All Good Things
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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for All Good Things can be found here.

The movie is loosely based on the real-life disappearance (and supposed murder) in 1982 of Kathleen "Kathie" McCormack Durst (played by Kirsten Dunst and renamed Katherine "Katie" McCarthy Marks). Her husband Robert Durst (played by Ryan Gosling and renamed David Marks) was a prime suspect, but he was never charged with anything. The screenplay was written by Marcus Hinchey and Marc Smerling.

The film's title, All Good Things, is a reference to a health store of the same name set up by Durst and McCormack in the 1970s in Vermont.

No. Sanford Marks (Frank Langella) owned real estate in midtown Manhattan. His properties were all legally owned. However, he rented to businesses such as strip clubs, massage parlors, peep shows, porno theaters, and cheap hotels, because "these businesses have to pay for themselves...at least until we tear them down." In the movie, he is portrayed as taking kickbacks from these businesses, many of whom may have been engaged in illegal activities. It became David's job to collect the money.

David is portrayed as having mental problems exacerbated by seeing his mother kill herself. Robert Durst, David's real life counterpart, was diagnosed with schizophrenia, but the diagnosis was later changed to Asperger's Syndrome, a condition on the autism spectrum.

She committed suicide by jumping off the roof when David was seven years old. David saw it happen because his father did not bring him inside. Later in the movie, his father confesses that he left David out there because he was hoping she would see him and not jump.

Deborah Lehrman (Lily Rabe) was based on Susan Berman. As Deborah is portrayed in the movie, Susan Berman was a good friend of Robert and Kathie Durst, and Robert and Susan remained friends after Kathie's disappearance. As in the movie, Berman was killed by a .22-caliber bullet to the back of her head. Berman's father had ties to organized crime (he was partner to the gangster Bugsy Siegel), so the question has been raised as to whether Berman might have been murdered because of these connections. So far, Berman's murder is unsolved. Although it's been suspected that she made a phone call to the medical school claiming to be Kathleen Durst after Kathie disappeared. However, there's no proof that she donned a blonde wig and pretended to be Kathie. That part was made up for the movie as one possible explanation for the events surrounding her disappearance.

David asks Katie, "How was your day?", and Katie replies, "I had lunch with Lauren today." David then asks, "What else did you do today?" The scene shifts to Katie pounding on the neighbors' window, her left eye obviously bruised from being slugged. No explanation is provided for David's behavior. Most viewers conclude that David had Katie followed and knew that she also stopped to talk with a lawyer.

Most viewers conclude that it was a list of the kickbacks David collected from the tenants who were conducting their seedy businesses in Marks-owned properties. She then sent the ledger to Senator Moynihan (Francis Guinan). This was no doubt the leverage she was planning to use to obtain a settlement from David upon their divorce. Unfortunately, the senator saw through Katie's plan and, because Sanford Marks was a heavy campaign contributor, Moynihan returned the ledger, calling it a "family matter." David was subsequently relegated to an office with a secretary and mail service but no more duties in the family corporation. When the business was later passed from father to son, it went to David's younger brother Daniel (Michael Esper).

It's the blue bandanna that Katie tied around their dog's neck earlier in the movie. She realizes that David killed Ivan, even though he claims that Ivan is in the kennel for having bit him. In Robert Durst's commentary on the DVD, that was the one thing in the movie that bothered him the most—the fact that they could think he would kill a dog.

It was a blue light in the basement. The night that Kathie Durst went missing, the neighbor reported seeing a blue light in the basement late at night, and it made her feel uneasy.

It's the voice of John Cullum playing Richard Panatierre, David's lawyer at his trial for killing Malvern Bump.

Malvern Bump (Philip Baker Hall) is based on Morris Black, a man who lived in the same apartment building as Robert Durst in Galveston, Texas, where Durst was posing as a woman named Dorothy Ciner. Durst admits to killing Black but claims it was in self-defense. He was charged with Black's murder but only found guilty of abusing a corpse.

After Katie died, his picture was splashed all over the papers and television. David explains that he just wanted to disappear, to escape from being David Marks for a while. It's believed that Robert Durst also dressed as a woman while living in Plano, Texas.

As in the actual case of Robert Durst and Morris Black, David kills Malvern Bump and dismembers his body. He tosses it into Galveston Bay where it is later discovered, except for the head. It's suggested that Deborah Lehrman, in a blonde wig, posed as Katie Marks so as to be seen after Katie was murdered. It's also suggested that, on the night David visits his father shortly after Katie's disappearance, Sanford Marks looks into David's car trunk. An epilogue then reads:


David Marks' testimony in his trial for the murder of Malvern Bump convinced the Texas jury that he acted in self-defense. He was found not guilty. He was convicted of improper disposal of a body and sentenced to nine months in jail. No one has ever been charged with the murder of Deborah Lehrman. Before Sanford Marks' death, David visited his father for the last time. The disappearance of Katie Marks is still considered a missing persons case.
David is shown leaning over his father in the hospital. David whispers, "I miss her so much." In the final scene, David rides down the hospital elevator singing to himself, "Every night my honey lamb and I." (This is a line from the song "Oklahoma," which Katie is shown singing earlier.) He walks out of the elevator and heads toward the door. "David Marks currently lives in Florida. He is a real estate investor."

What Sanford sees is not revealed. The most common theory is that Sanford found Katie's body (or items that strongly implicated David in her death) and that Sanford helped to cover up Katie's murder.

The story in the movie is pieced together from court documents and research on the part of writers. In one of the special features on the DVD, a screenwriter mentions that there were three theories on what actually happened, and the one in the movie was the most agreeable between them. What is presented in the movie is, at best, educated guesses.

It's a phrase from "Oklahoma", a song in the musical of the same name. Earlier in the film, Katie sang that song to him during happier days.

r73731


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