A grief-stricken mother takes on the LAPD to her own detriment when it stubbornly tries to pass off an obvious impostor as her missing child, while also refusing to give up hope that she will find him one day.

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 11 wins & 44 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Operator
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Antonia Bennett ...
Operator
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Operator
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Ben Harris
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Girl on Tricycle
Madison Hodges ...
Neighborhood Girl
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Devon Conti ...
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Man at Diner
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Storyline

Los Angeles, 1928. A single mother returns from work to find her nine-year-old son gone. She calls the LAPD to initiate a search. Five months later, a boy is found in Illinois who fits the description; he says he's her son. To fanfare and photos, the LAPD reunite mother and son, but she insists he's not her boy. The cops dismiss her as either a liar or hysterical. When she joins a minister in his public criticism of the police, they in turn use government power to silence and intimidate her. Meanwhile, a cop goes to a dilapidated ranch to find a Canadian lad who's without legal status; the youth tells a grisly tale. There's redress for murder; is there redress for abuse of power? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

boy | police | lapd | telephone | train | See All (287) »

Taglines:

To find her son, she did what no one else dared.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violent and disturbing content, and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 October 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El sustituto  »

Box Office

Budget:

$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$489,015 (USA) (24 October 2008)

Gross:

£4,693,773 (UK) (2 January 2009)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

| (opening and end sequence)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title refers to a European folk legend. Supposedly, fairies, elves, trolls, or even the devil would occasionally steal young children from their cradles, and leave a false child - a "changeling" - in its place. The changeling would grow sick and die, or exhibit bad behavior as it grew up, while the real child would supposedly become the slave of those who took it, and would never be seen again by its parents. The "changeling" legend was sometimes used to explain infant deaths or disorders such as mental retardation or autism in children. See more »

Goofs

Christine mentions her husband ran away because he couldn't handle the responsibilities of being a father. In real life, he was serving a sentence for armed robbery. However, she may have told Walter this to protect him from the truth about his father. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Christine Collins: Walter, honey. Time to wake up.
Walter Collins: Just ten more minutes...
Christine Collins: Sorry, sport. You can sleep in tomorrow, that's what Saturdays are for.
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Crazy Credits

The black-and-white Universal logo used in the 1940s opens the film. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Hour: Episode #7.22 (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Best picture?
22 October 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Summary says it all, this is the most challenging film so far of 2008. Deep and daring, Clint exposes corruption within LAPD in this period piece. Brilliantly executed and finally a performance I appreciate from Angelina. Also stellar performances by John Malkovich, as well as Amy Ryan, Jeffrey Donovan, Michael Kelly, and others. This film drives it home which any parent can appreciate and will remember for some time.

This is not your typical drama, but also a suspense filled thriller that had people in the theater crying, clapping, and closing their eyes.

Still need to see The Wrestler, and The road, but as of October 2008, CHANGELING best picture, and very possible, Best Actress Angelina Jolie.


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Recent Posts
Axe scene....a step to far? sarahparsons334
Why is it called changeling? charlimcbean
There is nothing reasonable or credible in this film. danieligarza
The Music is Crap hermanowen-1
One missing thing that would have cleared things up david-seerup
The boy saying the police told him to say he was Walter zackayotte
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