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Simple Men (1992)

2:08 | Trailer
Bitter about being double-crossed by the women he loved, (and with the police after him to boot), Bill vows to seduce the next woman he sees, then throw her away. His brother Dennis, ... See full summary »


Hal Hartley


Hal Hartley
2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert John Burke ... Bill McCabe (as Robert Burke)
Bill Sage ... Dennis McCabe
Karen Sillas ... Kate
Elina Löwensohn ... Elina
Martin Donovan ... Martin
Mark Chandler Bailey ... Mike (as Mark Bailey)
Chris Cooke ... Vic
Jeffrey Howard Jeffrey Howard ... Ned Rifle
Holly Marie Combs ... Kim
Joe Stevens ... Jack
Damian Young ... Sheriff
Marietta Marich Marietta Marich ... Mom (Meg)
John MacKay John MacKay ... Dad
Bethany Wright ... Mary
Richard Reyes Richard Reyes ... Security Guard


Bitter about being double-crossed by the women he loved, (and with the police after him to boot), Bill vows to seduce the next woman he sees, then throw her away. His brother Dennis, meanwhile, is equally determined to track down their long lost father, a revolutionary who has been in hiding for 20 years. For different reasons, both leave New York and head for Long Island, out of money, and short on ideas. D:"Long Island is a a terminal moraine." B:"What's that?" D:"It's the material left behind when a glacier recedes." D:"Gee, then what the hell are we waiting for?" Written by Stuart Criley <scriley@welchlink.welch.jhu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


There's no such thing as adventure and romance, only trouble and desire.


Crime | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


"There's no such thing as adventure. There's no such thing as romance. There's only trouble and desire." It's probably the best-known phrase of this movie, but actually it's a quote from Fritz Lang's movie Dr. Mabuse the Gambler (1922). See more »


Dennis McCabe: I've never been to Long Island.
Bill McCabe: Yes you have.
Dennis McCabe: I have?
Bill McCabe: Yeah. You've been to Queens. Queens is Long Island.
Dennis McCabe: Queens is a part of New York City. I don't think it's really considered part of Long Island.
Bill McCabe: It's part of New York City, but it's on Long Island.
Dennis McCabe: Queens is a borough.
Bill McCabe: A borough, on Long Island.
Dennis McCabe: A borough of New York City.
Bill McCabe: Right.
See more »


References Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) See more »


Always Something
Performed by Yo La Tengo
Written by Georgia Hubley & Ira Kaplan
Published by Roshashauna Music, BMI
Yo La Tengo appears courtesy of Alias Records, Inc.
See more »

User Reviews

A Simple Joy
4 November 2000 | by PaulLondonSee all my reviews

Hartley has here created a near masterpiece; a wonderful, autumnally atmospheric and deeply human film. The usual quirks are there (the cyclical dialogues, the silences) but it is imbued with a warmth and love that makes the film unmissable. The fragile nature of relationships comes under the directors scrutiny as two brothers spend a couple of days in Long Island. The all night drinking scene complete with a dance routine to Sonic Youth's "Kool Thing" captures that dusk to dawn and too much Jack Daniels feel as well as any film I have ever seen. But, it is the closing scene which clinches it, a heart stoppingly romantic yet equally depressing end which asserts that through the pains of life, through the "trouble and desire" there is always a belief in other people that can keep us going. Life affirming (without being a saccharine "feel good" movie) and truly wonderful

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Italy | UK | USA



Release Date:

6 November 1992 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Simple Men See more »

Filming Locations:

Seabrook, Texas, USA See more »


Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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