6.8/10
53,753
585 user 135 critic

The Pledge (2001)

Trailer
0:31 | Trailer
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
3,204 ( 618)
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, Nevada detective, Jerry Black (Jack Nicholson) 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 ages. 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 to be fatal? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Detective Jerry Black has made a promise he can't break, to catch a killer he can't find. 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie is dedicated to Michael D. Haller and Jack Nitzsche, "our brothers in arms". Haller and Nitzsche were respectively the Production Designer and the Composer of Sean Penn's first two directorial movies: The Indian Runner (1991) and The Crossing Guard (1995). Both died, Haller in 1998, and Nitzsche in 2000. See more »

Goofs

When Jerry is driving through the fences in the field, the window trim is damaged and the side mirror is turned inwards. However in the last scene but one, the car loses all its battle damage and the mirror is again straight. Not only that, but the big "cowcatcher" also disappears and the sunroof which previously was closed, is now open. As Jerry comes to a halt at the church, everything is as it should be. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jerry Black: She said it. She said it. She did.
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Connections

Referenced in At the Movies: 25 Years of Margaret & David (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

The Other Side of Town
Written and Performed by Steve Earle
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc./E-Squared
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
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User Reviews

 
Unexpected
23 September 2001 | by FunnyMannSee all my reviews

Having seen "The Pledge" without knowing much about it, I got something other than what I bargained for. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.

If you're looking for a good whodunit, avoid this movie. If you're looking for a fast-paced thriller, avoid this movie. But if you're into seeing an intense character study bolstered by impressive acting and clever directing (kudos, Sean Penn), you've come to the right place.

I read one IMDB review calling this film Nicholson's worst ever. This is not true -- that reviewer obviously never saw "Man Trouble" -- but I can see why some folks really don't like this movie. It doesn't deliver what you'd expect, and what it does deliver is neither conventional nor uplifting. In fact, it's pretty depressing. But if you ponder the story afterward, you realize there's a certain dark justice at work here. Like, blacklight dark.

So then, "The Pledge" is not a light and frothy piece, but if you're the type who thinks watching some poor b**tard's descent into madness is entertainment, have at it.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

WarnerBros.com

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 January 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Pledge See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,765,347, 21 January 2001

Gross USA:

$19,733,089

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$29,419,291
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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