7.5/10
55,324
424 user 131 critic

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:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 15 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Lou
Jack Walsh ...
Tom Butler
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Tom Carey ...
Dwight Stephanson
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Marie Mathay ...
Paul Magers ...
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:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

22 January 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Thousand Miles  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$390,563, 13 December 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$16,311,763, 16 May 1999
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The bar scenes were shot in Delano Minnesota. The bar used in the scenes was an old bar that was changed into a private residence in combination with the apartment above. The only real bar in town did not meet filming needs so the crew used the private residence and fixed up the interior to meet the look they were going for. See more »

Goofs

A funeral scene in the latter half of the movie takes place in the middle of winter, but is a full burial service. In Minnesota, as is the case with other northern locales where the ground is frozen for several months of the year, the funeral for someone who died in the winter would occur in two parts: a "real time" memorial service followed by spring interment. 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

Referenced in Hollywood, Extra!!! (2014) 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

Well filmed, well paced drama-come-thriller that never goes too far
27 June 2002 | by See 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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