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The Convincer
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Thin Ice (2011) More at IMDbPro »The Convincer (original title)

Photos (See all 12 | slideshow) Videos (see all 7)
Thin Ice -- An insurance agent looking for a way out of frigid Wisconsin is blackmailed by an unstable locksmith in the theft of a rare violin that belongs to a retired farmer.
Thin Ice -- A clip from Thin Ice
Thin Ice -- A clip from Thin Ice
Thin Ice -- A clip from Thin Ice
Thin Ice -- A clip from Thin Ice


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Down 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Jill Sprecher (written by) &
Karen Sprecher (written by)
View company contact information for Thin Ice on IMDbPro.
Greetings from Kenosha, WI! Where ordinary folks can make a killing. See more »
A dishonest insurance salesman's life quickly disintegrates during a Wisconsin winter when he teams up with a psychopath to steal a rare violin at the home of a reclusive farmer. | Add synopsis »
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User Reviews:
The kind of film you feel bad to complain about See more (23 total) »


  (in credits order)

Greg Kinnear ... Mickey Prohaska

John Paul Gamoke ... Man at Coffee Shop

David Harbour ... Bob Egan
Jennifer Edwards-Hughes ... Sherri (as Jennifer M. Edwards)

Scott Crouch ... Casino Emcee
Peter Moore ... Phil Peters

Michelle Hutchison ... Judy Vandenhoevel
James Detmar ... Glen Vandenhoevel

Michael Paul Levin ... Chuck Stankel
Kathryn Lawrey ... Hotel Clerk
Joe Minjares ... Hotel Manager

Michelle Arthur ... Karla Gruenke

Peter Thoemke ... Frank Richie

Alan Arkin ... Gorvy Hauer

Lea Thompson ... Jo Ann Prohaska

Bob Balaban ... Leonard Dahl

Alan Johnson ... Bill Morton

Alec George ... Shane

Billy Crudup ... Randy
Tony Papenfuss ... Buckhorn Bartender

Sue Scott ... Bank Teller
Terry Hempleman ... Dick Zimmer
Chris Carlson ... Don Schimidt

John Elsen ... Patrol Cop
Gary Groomes ... Traveler
Isabell O'Connor ... Samaritan

Mike Hagerty ... Jerry
Wayne Morton ... The Real Gorvy
Peggy O'Connell ... The Real Gorvy's Wife

Johnny Hagen ... Buckhorn Bar Patron
Didja ... Pete the Dog
Gibson ... Pete the Dog
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Frank Crandell ... Man In Wheelchair At Union Station
Connie Newville ... Groupie

Dj Quaile ... Real Estate Agent (as Dan Quaile)

Landyn Banx ... Bus Station Patron (uncredited)
Matt Bappe ... Man at Police Station (uncredited)

Ernest Briggs IV ... Craps Dealer (uncredited)
Michael Cook ... Transit Cop (uncredited)

Angie Dahlager ... Banquet Guest (uncredited)
Ross Destiche ... Hotel Desk Clerk (uncredited)

Fredrika Dukes ... Bus Station Patron (uncredited)
Devon A Early ... Florida Bar Patron (uncredited)

John Edel ... Man at Police Station (uncredited)
Joel Edwards ... Street Violinist (uncredited)

Ryan J. Gilmer ... Businessman (uncredited)

Rachel Grubb ... Bus Station Patron (uncredited)
Kristen Hirsch Montag ... Bank customer (uncredited)
Amy Joos ... Bus Station Patron (uncredited)

Punnavith Koy ... Dancer (uncredited)

Victoria Lachelle ... Bus Station Patron (uncredited)
Bruce Miller ... Bus station patron (uncredited)
Jeremy Murray ... Train Station Patron (uncredited)
Christine Norris ... Train Station Patron (uncredited)
Eric Jon Pierson ... Churchgoer (uncredited)

Tommy Propson ... Train Station Patron (uncredited)

Mike Rylander ... Churchgoer (uncredited)
Destiny Soria ... Train Station Patron (uncredited)

Luis John Soria ... Man in Army Green Uniform (uncredited)
Joel Thingvall ... Bus station patron (uncredited)
Tim Van De Walker ... Usher (uncredited)

Katie Wahlquist ... Insurance Agent (uncredited)

Donny West ... Bus Station Employee (uncredited)
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Directed by
Jill Sprecher 
Writing credits
Jill Sprecher (written by) (as Jill A. Sprecher) &
Karen Sprecher (written by) (as Karen L. Sprecher)

Produced by
Ken Bailey .... associate producer
Mary Frances Budig .... producer
Kelly Gilpatrick .... associate producer
Julie Hartley .... line producer
Andrew Peterson .... co-producer
Elizabeth Redleaf .... producer
Mark Steele .... co-producer
Christine K. Walker .... producer
Original Music by
Jeff Danna 
Cinematography by
Dick Pope (photographed by)
Film Editing by
Lee Percy 
Production Design by
Jeff Schoen 
Art Direction by
Kelly Hemenway 
Set Decoration by
Jill Broadfoot 
Costume Design by
Tere Duncan 
Makeup Department
Mary Flaa .... makeup department head
Maureen Landa .... key makeup artist
Carrie Messina .... key hair stylist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Carrie Bush .... second second assistant director
Matt Cici .... assistant director intern
Judd Greener .... second second assistant director
Nicholas Owen Langholff .... second assistant director
Curtis Smith .... first assistant director
Audric Thompson .... first assistant director: second unit
Art Department
Nicolette Albertson .... intern: props
Cheri Anderson .... buyer
Steve Anderson .... construction coordinator
Ben Bayne .... additional scenic
Paul Berglund .... assistant prop master
Matt Erkel .... additional constructor
Faith Farrell .... lead scenic
Garret Fulton .... construction
Luther Hill .... additional scenic
Anna Jones .... art department coordinator
Scott Kesti .... additional constructor
Tom Kristjanson .... additional set dressing
Sarah Kruchowski .... buyer
Stacy Lee Revard .... scenic painter
Brian Rhea .... construction
Liz Scheiber .... scenic
Brian J. Simpson .... swing
Ryan Tallant .... on-set dresser
Chris Thickins .... set dresser
Tim Van De Walker .... intern: props
Rob Walstead .... leadman
Pat Wilson .... prop maker
Gabe Wimmer .... scenic painter
Mark Wojahn .... property master
Sound Department
Jeremy Balko .... adr mixer
Jenna Dalla Riva .... foley recordist
Sean England .... foley recordist
Frank E. Eulner .... sound effects editor (as Frank Eulner)
Cully Gallagher .... boom operator
Andrew Hagen .... intern: sound
Ruth Hernandez .... assistant sound editor
Lora Hirschberg .... sound re-recording mixer
Scott R. Lewis .... mix technician
Pang Maggart .... intern: sound
Andy Malcolm .... foley artist
Charlotte Moore .... post production sound accountant
Cheryl Nardi .... dialogue editor
Cheryl Nardi .... supervising sound editor
Eric Offin .... adr recordist
Mike Ross .... intern: sound
Tony Sereno .... mix technician
Robert Shoup .... sound effects editor
John L. Sims Jr. .... sound mixer
Steve F.B. Smith .... sound consultant: Dolby (as Steve Smith)
Noah Terlouw .... intern: sound
Don White .... foley recording mixer
Marshall Winn .... dialogue editor
Special Effects by
Larry Dean Bivins .... snow effects
Ray Bivins .... snow effects
John Champion .... additional special effects
Mark Edmo .... additional special effects
Bradley Grasser .... special effects
Steven Hintz .... additional special effects (as Steve Hintz)
Gary Surber .... special effects coordinator
Visual Effects by
Cory Berendzen .... assistant colorist
Charles Bunnag .... digital colorist
Elika Burns .... roto/paint supervisor: CIS Hollywood
Scott Crafford .... paint and rotoscope artist: CIS Hollywood
Andrew Francis .... digital colorist: Efilm
Mathias Frodin .... compositor: CIS Hollywood
Mathias Frodin .... digital compositor
Alex Gitler .... compositing supervisor
Lucien Harriot .... visual effects supervisor
Heather Elisa Hill .... visual effects project manager: CIS Hollywood (as Heather Elisa Hill-Dinkins)
Johnna MacArthur .... visual effects producer
Mitch Paulson .... digital colorist: EFilm
Steven J. Scott .... supervising digital colorist
Thomas J. Smith .... visual effects supervisor: CIS Hollywood
Tony Tercero .... systems engineer: CIS Hollywood
Michele C. Vallillo .... visual effects producer: CIS Hollywood
Wei Zheng .... digital matte painter: CIS Hollywood
Matt Ashton .... senior systems: CIS Hollywood (uncredited)
Donald Fly .... president: CIS Group (uncredited)
Amy Garback .... effects liaison: CIS Hollywood (uncredited)
Brian Holmes .... systems engineer: CIS Hollywood (uncredited)
Peter Moore .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Brian Bullen .... additional grip
Peter Clemence .... additional grip
Edward Cohen .... gaffer
Bill Felker .... additional grip
Nick Foster .... additional grip
Nick Foster .... electrician
Joseph Gallup .... grip
Mike Gulenchyn .... best boy grip
Travis Hottinger .... additional electrician
Travis Hottinger .... lighting technician
Christopher Hultgren .... additional electrician
Steve Jacobesen .... additional grip
Steven Jacobsen .... additional electrician
Maria Juranic .... loader
Kevin Karpinski .... electrician
Jim Kindt .... additional grip
Cole Koehler .... film loader
Michael Lindquist .... second assistant camera
Chris Malone .... additional grip
Chris Malone .... electrician
Matt Muegge .... additional electrician
Matt Muegge .... additional grip
David S. Pope .... dolly grip
Gerhard Riautschnig .... electrician
Joseph Slagerman .... gaffer
Steve Speers .... first assistant camera
Darin Spring .... additional grip
Ryan Thompson .... additional electrician
Ryan Thompson .... additional grip
Jeff Villars .... key grip
Peter Vongrossmann .... grip
Wilson Webb .... still photographer
Michael Winn .... best boy electric
Michael Zvonar .... camera production assistant
Casting Department
Melissa Bardot .... extras casting assistant (as Melissa Durand)
Lynn Blumenthal .... casting director: Minnesota
Holly Dorff .... adr voice casting
Matthew Feeney .... extras casting
Lee Jordan .... extras casting assistant
Jeanne McCarthy .... casting director: los angeles
Mark Campbell .... extras casting assistant (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Virginia Burton .... costume supervisor
Jane E. Myers .... set costumer
Cerah Tymoshuk .... costumer
Hannah Walker .... costume assistant
Andrea Wheeler .... stitcher
Editorial Department
Julie Carr .... first assistant editor
Jade E. Chatham .... assistant editor
Harry Muller .... color timer
George Papuashvili .... editor: video
Robert E. Phillips .... digital intermediate producer
Tom Pilla .... assistant editor
Rosalie A. Staley .... digital intermediate assistant producer
Sam Tirado .... colorist: dailies
Lisa Tutunjian .... digital intermediate editor
Music Department
Doug Bernheim .... music supervisor
George Doering .... musician
John Fee .... additional arranging
M.B. Gordy .... musician: Percussion
Jan Holzner .... orchestra recording engineer
Bronwen Jones .... orchestrator
Adam Klemens .... conductor
Dan Parr .... orchestrator
Stephen Perone .... assistant to composer
Mark Robertson .... musician contractor
Angie Rubin .... music editor
John Whynot .... score mixer
Ed Woolley .... pro tools operator: music
Transportation Department
Curtis Wade Anderson .... driver
Rick Anderson .... driver
Michael Arnold .... transportation captain
Guy Eckert .... driver
Andrew Garski .... driver
Vince Junkins .... driver: honeywagon (as Vince Riggles)
Tim Kennedey .... driver
Frank Ketchum .... driver
Eugene Kirsch .... driver
George Linquist .... driver
Byron Roland .... production driver
Rajiv Sarin .... driver
Marc Scott .... transportation coordinator
Leo Skudlarek .... driver
Jon Westerlund .... driver: special effects 5 ton
Other crew
Kati Batchelder .... production secretary
Owen Brafford .... location intern
Dan Carroll .... stand-in for Greg Kinnear
Jason Chorba .... set production assistant intern
David Cotter .... key craft service
Jean Dalsin .... production assistant
Brianna Deihl .... set production assistant intern
Devon A Early .... stand-in: Bob
Ami Francis .... production accountant
Alex Frecon .... assistant to director (as Sir Alex Frecon)
Dan Godar .... set production assistant intern
Jim Gregory .... head caterer
Daniel Gusman .... marketing and publicity: international sales
Laurel Hasbargen .... assistant production coordinator
Anne Healy .... location manager
Jed Hirschfeld .... office production assistant
Brody Israelson .... production assistant
Ken Jones .... production assistant
Matt Kane .... location intern
Max Leeds .... legal counsel: international sales
Scott MacKay .... assistant location manager
Trinidy McMahon .... production assistant
Kai Miller .... assistant location manager
Aleshia Mueller .... pre-production secretary
June Neely .... set production intern (as Junella Neely)
Barbara O'Brien .... animal wrangler
Brian O'Shea .... world sales executive
Margaret J. Orlando .... production coordinator
Bruce Resnik .... script supervisor
Julia Schaffer .... assistant to the producers
Anne Scheidnes .... accounting clerk
Darci Stilson .... craft assistant
Sarah Storbakken .... additional craft service
Charlotte Summers .... assistant to cast
Joel Thingvall .... location consultant
Marsha Trainer .... assistant accountant
Jill Varon .... production attorney
Stefan Veit .... assistant to chef
Michael Wilhelmson .... caterer server
Mariko Yoshimura-Rank .... office coordinator for werc werk works

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"The Convincer" - USA (original title)
See more »
Rated R for language, and brief violent and sexual content
93 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

The violin shop featured in the film, Dahl Violins, is an actual violin shop in downtown Minneapolis. In the film, the shop is supposed to be located in Chicago. However, when Mickey and Randy break into the shop at night, the skyline which is prominently featured in the scene's initial shot is obviously Minneapolis, not Chicago.See more »
Leave Our WorriesSee more »


What are the differences between the Theatrical Version and the Unrated Director's Cut?
See more »
5 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
The kind of film you feel bad to complain about, 14 July 2013
Author: Steve Pulaski from United States

Even if I disliked Thin Ice, I'd still have major sympathy for co-writer/director Jill Sprecher, who seemed to have went through hell and high water just to get this film a release. Thin Ice was originally released to Sundance under the name "The Convincer," in a one-hundred and fourteen minute cut that received strong reception from audiences and critics. However, the studio that purchased the film insisted that the score be redundant, the editing reworked, and the pace of the film increased, making the picture ninety-three minutes instead of one-hundred and fourteen. Sprecher, obviously embarrassed and frustrated, has basically given up on Thin Ice and likely looks at it as a sore spot on her career.

That note alone should make one hesitate before publishing something negative about the film. It makes me consider my position as an online film critic deeper, too. Here I am, a viewer of many movies a year (last year almost five-hundred) by choice, and I don't always take into account the effort it takes to make a picture and the stress that numerous people likely go under. Thin Ice is a perfect example of a film I hesitate to review because I feel as if I have not seen the real thing. The ninety-three minute cut has received mixed reception, contrary to the original films near-acclaim.

Regardless, I find Thin Ice - in and of itself - a solid crime caper. The story centers around Mickey Prohaska (Greg Kinnear), a third rate insurance salesman in a dire financial predicament, looking to invest in something that will increase his reliability, win back his wife, and get him out of the frigid, merciless conditions the Wisconsin cold has brought him. He teams up with another man to try and sell Gorvy Hauer (Alan Arkin), an elderly, senile farmer, insurance despite knowing the man doesn't have much money at all. When Mickey discovers he has an expensive-looking violin, he has it appraised only to realize it is slightly rare and valued at $25,000.

This seems all well and good until Randy Kinney (Billy Crudup), a local con-man with an unstable temper, discovers Mickey's plans and, in the process, kills one of Gorvy's neighbors. Now, in an effort to save his own skin, Mickey must work with Randy to cover up the murder, while trying to turn a profit from Gorvy, and sneakily sell his violin for what soon becomes an unruly amount of money.

One film that will cross nearly every mind that watches this film is Fargo, the Coen brothers classic. The entire picture seems like a spin off of the film, from the similar plotpoints to the locational weather to the darkly funny direction the film takes. Despite this, Sprecher and her sister Karen do a bold job of making this film stand on its own, simply because of the way events are piled on each other in a rapid-fire order and how the twist is tacked on at the end.

The acting, however, is the film's strongest feature, with Kinnear, Crudup, and Arkin being on top of their game in terms of convincing performances. Kinnear is a great everyman, but he has a way about playing a man who has a bigger, brasher internal view of himself in contrast to the way he actually appears. This kind of character's mannerisms are seen in the wonderful Little Miss Sunshine, where he played a father hellbent on selling success advice in a cheap twelve-step book. Here, he plays a deadbeat husband hellbent on selling insurance in a cheaply wrapped package and achieves the same level of success.

Meanwhile, Crudup's character is a tricky one to pull off. He is a character that requires the actor playing him to go from collective to explosive in a matter of seconds akin to a time-bomb. This works tremendously in contrast to Kinnear's "gotta keep everything subtle and cool" persona. Finally, it should come as no surprise Arkin is great here, but the role is made more special because it shows Arkin as something he rarely is - gullible.

Ultimately, there are issues in Thin Ice that need to be addressed. The pacing is a bit too fast and the opening is a tad sluggish when it should look to grab our attention. However, these are issues that I am almost certain wouldn't exist if the original cut had been released like it should've been. The product we are left with is pretty solid and an easy thing to recommend, but the entire thing almost feels like a cliffhanger that has no writer to complete it.

Starring: Greg Kinnear, Billy Crudup, and Alan Arkin. Directed by: Jill Sprecher.

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