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Primal Fear (1996)

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An altar boy is accused of murdering a priest, and the truth is buried several layers deep.

Director:

Gregory Hoblit

Writers:

William Diehl (novel), Steve Shagan (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
1,476 ( 198)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Gere ... Martin Vail
Laura Linney ... Janet Venable
John Mahoney ... Shaughnessy
Alfre Woodard ... Shoat
Frances McDormand ... Molly
Edward Norton ... Aaron / Roy
Terry O'Quinn ... Yancy
Andre Braugher ... Goodman
Steven Bauer ... Pinero
Joe Spano ... Stenner
Tony Plana ... Martinez
Stanley Anderson ... Rushman
Maura Tierney ... Naomi
Jon Seda ... Alex
Reg Rogers ... Connerman
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Storyline

Courtroom thriller about a slick, hotshot lawyer who takes the seemingly unwinnable case of a young altar boy accused of murdering an eminent catholic priest. Written by Jonathan Broxton <j.w.broxton@sheffield.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Don't believe everything you see... See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brief grisly violence, pervasive strong language and a sex scene | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

3 April 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Iskonski strah See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$293,515, 26 July 1996

Gross USA:

$56,116,183

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$102,616,183
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Andre Braugher, who plays a Chicago Private Investigator in this film, played a New York cop four years later in Frequency (2000), which was also directed by Gregory Hoblit. See more »

Goofs

The video recording of both psychiatrist's interviews with Aaron do not match the meetings we originally saw. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[while getting dressed as Naomi helps him]
Martin Vail: On my first day of law school, my professor says two things. First was: from this day forward, when your mother tells you she loves you, get a second opinion.
Jack Connerman: [chuckles] And?
Martin Vail: If you want justice, go to a whorehouse. If you wanna get fucked, go to court.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Big Wolf on Campus: The Pleasantville Strangler (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Deceive Me (Please Don't Go)
by Chuck Willis
Performed by Johnny Otis
Courtesy of Alligator Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Edward Norton strikes again !
24 February 2009 | by sfantu_smSee all my reviews

Since I saw "Fight Club", I have never witnessed such a performance by this great actor named Edward Norton. The great performance of the "double sided blade roll" of Aron/Roy is done with extraordinary finesse since he is known for his dual-sided acting skills when playing calm/aggressive or good/bad figures. Putting aside the fact that I heard and read about the big sacrifices that Norton did for the filming of "Fight Club" (losing 20 kilos and gaining the fit and full of muscles body in just 40 days) I wouldn't bee so amazed of the Aaron/Roy performance in "Primal Fear". Edward Norton leaves us stunned again. He plays the role of a 19 years old altar-boy in a catholic church with such a grace, that even a bad-ass serial killer would be jealous. Seen the movie, loved the performance and did another bow to Edward Norton!


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