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A Simple Plan (1998)

When three blue collar acquaintances come across millions of dollars in lost cash they make a plan to keep their find from the authorities but find complications and mistrust weaving its way into their plan.

Director:

Sam Raimi

Writers:

Scott B. Smith (novel), Scott B. Smith (screenplay)
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Popularity
3,457 ( 254)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bill Paxton ... Hank
Bridget Fonda ... Sarah
Billy Bob Thornton ... Jacob
Brent Briscoe ... Lou
Jack Walsh Jack Walsh ... Tom Butler
Chelcie Ross ... Carl
Becky Ann Baker ... Nancy Chambers
Gary Cole ... Baxter
Bob Davis ... FBI Agent Renkins
Peter Syvertsen ... FBI Agent Freemont
Tom Carey Tom Carey ... Dwight Stephanson
John Paxton ... Mr. Schmitt
Marie Mathay Marie Mathay ... News Reporter
Paul Magers Paul Magers ... Anchorman
Joan Steffand Joan Steffand ... Anchorwoman
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Storyline

Three diverse characters, for the most part intellectually challenged, find a deserted plane with a bag full of millions of dollars inside. They devise a simple plan to keep the money if no-one claims it. Ofcourse, nothing turns out simple... Written by Filmtwob <webmaster@filmfreak.co.za>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They've worked hard all their lives, but they still can't afford the American Dream. Stealing it is even better. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Germany | France | USA | Japan

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 January 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Thousand Miles See more »

Filming Locations:

Ashland, Wisconsin, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$390,563, 13 December 1998

Gross USA:

$16,316,273

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$16,316,273
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

A member of ZZ Top (Frank Beard) was flown in for a cameo appearance during the funeral scene. He is barely visible in the film (look for the guy behind the funeral director/ behind white carnation). See more »

Goofs

There is no rear view mirror in Carl's truck. This is visible when the three men are on their way to the downed plane. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Hank Mitchell: [narrating] When I was still just a kid, I remember my father telling me what he thought that it took for a man to be happy. Simple things, really. A wife he loves, a decent job, friends and neighbors who like and respect him. And for a while there, without hardly even realizing it, I had all that. I was a happy man.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood, Extra!!! (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Preachin' the Blues
Written by Jimmie Wood & J.J. Holiday
Performed by Imperial Crowns
Courtesy of Strictly Hits Music & J J Holiday Music
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User Reviews

Well filmed, well paced drama-come-thriller that never goes too far
27 June 2002 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Hank, Jacob and Lou are out for a ride in Hank's truck when they hit a tree. Walking out into the snow they find a crashed plane in the woods with the pilot dead and a bag of money ($4 million). They decide to keep the money and wait to see if anything is mentioned about it. However as time passes mistrust and betrayal becomes murder as the original simple plan becomes more and more complex.

Sam Rami is a great director, albeit more well known for less subtle films than this such as the Evil Dead movies. However here he shows that he can deal with things that lack in OTT visuals etc but be a good subtle director. The basic story starts simply and gets more convoluted very easily. The plot twists are never absurd even if they are extreme, the way the story builds gradually is one of it's strengths. The best bit is the way that everything is simple (as in the title) – the snow makes all the scenes a simple white, the relationships are simple and the misunderstandings are straight forward. This simple nature makes the twists even more powerful as they come in the middle of a `normal' situation..

The cast are all very good. Paxton is especially good in the lead as the man who doesn't want to take the money originally who then is forced to take the lead in the actions that need doing to cover the crime. Thornton is the best – he not even that recognizable and he deals with his role really well. He may be a simpleton but he doesn't make it just a cartoon role. Briscoe is less well defined and Fonda isn't really key to the plot. Gary Cole has a small part towards the end and Paxton Snr has a small role.

Overall this is very enjoyable. As a noir it is very different to have it in a Fargo landscape. Rami's toned down direction is very good and he does very well with the exciting twists and with the emotional sections too. A different, sometimes slow, but very enjoyable thriller of greed and mistrust.


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