7.5/10
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178 user 74 critic

Lone Star (1996)

R | | Drama, Mystery | 21 June 1996 (USA)
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1:42 | Trailer

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When the skeleton of his murdered predecessor is found, Sheriff Sam Deeds unearths many other long-buried secrets in his Texas border town.

Director:

John Sayles

Writer:

John Sayles
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 15 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Stephen Mendillo ... Cliff
Stephen J. Lang Stephen J. Lang ... Mikey
Chris Cooper ... Sam
Elizabeth Peña ... Pilar
Oni Faida Lampley Oni Faida Lampley ... Celie
Eleese Lester Eleese Lester ... Molly
Joe Stevens ... Deputy Travis
Gonzalo Castillo Gonzalo Castillo ... Amado
Richard Coca ... Enrique
Clifton James ... Hollis
Tony Frank Tony Frank ... Fenton
Miriam Colon ... Mercedes Cruz
Kris Kristofferson ... Charlie Wade
Jeff Monahan ... Young Hollis
Matthew McConaughey ... Buddy Deeds
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Storyline

John Sayles' murder-mystery explores interpersonal and interracial tensions in Rio County, Texas. Sam Deeds is the local sheriff who is called to investigate a 40-year-old skeleton found in the desert....As Sam delves deeper into the town's dark secrets, he begins to learn more about his father, the legendary former sheriff Buddy Deeds, who replaced the corrupt Charlie Wade. While Sam puzzles out the long-past events surrounding the mystery corpse, he also longs to rekindle a romance with his old high-school flame. Sayles' complex characters are brought together as the tightly woven plot finally draws to its dramatic close. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

John Sayles invites you to return to the scene of the crime.

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brief language, sex and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

21 June 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Estrella solitaria See more »

Filming Locations:

Coupland, Texas, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,845,000, 19 July 1996

Gross USA:

$13,269,963, 12 January 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Was #4 on Roger Ebert's list of the Best Films of 1996. See more »

Goofs

When COL Payne is reprimanding PVT Johnson about her failing the drug test, she has her hat on. Members of the US Army do not wear hats indoors. When he's finished he salutes her and she returns his salute--that's backwards. She should salute him first and hold the salute until he returns it. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Cliff: [cataloging the flora] We got cenizo, that's purple sage, agave, nopal... What's that stuff? Yeah that's it, that's whatchamacallit. That's horse crippler.
Mikey: This place is a gold mine.
Cliff: Lead mine.
See more »

Connections

Features Black Mama White Mama (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Since I Met You Baby
Written by Ivory Joe Hunter
Performed by Ivory Joe Hunter
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sayles' Masterpiece
13 December 2000 | by ProfessorFateSee all my reviews

I just bought this movie on DVD and watched it for the first time in a couple of years, and once again it amazed me. While most scripts stumble recklessly from one hackneyed plot device to another, "Lone Star" flows like a steady, winding river, never letting the viewer see too far downstream. The spine of the film is Sherrif Sam Deed's investigation into a thirty-year-old murder, yet this story is quickly absorbed by many finely scripted subplots and an overall theme on the futility of trying to escape history. While most directors can't help but show off when using flashy camera movement and jumps in continuity, Sayles employs such a subtle directing style that his leaps in time and location are seamless. Sayles fleshes out his script with subplots on racism, national pride, censorship, generation gaps, politics, social revisionism, and on and on. Most directors don't tackle this many topics in a career, yet Sayles juggles them all in one film without jamming them down the audiences' throats. If the subplots in Sayles' "City of Hope" were connected like a series of dominos, here they are gently woven together like a colorful, well-worn Southwestern quilt. The love story between Chris Cooper and Elizabeth Pena is both wistful and steamy. The film's social conscience is compelling. The father/son conflict between Otis and Delmore Payne (Ron Canada and Joe Morton) feels totally realistic. The dialoge is concise and insightful. Fate hangs over every character and every moment. Plus "Lone Star" has one of my favorite "final scenes", one that perfectly sums up the ironies of the film. It is simply one of the best movies I have ever seen.


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