7.5/10
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444 user 119 critic

A Simple Plan (1998)

Three blue-collar acquaintances come across millions of dollars in lost cash and make a plan to keep their find from the authorities, but it isn't long before complications and mistrust weave their way into the plan.

Director:

Sam Raimi

Writers:

Scott B. Smith (novel), Scott B. Smith (screenplay)
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:

Four million dollars and plenty of change. 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hank and Sarah have a black & white photo of Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno from The Incredible Hulk TV series on their fridge. 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.
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Connections

Featured in The 56th Annual Golden Globe Awards (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

So Sleepless You
Written by John Crooke, David Burris, Mike Kenerley & Mike Mitschele
Performed by Jolene
Courtesy of Sire Records Group
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
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User Reviews

 
Bleak crime drama in the wintery Minnesota woods
2 June 2019 | by WuchakkSee all my reviews

Two brothers & a friend from a small town in Minnesota (Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thornton and Brent Briscoe) happen upon a crashed plane in the woods, which contains over $4 million in cash. They assume it's drug money and hatch a simple plan to sit on the money until spring when the plane is discovered; if no one legitimately claims it they'll divvy it up. But things don't go according to plan due to idiocy, mistrust and greed. Bridget Fonda is on hand as the main protagonist's wife.

Directed by Sam Raimi before his ultra-success with the Spider-Man trilogy, "A Simple Plan" (1998) was written by Scott B. Smith based on his page-turning book of the same name (there are enough changes to make both worthwhile). The wintery Minnesota setting is fitting for the bleak psychological drama. Speaking of which, the best thing about this movie is its exploration of human nature and how "the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil," as the Bible puts it.

The movie effectively shows how basically good and normal people can be corrupted by the temptation of easy wealth; so corrupted that he or she is suddenly willing to murder, lie and connive. The story works so well because of the three well-defined characters. We've all met these types in real life: The wholesome, educated man who's not quite living up to his potential and yet is generally satisfied; the loser, screw-up who's never been with a girl even though he's in his 40s; and the annoying redneck hick.

The film runs 2 hours and was shot in Minnesota (Delano, St. Paul & Golden Valley) and Wisconsin (Ashland).

GRADE: A-


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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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