6.2/10
2,049
42 user 17 critic

The Proposition (1998)

Longing to have a baby, a sterile 1930s Bostonian hires a man to impregnate his wife.

Writer:

Rick Ramage
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Loggia ... Hannibal Thurman
Bronia Wheeler Bronia Wheeler ... Sister Mary Frances
Kenneth Branagh ... Father Michael McKinnon
Madeleine Stowe ... Eleanor Barret
William Hurt ... Arthur Barret
Ken Cheeseman ... Wayne Fenton
Jim Chiros Jim Chiros ... Timothy
Dee Nelson ... Susan Vicar
Pamela Hart Pamela Hart ... Skip Taylor
Wendy Feign ... Maid
Blythe Danner ... Syril Danning
Dossy Peabody Dossy Peabody ... Hannibal's Secretary
Neil Patrick Harris ... Roger Martin
Thomas Downey ... Torrey Harrington (as Tom Downey)
Tom Kemp ... Arthur's Chauffeur
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Storyline

Father Michael McKinnon goes from the U.K. to Boston circa 1935. For unknown reasons, he avoids at all costs the most prominent parishioners, Arthur and Eleanor Barret. Meanwhile, Eleanor and Arthur desperately want to have a child, but Arthur is sterile, so they hire Harvard law student Roger Martin to impregnate Eleanor, but unfortunately Roger falls in love with her.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One man gave up everything he owned. The other, everything he believed in.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Scott Wolf and Matt Damon were considered for the role of Roger Martin. See more »

Goofs

The glass with juice jumps from one hand to the other when Eleanor is having her breakfast in bed. See more »

Quotes

Father Michael McKinnon: You're probably the one person in the world Arthur Barret respects enough to fear, loves enough to kill for.
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Soundtracks

How Do You Do?
Composed and Arranged by Sonny Kompanek
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User Reviews

 
Compelling
10 June 2002 | by ddelamaideSee all my reviews

Love it or hate it, and the opinions seem to be pretty evenly divided, this is a compelling film because of the performances of three fine actors--Kenneth Branagh, Madeline Stowe, and William Hurt. The story is incredibly far-fetched but, a la Six Feet Under, because it deals with emotions and fantasies we've all felt, it works in some sort of quirky way.

Madeline Stowe is absolutely radiant--confused, vulnerable, strong, passionate. William Hurt perfectly combines the ruthless Wall Street professional and the condescending tenderness of a man of his time. Branagh is a cypher whose screen charisma makes him riveting.

Some of the nitpicking in earlier reviews seems wrong to me. The Mass vestments are exactly right for the solemn high mass of that period, as is Branagh's demeanor. Extreme Unction can in fact be administered for a short period after death, though not, of course, on a corpse in a coffin. In fact, the only reason to open the coffin before burial is so that Eleanor can see who it is that's being buried.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 March 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Shakespeare's Sister See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$61,560, 29 March 1998

Gross USA:

$147,773

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$147,773
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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