in award-winning performances that left me with chills.

In addition to the numerous family members, an assortment of school chums has the opportunity to get involved in some way. Coy Hubbard (Jeremy Sumpter) is the boyfriend of one of the Baniszewski brood. Known to most from 2003's "Peter Pan," we can't help but feel that he will be the hero here. Teddy Lewis (Michael Welch), is an enigma from the start. One of our most prolific yet underrated young actors today, Welch is perfectly cast as the boy whose blood runs hot or cold depending on the prevailing winds. Other notables include The West Wing's Bradley Whitford as prosecutor Leroy K. New.

This is a period piece set in the mid-60s, and the costumes, sets, and palette of colors effectively evokes that era to a T. Much of the film's look can be attributed to the cinematography of Byron Shah, who had two films here at Sundance (his "The Go-Getter" was one of my favorite film' at this year's festival).

"An American Crime" is not for everyone. It's a horror film that isn't a work of fiction. If it was from the hand of Stephen King it would be scary and delicious. Instead it's scary and nauseating. Yet it deserves the label "important," because the subject matter is worthy of discussion. And that's because the horrors exposed in this film are still occurring today. That's the real crime.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (110 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for An American Crime (2007)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
The most evil of them all fleurus-d-864-162834
curious panthersrulenfl69
Compared to The Girl Nextdoor chelsi-boswell
'Did you ever see your sister cry?' Something I didn't understand is... MusicIsMyLife4
The Baniszewski kids should be haunted by Sylvia's face forever davidjrichardson73
Sylvia didn't 'return to the carnival' daisyvision
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