7.3/10
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87 user 26 critic

The Whole Wide World (1996)

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In Texas in the 1930s, young schoolteacher Novalyne Price meets a handsome, eccentric, interesting young man named Robert Howard. He's a successful writer - of the pulp stories of 'Conan ... See full summary »

Director:

Dan Ireland

Writers:

Novalyne Price Ellis (memoir One Who Walked Alone), Michael Scott Myers (screenplay)
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6 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vincent D'Onofrio ... Robert E. Howard
Renée Zellweger ... Novalyne Price
Ann Wedgeworth ... Mrs. Howard
Harve Presnell ... Dr. Howard
Benjamin Mouton ... Clyde Smith
Helen Cates Helen Cates ... Enid
Leslie Buesing Leslie Buesing ... Ethel (as Leslie Berger)
Chris Shearer Chris Shearer ... Truett
Sandy Walper Sandy Walper ... Mammy
Marion Eaton ... Woman on Bus
Dell Aldrich Dell Aldrich ... Mrs. Hemphill (as Dell F. Aldrich)
Libby Villari ... Etna Reed Price
Michael Corbett ... Booth Adams
Antonia Bogdanovich ... Teacher
Elizabeth D'Onofrio ... Mrs. Smith
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Storyline

In Texas in the 1930s, young schoolteacher Novalyne Price meets a handsome, eccentric, interesting young man named Robert Howard. He's a successful writer - of the pulp stories of 'Conan the Barbarian'; she's an aspiring one. A friendship develops into a sort of courtship. Based on a memoir by Novalyne Price. Written by Eileen Berdon <eberdon@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A true story about the true love of the greatest pulp fiction writer of all time.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for a substantial amount of mild language and mature thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Sony Pictures Classics

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 December 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alle Liebe dieser Welt See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,318, 22 December 1996, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$136,933, 5 January 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Bastrop, Texas, home that stood in for the home of Robert Howard, was the World War II residence of Judge C. B, Maynard, a Major in the J.A.G. office at U.S. Army training center Camp Swift. On 6 October 1942, a G.I. trainee who had been institutionalized before induction kidnapped and choked to death the judge's eight-year-old daughter. Apprehended immediately in a stolen car. he was found guilty at court martial and sentenced to hang. He was executed 19 March 1943. The Maynard family left Bastrop later. See more »

Goofs

Enid says that Bob Howard thinks he's "Max Schneling" when he is pretending to box. The German boxing champ's name was actually Max Schmeling. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Novalyne Price: I met Bob Howard today. My old sweetheart, Clyde, brought him over.
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Crazy Credits

During her interview on "Inside the Actor's Studio", Renee Zellweger revealed that the end credit for Woofgang Zellweger was an inside reference to her dog, "Woof." See more »


Soundtracks

Cops Rag 2
Composed by John Fiddy/Gerhard Narholz (as Otto Sieben)
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User Reviews

 
Best Little Movie in the Whole Wide World
13 September 2005 | by shermatzSee all my reviews

I was thrilled to read the (almost) unanimous praise for this FANTASTIC little movie by fellow viewers, and I must chime in with my wholehearted agreement. Every once in a while you blunder across an under-financed and straight-to-video movie that just absolutely flattens you with that rare convergence of talent, story & production, and you're reminded anew of just how powerful a film can be.

Most of the previous postings give a good outline of the plot, so I won't recap it here. "The Whole Wide World" is remarkable in all sorts of ways, but I must use my space here to further celebrate the masterful acting of the leads, Vincent D'Onfrio (as Bob Howard) and Renee (as Novalyne Price). Indeed, the skill of the portrayals completely conveys the sense of time, place and emotional temperament necessary to draw us into their worlds--and break our hearts. And yeah, you're just absolutely made of stone if you're not weeping just a little as the credits roll(or trying hard not to). It's testament to D'Onfrio's amazing talent that we can clearly see Bob's misanthropic shortcomings, but still we hope this tragic misfit of a guy can (as another fan wrote here)"meet her half way." A DEEP, insightful performance by Vincent who has quietly been doing the same in lesser roles for decades now.

And I gotta give Renee her full due as well. She was EXCELLENT, fully credible, spiky, tender, flirtatious, frustrated, and ultimately emotionally exhausted trying to figure out this neurotic but strangely charming man she tried to get close to. Seeing this movie reminds me of "Casablanca" in the sense that you can't imagine anyone else in the Bogart & Bergman roles; no doubt other actors would have given their all, but I can't see how anyone other than Vincent & Renee could have spiked our hearts so fiercely.

Who would have ever thought that such a GREAT movie could be made of the abortive love life of Robert E. Howard? Of course that's not really what makes the movie great--as Flaubert said when asked to identify Madame Bovary, he replied "I am;" and so it is with "The Whole Wide World," where we are poignantly reminded of our own failures to engage with life and love in the ways we believe they should play out.

Again, I'm THRILLED to see how many other fans recognize the unique quality of this movie. I encountered it obliquely, noting its synopsis in the New Yorker back in '96 and thinking "what a curious thing to base a movie on." For some reason my sister tracked it down and loaned me a dubbed-from-TV video cassette; crummy video and sound, but the movie still BLEW ME AWAY (and it still does--thankfully it's now available on DVD). Given Renee's star power I don't think it will ever vanish completely, but we can only hope others will take a chance on this little masterpiece so it can one day receive the acclaim its excellence deserves.

I'd also be remiss if I didn't put in a small plug here for Robert E. Howard the pulp fictioneer; it wasn't complete hyperbole for Novalyne to dub him "the best pulp fiction writer..." His writing stands up well today; plenty of brawny page-turning adventure that still delivers fabulous escapist thrills for guys. But if some of us guys can watch this movie and worship it, I'd bet at least a few of the girls can read some Robert E. Howard today and get a sense of the tough-but-hurting guy depicted in the movie. But one certainly need not read Howard to appreciate this amazing movie on its own stellar merits.


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