6.2/10
2,044
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 narration of this movie is supposed to be Father McKinnon telling the story to Hannibal Thurman, yet there are parts of the story that Hannibal is in which would certainly not have to be told to Hannibal by McKinnon. If that isn't bad enough, there is a part of the narration (right after Roger agrees to be the surrogate father) that McKinnon says "Hannibal knew that.........." even though it is Hannibal he is talking to. 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.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Ave Maria
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach (uncredited) and Charles Gounod (uncredited)
Performed by The New England Conservatory Chamber Singers
Courtesy of The New England Conservatory
See more »

User Reviews

 
Entertaining, nicely filmed, inaccurate.
29 December 2000 | by MatthewJPSee all my reviews

Kenneth Branagh, as expected, performed very well. What was difficult to absorb as "possible" were the Catholic religious elements depicted. They were wrong and inaccurate. For example, the Mass vestments were not correct. The conversations and characterizations of the pastor and the young priest, for that period of time (Boston in the late 30s, early 40s) were off key, to say the least. The plot was interesting, but the film was too long, and there was too much "symbolism", and the "next move" was always predictable. With such a fine cast, and a great story, the producers and the directors should have taken time to be more accurate and correct about details. Another example of the lack of care was the scene where the young priest is seen administering "Anointing of the Sick" [formerly called "Extreme Unction"] to a corpse about to be buried. This never happens and is actually forbidden in the RC Church. Dead people cannot receive "sacraments." Attention must be paid. Details, details, details. The truth is in the details. However, I did enjoy it. I think most people would find this film interesting and entertaining.


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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 (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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