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The Pledge (2001) Poster

(I) (2001)

Trivia

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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.
The photograph of Jerry Black (Jack Nicholson) as a younger man, is the same one used in The Shining (1980).
This is an adaptation of a Friedrich Dürrenmatt novel that was based on a story he wrote for the German movie It Happened in Broad Daylight (1958) (which had a slightly different, not as dark ending). In that movie, the murderer was played by Gert Fröbe, who played Auric Goldfinger in Goldfinger (1964).
Jack Nicholson's secretary in the movie, Jean, is played by Sean Penn's mother, Eileen Ryan.
The child murders depicted in the film were loosely based on actual cases that had been worked by Detective Joe Depczynski, the film's Technical Advisor. However, the cases were not thought to be the work of a single killer, as the film depicted, nor did the real detective come to the same end that Detective Jerry Black did.
Although the film is set in Reno, Nevada, none of the other places named in the film (such as Becker and Monash Counties) exist in Nevada.
The use of oranges and orange juice is the same as in The Godfather trilogy.
The name of the boat, from which Jerry Black (Jack Nicholson) fishes, is called "Sweet Lorraine", a name of an old evergreen song written by Mitchell Parish and Cliff Burwell. Lorraine is the name of Nicholson's sister and his daughter (with Rebecca Brousard).
The film 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 films: The Indian Runner (1991) and The Crossing Guard (1995). Both died, Haller in 1998, and Nitzsche in 2000.
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Was originally slated to film in Minnesota, but lost out to Canada for budget reasons.
The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list.
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The recording of the gospel preacher yelling "Holy Ghost power!" on Duane's car radio is from one of the Tag Team Preacher scenes in The Apostle (1997).
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There are several references to Denmark in the movie. Ginny's grandmother is called Anna-Lise Larsen (a common Danish name), at least two of H.C. Andersen's fairy tales are mentioned in the movie, and Jerry and Lori drink Carlsberg Beer.
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

According to Tom Noonan, additional scenes were supposed to be filmed that explain that Jackson was not the killer. But the production company had just experienced the failure of Battlefield Earth (2000) and demanded that the film finish under budget. The production was rushed, and a few scenes were left unfilmed.

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