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Monster's Ball (2001)

R | | Drama, Romance | 1 March 2002 (USA)
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After a family tragedy, a racist prison guard reexamines his attitudes while falling in love with the African American wife of the last prisoner he executed.

Director:

Marc Forster
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Popularity
2,118 ( 523)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 14 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Billy Bob Thornton ... Hank Grotowski
Taylor Simpson Taylor Simpson ... Lucille
Gabrielle Witcher Gabrielle Witcher ... Betty
Heath Ledger ... Sonny Grotowski
Amber Rules Amber Rules ... Vera
Peter Boyle ... Buck Grotowski
Charles Cowan Jr. Charles Cowan Jr. ... Willie Cooper
Taylor LaGrange Taylor LaGrange ... Darryl Cooper
Yasiin Bey ... Ryrus Cooper (as Mos Def)
Anthony Bean Anthony Bean ... Dappa Smith
Francine Segal ... Georgia Ann Paynes
John McConnell ... Harvey Shoonmaker
Marcus Lyle Brown ... Phil Huggins
Milo Addica ... Tommy Roulaine
Leah Loftin ... Booter
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Storyline

Set in the Southern United States, 'Monster's Ball' is a tale of a racist white man, Hank, who falls in love with a black woman named Leticia. Ironically Hank is a prison guard working on Death Row who executed Leticia's husband. Hank and Leticia's interracial affair leads to confusion and new ideas for the two unlikely lovers. Written by Anna <annachan@amazon.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A lifetime of change can happen in a single moment.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 March 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El pasado nos condena See more »

Filming Locations:

Laplace, Louisiana, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$110,552, 30 December 2001

Gross USA:

$31,273,922

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$45,011,434
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (unrated director's cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The film cast includes three Oscar winners: Billy Bob Thornton, Halle Berry, and Heath Ledger; and two Oscar nominees: Milo Addica and Will Rokos. See more »

Goofs

When Hank goes to clean up the backseat of his car, two cameramen are reflected in the back window of his Ford Crown Victoria. See more »

Quotes

Ms. Guillermo: You must love him very much.
Hank Grotowski: No, I don't. But he's my father. So, there it is.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Thanks to Sam, Austin, Gabrielle. Scott Lambert is thanked twice. See more »

Alternate Versions

The Australian DVD release is the uncut version which carries a label saying "explicit version: not seen in cinemas" See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Mobster's Ball (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

(I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden
(1968)
Performed by Lynn Anderson
Written by Joe South
Published by Sony/ATV Songs LLC (BMI)
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

White Man's Burden Redux
1 September 2002 | by benierSee all my reviews

What are you repulsed by? Perhaps it's having sex with women of African origin inspite of the fact that you are a White male raised in a racist culture that dehmanises them. Add to this predicament, that you are a retired, widowed prison corrections officer who's only son kills himself because he feels he's failed you because he is not racist enough. Even worse, you become enligthtened enough to realise that .. you were ALWAYS wrong.

This is a brilliant story told from the rather selfish perspective of the White male. Mark Forster has directed a tour de force so intricate and psychologically honest that the story literally TELLS itself. Indeed, I'd bet this story organically spewed from souls of screenwirters Milo Addica & Will Rokos. They won't top this fete anytime soon. Such a gateway of insight only comes around once in a lifetime.

As a huge fan of David Mamet and Sam Shepard I am biased to appreciate a well balanced story, illustrated with terse dialogue, structured acting and effective filmic devices (i.e., the use of "white" paint", "black" coffee and "chocolate" ice cream in the film).

Any film student will also appreciate the poetic use of foreshadowing and irony in this film. This truly is SOLID filmaking that takes real chances with provocative subject matter.

The acting is superb more because of the Direction. To be certain: this is a Director's Film. Every aspect of Thorton's and Berry's performances is the result of very savvy Direction and attention to dramatic detail.

Kudos to Mr. Forster. I look forward his upcoming film "Neverland" with great anticipation.


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