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The Pledge (2001)

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A retiring police detective pledges to catch the killer of a young child.

Director:

Sean Penn

Writers:

Friedrich Dürrenmatt (book), Jerzy Kromolowski (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
4,852 ( 263)
1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Patricia Clarkson ... Margaret Larsen
Beau Daniels ... Rudy
Benicio Del Toro ... Toby Jay Wadenah
Dale Dickey ... Strom
Wendy Donaldson Wendy Donaldson ... Resort Owner (as Wendy Morrow Donaldson)
Adrien Dorval ... Sheriff (as P. Adrien Dorval)
Aaron Eckhart ... Stan Krolak
Shawn Henter Shawn Henter ... Bus Driver
Kathy Jensen Kathy Jensen ... Store Clerk
Taryn Knowles Taryn Knowles ... Ginny Larsen
Nels Lennarson ... Hank
Costas Mandylor ... Monash Deputy
J.J. McColl J.J. McColl ... Real Estate Agent
Gordon May Gordon May ... Criminologist #1
Gardiner Millar ... Deputy #3 (as Gardinar Millar)
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Storyline

On the night he retires as a Reno detective, Jerry Black pledges to the mother of a murdered girl that he will find the killer. Jerry doesn't believe the police arrested the right man; he discovers that this is the third incident in the area in the recent past with victims young, blonde, pretty, and small for their age. So he buys an old gas station in the mountains near the crimes in order to search for a tall man who drives a black station wagon, gives toy porcupines as gifts, and calls himself the wizard, all clues from a drawing by the dead girl. Jerry's solitary life gives way to friendship with a woman and her small, blonde daughter. Has Jerry neglected something that may prove fatal? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He may have retired, but he's still catching the killer See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 January 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Asesino oculto See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,765,347, 21 January 2001, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$19,719,930, 1 April 2001

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$29,419,291, 31 December 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The picture was a passion project for Director Sean Penn and Jack Nicholson. Unfortunately, the screenplay was turned down by every major studio in Hollywood. Producer Elie Samaha, and his studio Franchise Pictures, who specialized in picking up screenplays in turnaround, quickly pounced on the material and signed up Penn and Nicholson for a reduced fee. The pair agreed, as long as Penn could have complete creative and casting control. See more »

Goofs

When Jerry flips the light switches on when Lori comes to the station for the first time, the lights come on before he flips the switches. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jerry Black: She said it. She said it. She did.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In memory of our Brothers In Arms Michael D. Haller and Jack Nitzsche See more »

Connections

Referenced in High Chaparall: Robert Englund (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Why
Written and Performed by David Baerwald
Courtesy of Pale Rider Inc.
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User Reviews

 
Think twice before you watch this one.
28 September 2018 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

My summary is NOT because I disliked "The Pledge". However, two things about the movie make it very tough viewing. The story is about a sicko who rapes and murders children. This is NOT an easy thing to watch. Additionally, there is an absolutely horrific scene...and my wife bailed on the movie following it...and she's not especially squeamish. You see what looks very real as a man shoots himself in the head...blood and all! Be forewarned...this is not an easy picture.

Jerry Black (Jack Nicholson) is a police chief who is retiring. His final case involves the rape and murder of a second grader...and he takes the parents anguish to heart and pledges to find the killer. Although he's now retired, he spends his retirement searching for the person responsible...and it appears as if they've killed several times already.

There is much more to the story than this and the bulk of the film is Black post-retirement...and his life and the plot unfolds very slowly and lovingly. You really like the guy and care for those around him. And, that brings me to a disappointing thing about the picture. I really loved it to this point (despite the suicide and the squicky plot)...the finale really felt unsatisfying and vague. The reasons for this are in the IMDB trivia...the studio ran out of money! This also might make it tough to watch...or at least frustrating. It's a real shame, as I really, really liked the performances and the actors deserved better.


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