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
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 »
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 »
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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