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A Perfect World (1993)

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A kidnapped boy strikes up a friendship with his captor: an escaped convict on the run from the law, while the search is headed up by an honorable Texas Ranger.

Director:

Clint Eastwood
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4,782 ( 122)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Costner ... Butch Haynes
Clint Eastwood ... Red Garnett
Laura Dern ... Sally Gerber
T.J. Lowther ... Phillip Perry
Keith Szarabajka ... Terry Pugh
Leo Burmester ... Tom Adler
Paul Hewitt ... Dick Suttle
Bradley Whitford ... Bobby Lee
Ray McKinnon ... Bradley
Jennifer Griffin ... Gladys Perry
Leslie Flowers Leslie Flowers ... Naomi Perry
Belinda Flowers Belinda Flowers ... Ruth Perry
Darryl Cox ... Mr. Hughes
Jay Whiteaker Jay Whiteaker ... Superman
Taylor Suzanna McBride Taylor Suzanna McBride ... Tinkerbell
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Storyline

After escaping from a Huntsville prison, convict Butch Haynes and his partner Terry Pugh kidnap a young boy, Philip Perry, and flee across Texas. As they travel together, Butch and Philip discover common bonds and suffer the abuses of the outside "Perfect World." In pursuit is Texas Ranger "Red" Garnett and criminologist Sally Gerber. Written by James Yu <jamestyu@ccwf.cc.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence, sexual content and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 November 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Perfect World See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,075,582, 24 November 1993, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$31,160,784

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$135,200,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Is one of two films released in 1993, in which Laura Dern co-starred with a veteran actor/director. Clint Eastwood in this film. The other film was Jurassic Park (1993), in which Dern co-starred with Richard Attenborough. In 2017, she and Eastwood's daughter, Francesca Eastwood appeared on Twin Peaks (2017), in which she acts opposite David Lynch, who also directed. See more »

Goofs

When Butch is blocked by the police car in the alley he puts the car in reverse and rams the squad car without any damage to his own. In fact, throughout the whole ordeal with the two squad cars he manages to keep the car from being damaged at all. See more »

Quotes

Sally Gerber: The idea is that an understanding of the particular behavioral case histories should, in parole situations, help the subject to avoid habitual traps and, in penal escape situations could, conversely, identify those self-same traps as an aid to apprehension.
Chief Red Garnett: Let me tell you something, Miss Gerber.
Sally Gerber: Sally is fine.
Chief Red Garnett: Let me tell you something, Sally. This is not a 'penal escape situation', this here happens to be a manhunt. And no talkin' in circles is gonna fix all that.
Sally Gerber: And what will?
Chief Red Garnett: That's having...
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Eastwood Factor (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Funny How Time Slips Away
Written and Performed by Willie Nelson
Courtesy of EMI Records USA, a division of ERG
Under license from CEMA Special Markets
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Perfect World Is Perfectly Watchable!
27 September 2003 | by tarryrobSee all my reviews

Some aspects of this film work better than others, but overall A PERFECT WORLD is a highly watchable film. Kevin Costner delivers a fine performance as escaped convict Butch Haynes. The film primarily focuses on the relationship between Haynes and an innocent 8 year old boy named Phillip whom he kidnaps and befriends (well played by TJ Lowther). Haynes has killed two people thus far and gives the impression of a being a loose cannon, but Eastwood evokes sympathy for the character as the audience learns about Haynes troubled childhood (raised without a father by a prostitute mother - killed a man by the age of 8) and observe his genuine care and concern for the boy. Their relationship is reminiscent of Allan Ladd and the young boy in SHANE. As he slowly feeds us more information about Hayne's history, and lets the audience wrestle with its ambivalent feelings towards Costner's character, Eastwood keeps the film moving with lots of close brushes with the law, car chases and shoot'em ups.

Where the film doesn't work quite is when Eastwood himself is in front of the camera, playing a minor role - Chief Red Garnett - a Texas Ranger who's in charge of Haynes' capture. The primary function of his character, and Laura Dern's (who plays Sally Gerber - a criminologist the Governor forces upon the Chief) in the script is to supply further information about Haynes' past. Unfortunately, Eastwood tries to flesh out the relationship between these characters through antagonistic chauvinist attitudes towards Gerber and creating a power struggle between the two which (big surprise!) over the course of the film, gradually leads to a mutual respect between them! Granted Eastwood and Dern have marquee value - especially Eastwood, are fine in their roles, and, of course, chauvinism was alive and well in 1960's Texas, but I mostly found these minor subplots annoying and unnecessary. It's the scenes and issues focusing on Costner's character that are the life blood of this picture. This criticism aside, Eastwood does a solid job directing, weaving action, suspense and thought provoking human drama into a well knit weave and Costner delivers one of the best acting performances of his career.

7 1/2 out of 10


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