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Affliction (1997)

A deeply troubled small-town cop investigates a suspicious hunting death while other events jeopardize his sanity.


Paul Schrader


Russell Banks (novel), Paul Schrader (screenplay)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Nick Nolte ... Wade Whitehouse
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 ... Hettie Rogers
Mary Beth Hurt ... Lillian Horner
Paul Stewart Paul Stewart ... Mr. Horner
Sissy Spacek ... Margie Fogg
Wayne Robson ... Nick Wickham
Sean McCann ... Evan Twombley
Sheena Larkin Sheena Larkin ... Lugene Brooks
Penny Mancuso Penny Mancuso ... Woman Driver


Boston University professor Whitehouse tells of the events leading up to the disappearance of his older Wade. The police officer who investigates is deeply troubled, and the murder case drains his mental acuity to the point of a total mental collapse. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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 »

Did You Know?


This was the third Nick Nolte film shot in Montréal over a span of two years, with the others being Mother Night (1996) and Afterglow (1997). See more »


When hunting, besides making enough noise to scare off deer for miles around, Jack spots a deer and later calls it a buck. There's no sign of antlers on the deer, and we're unable to see the genitalia. Whether it's a young buck or a doe is anyone's guess. With that much snow, were it a buck, we'd spot antlers. See more »


Glen Whitehouse: That's what I've got for children. Jesus freaks and candy-asses!
See more »


Referenced in Nick Nolte: No Exit (2008) See more »


I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know
Written by Cecil A. Null
Performed by Skeeter Davis
Used by permission of EMI Unart Catalog, Inc.
Courtesy of The RCA Record Label
[Plays in the diner while Wade has a friendly chat with the diner owner and discusses his problems with his ex with Margie]
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User Reviews

when life was - and still is - bleak
16 February 2007 | by lee_eisenbergSee all my reviews

Paul Schrader's adaptation of Russell Banks's "Affliction" has got to be one of the bleakest movies that I've ever seen. Most of the characters are people whom you can respect, but James Coburn's character makes you feel like your stomach just turned to water.

Wade Whitehouse (Nick Nolte) is a cop in a small New England town investigating a hunting accident which he believes is a murder. He hopes that it might make him the town hero, but several conditions work against everyone. First and foremost is Wade's alcoholic, abusive father (Coburn). Pretty much anytime that we see his father, the man is still drinking and being as nasty as possible to everyone around him. Wade's brother (Willem Dafoe) is too afraid to speak his mind. Wade's hubby (Sissy Spacek) is simply getting nervous about everything around her. And the ending isn't what you might guess.

The winter setting is just the opposite of how movies usually employ snow. Far from any winter wonderland, the setting backs up Wade's depressed mindset affected by his upbringing. Everything in this movie has the purpose of making you feel like there's a lead weight on every square centimeter of your body, and they succeed. I do think that it's a good movie, but just be forewarned of what kind of movie this is. Even if you sympathize with the characters, you feel like there's a knife in your lungs.

Worth seeing.

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USA | Canada | Japan



Release Date:

19 February 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Affliction See more »

Filming Locations:

Huntingdon, Quebec, Canada See more »


Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$63,979, 3 January 1999

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital


Black and White (some scenes)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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