7.6/10
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435 user 138 critic

The Life of David Gale (2003)

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0:31 | Trailer
A man against capital punishment is accused of murdering a fellow activist and is sent to death row.

Director:

Alan Parker
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kate Winslet ... Bitsey Bloom
Cleo King ... Barbara Kreuster
Constance Jones Constance Jones ... Reporter A.J. Roberts
Kevin Spacey ... David Gale
Laura Linney ... Constance Harraway
Lee Ritchey Lee Ritchey ... Joe Mullarkey
Gabriel Mann ... Zack Stemmons
Matt Craven ... Dusty Wright
Brandy Little ... Motel Waitress
Cindy Waite Cindy Waite ... Margie
Jim Beaver ... Duke Grover
Leon Rippy ... Braxton Belyeu
Jesse De Luna Jesse De Luna ... Supervising Guard
Vernon Grote Vernon Grote ... Door Guard
Rhona Mitra ... Berlin
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Storyline

When anti-death-penalty activist David Gale is convicted and condemned to death for the murder of a colleague, reporter Bitsey Bloom sets out to learn the story behind Gale's crime. What she finds challenges her belief in Gale's guilt and, finally, in the justice system. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The crime is clear. The truth is not.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violent images, nudity, language and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Germany | UK | Spain

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

21 February 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Life of David Gale See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$38,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,117,225, 23 February 2003

Gross USA:

$19,955,598

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$38,955,598
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Many of the protest scenes and scenes inside the penitentiary where filmed on location in Huntsville Texas. All of the extras are local citizens including actual Correctional Officers who simply wore their personal uniforms for filming. See more »

Goofs

To qualify for a death sentence in Texas, the crime of murder on its own isn't sufficient. There needs to be another alongside it, and rape is one. David is convicted of rape and murder and therefore qualifies for the death penalty. But he didn't rape Constance - their sexual encounter was entirely consensual - and medical forensics have, for many years, been able to tell the difference between forced and consensual sex. When Constance's body was examined, they would have concluded that she had not been raped. Therefore David could not be charged with that crime, and he would not have qualified for the death penalty. See more »

Quotes

Berlin: Did I tell you that when you were circumcised they threw away the wrong part?
David Gale: Yes, I believe you mentioned it. It's called schmuck.
Berlin: What?
David Gale: Part of the foreskin they throw away after circumcision, I believe it is called schmuck.
Berlin: Aren't we so fucking clever.
See more »

Connections

References The Insider (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Daughters and Sons
(2003)
Written by King Orba (as King Orba)
Performed by King Orba (as King Orba)
Courtesy of Half Mast Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Very Depressing Movie
16 December 2008 | by LucabrasisleepsSee all my reviews

It is strange how much this movie was ignored. It doesn't rank on many critics top 10 list and it wasn't a huge box office success anyway. Weird considering it is one of Kevin spacey's best performances. I almost cried at the end so the movie achieved what it set out to achieve.

The movie is about a man named David Gale(Kevin Spacey) who is a philosophy professor and also a anti-death penalty campaigner. He was arrested some time ago and convicted on the crime of raping and murdering a fellow death penalty campaigner named Constance(the gorgeous Laura Linney). He has been given a death sentence. He asks for a reporter during his last week to tell the real story supposedly. That reporter is Bitsey Bloom(Kate winslet) who shows a genuine disinterest at first towards the case but who has a reputation of reporting on difficult and controversial stories. Bitsey bloom travels with her partner Zack to the facility where Gale is held.

The movie has many twists and turns showing the collapse of David Gale's life as he changes from respected philosophy professor to an ostracised man because of some events in his life. These scenes are quite sad and depressing and Gale doesn't have many friends who stand by him in the hour of need. The way the movie flows is actually quite excellent and the revelation in the middle is quite surprising. It doesn't seem like a gimmick and that's where the movie triumphs.

The performances are quite amazing. Kevin Spacey as David Gale has given one of the best performances in his career and Laura Linney as Constance is cute,smart and amazingly compassionate. Kate winslet as Bitsey Bloom also gives a great performance as a woman who starts off as indifferent to the case but then transforms into a woman who feels genuine sympathy for the plight of David Gale. The background music is also quite amazing and this is one of the best in movies. At the very least it should have gotten an award for this category. The music at certain points is quite emotional and towards the end it is one of the reasons for the beautiful climax.

The only problem I have might be the rewatchability factor. I think I might not watch it again. Maybe because it is too depressing. But it should be definitely watched by people who are interested in the issue of death penalty and its accompanying ethical questions. The questions raised by David Gale in the interview with the Texas governor are one of the best examples. That scene alone is enough for people to watch this movie. The movie is also an example of how one mistake changes the life of a respected person in society and how quickly things can change in life if we are not careful about everything we do. So in essence it is not just a movie for death penalty campaigners and those who are interested in the concept of death penalty. But it is also a movie for people who are interested in human nature in general.

9/10


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