In an economically devastated Alaskan town, a fisherman with a troublesome past dates a woman whose young daughter does not approve of him. When he witnesses the murder of his shady brother, he, the woman and the kid run to the wilderness.


John Sayles


John Sayles
2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Laskin ... Albright
Leo Burmester ... Harmon King
Hermínio Ramos Hermínio Ramos ... Ricky
Dawn McInturff Dawn McInturff ... Audrey
Vanessa Martinez ... Noelle De Angelo
David Strathairn ... Joe Gastineau
Tom Biss Tom Biss ... Baines
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio ... Donna De Angelo
Jimmy MacDonell Jimmy MacDonell ... Randy Mason
Kathryn Grody ... Frankie
Rita Taggart ... Lou
Mérit Carlson-van Dort Mérit Carlson-van Dort ... Stacy
Monica Brandner Monica Brandner ... Corky
Maria Gladziszewski Maria Gladziszewski ... Denise
Kris Kristofferson ... Smilin' Jack


Limbo tells the story of people trying to reinvent themselves in the Southeastern islands of Alaska. The story revolves around Joe Gastineau, a fisherman traumatised by an accident at sea years before, singer Donna de Angelo and her disaffected daughter Noelle who come into Joe's life. When Joe's fast-talking half-brother Bobby returns to town and asks Joe for a favor, the lives of the characters are changed forever. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A condition of unknowable outcome See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Filmed entirely in Alaska. See more »


On some occasions when Noelle is reading from the diary in the cabin, she's sitting with her back to the fireplace. Since the fire is the only source of light at night, that would put the diary in shadow and make it unreadable. See more »


Donna De Angelo: How come you're not married?
[they laugh at her bluntness]
Donna De Angelo: Sorry, if you don't want to say...
Joe Gastineau: Probably the same reason you're not married.
Donna De Angelo: Because such a high percentage of men are jerks?
Joe Gastineau: No.
Donna De Angelo: Because women are scarce and winters are long?
Joe Gastineau: That's true, but...
Donna De Angelo: Because you're looking for someone fun to be with? Who understands your bullshit but is still crazy about you anyway?
Joe Gastineau: That's a bit much to ask for.
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Dimming of the Day
Written by Richard Thompson
Performed by Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
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User Reviews

Great film and a notable DVD
24 July 2001 | by JuguAbrahamSee all my reviews

After seeing this movie on DVD, I found that I admired Sayles as a director, actress Mastrantonio as a talented singer, and David Straithern as an actor. Earlier I was only familiar with the above-average work of Mastrantonio but here she is remarkable. It is indeed sad that such interesting and well-made movies never fetch an Oscar, if not major Oscars. It is indeed "Ox-bow incident" revisited.

Every aspect of the film is well crafted and rivetting for any intelligent viewer.

The DVD commentary is a great one for movie enthusiasts.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

7 July 1999 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Limbo See more »

Filming Locations:

Alaska, USA See more »


Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$139,634, 6 June 1999

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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