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The Outsider (2002)

A western love story revolving around the forbidden love between a young widow from a Mennonite-like religious group and a cold-blooded gunslinger whom she takes into her home after he is wounded.


Randa Haines


Penelope Williamson (book), Jenny Wingfield (teleplay)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Tim Daly ... Johnny Gault
Naomi Watts ... Rebecca Yoder
Keith Carradine ... Noah Weaver
David Carradine ... Doctor Lucas Henry
Thomas Curtis Thomas Curtis ... Benjo Yoder
Brett Tucker ... Ben Yoder
John Noble ... Fergus Hunter
Grant Piro ... Woodrow Wharton
Peter McCauley ... Isaiah Miller
Jason Clarke ... Ray Childress
Todd Leigh ... Mose
Aaron James Cash ... Samuel Miller (as Aaron Cash)
Simon Watts ... Abram Miller
Eamon Farren ... Levi Miller
Kim Knuckey Kim Knuckey ... Sheriff Getts
Learn more

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A western love story revolving around the forbidden love between a young widow from a Mennonite-like religious group and a cold-blooded gunslinger whom she takes into her home after he is wounded.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance | Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence and a scene of sexuality

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The hauntingly beautiful background music in the movie was mostly Norwegian folk songs - Bla Tonar Fra Lom & Jenta I Saueflokken and although, the "Plain People" in the movie appear to be something like Amish or Mennonites - there were no Norwegian settlements of this kind in the US. Most of these groups came from Germany & Switzerland. Most Norwegians coming to the US during this time period were Lutherans. Also, the hymn they sing during the barn religious ceremony was sung in Norwegian. See more »


Rebecca is seen helping ewes in labor and Johnny is seen with a lamb during the same scene. However, despite seeing the herd a number of times after that, no lambs are ever seen again. See more »

User Reviews

Excellent film
28 October 2004 | by mostert2See all my reviews

The Outsider (based on a novel by Penelope Williamson) A film review by Joan Mostert

The Outsider, Johnny Gault (Tim Daly), arrives as a wounded stranger in an Amish-like community and is tended by Rebecca Yoder (Naomi Watts) who is a daughter of the 'plain' people. Doc Henry (David Carradine) wonders 'what kind of marks were left on his soul' when he sees the old wounds that were inflicted on Johnny's body. Although Johnny is seen as a 'shootist' and a dark, dangerous man, Rebecca has faith in the good of people.

The 'plain' people are intolerant of strangers and Noah Weaver (Keith Carradine), who is a potential suitor, resents the stranger. It is ironic that the 'plain' people do not realize that they too are Outsiders. Hunter, the cattle baron (John Noble) tells them that his family worked the land for three generations and he will not yield. Noah resents Rebecca's independence of thought. Although she belongs to the community, she does not share their herd instinct.

Rebecca experiences transcendence when she is in harmony with nature, it is then that she hears her inner music. It is pleasant for her to see the sun while Johnny knows how to read eyes because he is a 'shootist'. Because music is forbidden by the 'plain' people, except for the singing of hymns, she does not speak of her inner music to anyone except Johnny.

Johnny is a strong, passionate man and his facial expressions reveal his inner moods of anger, love and hate. He often reveals a sense of humour when, for instance, Rebecca asks him why he is buying a horse he replies, 'because you are the one that promised that I was gonna be gone.'

The preacher and the 'plain' people do not practice what he preaches: 'he who loveth God love his brother.' They see Johnny as the Outsider, not as a 'brother' within their closed community; Johnny sees them as 'kind folk.'

Doc Henry is a perceptive man who, in his quiet, understated way, understands people. The contrast of sun and rain, light and dark during the scenes of emotional intensity underscores the drama. The fine interactions of the ensemble cast all contribute towards the excellent film which is 'truly a pleasant thing to behold.'

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Release Date:

10 November 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El forastero See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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