7.0/10
13,489
174 user 66 critic

Affliction (1997)

A deeply troubled small town cop investigates a suspicious hunting death while events occur that cause him to mentally disintegrate.

Director:

Paul Schrader

Writers:

Russell Banks (novel), Paul Schrader (screenplay)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nick Nolte ... Wade Whitehouse
Brigid Tierney Brigid Tierney ... Jill Whitehouse
Holmes Osborne ... Gordon LaRiviere
Jim True-Frost ... Jack Hewitt (as Jim True)
Tim Post ... Chick Ward
Christopher Heyerdahl ... Frankie Lacoy (as Chris Heyerdahl)
Marian Seldes ... Alma Pittman
Janine Theriault Janine Theriault ... Hettie Rogers
Mary Beth Hurt ... Lillian Horner
Paul Stewart Paul Stewart ... Mr. Horner
Sissy Spacek ... Margie Fogg
Wayne Robson ... Nick Wickham
Sean McCann Sean McCann ... Evan Twombley
Sheena Larkin Sheena Larkin ... Lugene Brooks
Penny Mancuso Penny Mancuso ... Woman Driver
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Storyline

Boston University History professor Rolfe Whitehouse tells of the events leading up to the unexplained but not totally surprising disappearance of his older troubled brother, Wade Whitehouse. Wade, Rolfe and their sister Lena grew up in small town Lawford in upstate New Hampshire, where Wade and their parents, Glen and Sally Whitehouse, still lived. Wade was the town's police officer, in addition to having a multitude of side jobs directed his way by businessman and town selectman Gordon LaRiviere, in order to supplement his meager income. Wade was living on the edge emotionally. Long divorced from his since married second ex-wife, Lillian Horner, who moved to the city following the divorce, Wade had only infrequent visitation rights to his and Lillian's adolescent daughter, Jill Whitehouse, who seemed to love her father only because he was her father, but who seemed to see their visits solely as obligations rather than wants. Because of the animosity in his and Lillian's break-up, ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Wade Whitehouse is frightened to death of following in his father's footsteps.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Canada | Japan

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 February 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Den jagede See more »

Filming Locations:

Huntingdon, Quebec, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$63,979, 3 January 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$6,302,154, 16 May 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Black and White (some scenes)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Nick Nolte and Willem Dafoe would later act in Paris, je t'aime (2006). See more »

Goofs

Filmed in Quebec, in January and February 1997, the movie, which happens in a New Hampshire town, opens on Halloween day, late October. There is never that much snow on the ground, if at all, late October, in New Hampshire (or Quebec for that matter). See more »

Quotes

Glen Whitehouse: [Drunk] Christ Sally! You are such a good person. Capital G! By God you are... you are so much better than I am. I am no goddamn good at all. And you... you are truly a good person. Like a fucking saint!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bad Movie Beatdown: When in Rome (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Open the Door to Your Heart
Written by Ned Miller
Performed by Bonnie Guitar
Used by permission of Dandelion Music Co.
Courtesy of Bear Family Records
[Plays in the bar while Wade talks to his friend and hears the people at the nearby table gossiping about him.]
See more »

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User Reviews

 
What did you expect?
23 June 2007 | by pamsfriendSee all my reviews

A walk in the park, a fine romance, a Indy Jones and the Last Crusade. Come on, a combination of Russell Banks and Paul Shrader, the author who explores a school bus accident and the writer/director from Taxi Driver, or The Comfort of Strangers. Did you really expect a happy ending? The film is a dark side vision of Richard Russo's Nobody's Fool, which Paul Newman and Robert Benton turned into a tale of redemption on screen in that same part of the world. No redemption here. As Wade's brother's final voice-over lets you know that Wade is still out there, reliving his father's life, you are relieved to be permitted to leave this claustrophobic world.

Painful scene after painful scene are piled on each other, none more so than the painful rejection of Wade by his little girl. Children go through periods where their parents are embarrassments to them, but in this case, it is more of a fear than a shame of Wade that makes her want to be in her mother's arms.

This is a great film of uncompromising realism. It is a modern Jude The Obscure, but at least you were allowed to see Jude when he had hope and some happiness, and at the end he simply wore himself out. At the end of Affliction, all that you know is that Wade is out there in the world, his angers banked.

The film works because of Nolte's performance. Coburn has an easier job, but he carries it off. The sub-plots mean little, but show us Wade/Nolte in a field of action, and demonstrate that it is not only his personal life that is a mess.

Odd that Banks' The Sweet Hereafter locale was moved from upstate New York to British Columbia, and this film of bare rock, flinty New Hampshire was made in Canada also.


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