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Before and After (1996)

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Two parents deal with the effects when their son is accused of murdering his girlfriend.

Director:

Barbet Schroeder

Writers:

Rosellen Brown (book), Ted Tally (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Meryl Streep ... Carolyn Ryan
Liam Neeson ... Ben Ryan
Edward Furlong ... Jacob Ryan
Julia Weldon ... Judith Ryan
Alfred Molina ... Panos Demeris
Daniel von Bargen ... Fran Conklin
John Heard ... Wendell Bye
Ann Magnuson ... Terry Taverner
Alison Folland ... Martha Taverner
Kaiulani Lee ... Marian Raynor, Prosecutor
Larry Pine ... Dr. Tom McAnally
Ellen Lancaster Ellen Lancaster ... Panos' Assistant
Wesley Addy ... Judge Grady
Oliver Graney Oliver Graney ... T.J
Bernadette Quigley ... T.J.'s Mom
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Storyline

When teenage son Jacob is being accused of murdering his girlfriend, the well-respected and close-knit Ryan family is in turmoil. Jacob flees, father Ben destroys possible evidence, the village community turns hostile and mother Carolyn is forced to temporarily close her doctor's practice. Then Jacob gets arrested and soon finds himself and his family entangled in a web of truth, trust and lies, all on his way to court. Written by Swie Tio <sweet_t_prod@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A murder. A suspect. A shadow of a doubt.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some disturbing images of violence, brief strong language and some sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 February 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Antes y después See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,023,815, 25 February 1996, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$8,797,839
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Wesley Addy's final film. See more »

Goofs

The fact that Jacob walked away from the scene while the girl was still alive was never addressed. It was confirmed as the girl was still alive by the time she got to the hospital, but no one used this against Jacob. See more »

Quotes

[Jude visits her and Jake's tree house]
Judith Ryan: Jake? I know you don't wanna talk, but I just need to see you. Can I come up? Please?
[No response. Jude turns away, dejected. Then, the ladder falls down. Jude climbs up]
Judith Ryan: Can I just ask you one question?
[Jake says nothing]
Judith Ryan: Did you ever really go anywhere, Jake?
[Jake still says nothing]
Judith Ryan: Okay. That's cool. I understand. But, just so you know, when you were in that jail, I tried to come. They wouldn't let me. Jake, I really wanted to see you. They act like ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Stuck on You (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Crawling
Written by Dave McClain and Phil Rind
Performed by Sacred Reich
courtesy of Hollywood Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Compelling theme is weakened with low production standards
19 April 1999 | by PelradSee all my reviews

The shortcomings of the United States' justice system are explored in "Before and After". A youth (Jacob) is fighting with his girlfriend and she accidentally falls on a jack which kills her. The family grapples with whether or not to tell the truth not only the courts but to their own lawyer and police officer who is a family friend. Is it morally right to tell the truth that the girl's death was nothing more than a mere accident and hope that it will be believed or should a story be made up in the hopes that Jacob will be let off since the police have no evidence. (The father, in the interests of protecting his son, wiped the jack clean of the blood).

We learn of course, that everyone is against the mother and son who want to just tell the truth, especially the lawyer who is interested more in getting Jacob off the hook, no matter how much of a story he has to invent, how many lies he has to tell, how many people's characters he has to besmirch. The moral structure behind the criminal justice system in the U.S. is uncovered as not one that seeks what is right or true but what kind of entertaining bi-polar battles between the defense and the prosecution can be unleashed in a furious game of words.

While the theme of the film is compelling, the production standards are low. This seems more like a made-for-TV movie. With big guns like Liam Neeson and Meryl Streep you'd expect better acting. While Streep's performance is okay, Neeson seems like not the best choice for this role. Also, the actor playing the second dark-haired lawyer seems too clownish for his role. Surprisingly, I found that the young actors were the strongest. The actors playing the two children, especially "Jacob" were extremely skilled.


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