7.6/10
101,496
424 user 138 critic

The Life of David Gale (2003)

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ON DISC
A man against capital punishment is accused of murdering a fellow activist and is sent to death row.

Director:

Alan Parker
Reviews
Popularity
4,551 ( 346)
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:

Das Leben des David Gale See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,117,225, 23 February 2003, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$19,593,740, 30 March 2003

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$16,971,092, 6 November 2003
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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Roger Ebert gave zero stars for this movie in his review, writing it: "Spacey and Parker are honorable men. Why did they go to Texas and make this silly movie? The last shot made me want to throw something at the screen--maybe Spacey and Parker." See more »

Goofs

When Bitsey Bloom was watching the tape in the motel room before she asks Zack to go re-create the crime scene. A quick short close up of Zack sleeping showed him wearing a watch. Before and after this close up he was not wearing one. See more »

Quotes

David Gale: Fantasies have to be unrealistic because the moment, the second that you get what you seek, you don't, you can't want it anymore. In order to continue to exist, desire must have its objects perpetually absent. It's not the "it" that you want, it's the fantasy of "it." So, desire supports crazy fantasies. This is what Pascal means when he says that we are only truly happy when daydreaming about future happiness. Or why we say the hunt is sweeter than the kill. Or be careful what you wish for. ...
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Connections

References Dead Man Walking (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Crisp
(2003)
Written by King Orba (as King Orba), Michael Corcoran, John Remark
Performed by King Orba (as King Orba)
Courtesy of Half Mast Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
I found this to be an excellently executed film in all respects with tight, compelling writing, superb acting, and an ending for which they should employ the old technique of not letting anyone in during the
22 February 2003 | by the7bambooSee all my reviews

Don't be put off by one movie critic's assessment (morally dishonest, no stars) of this film - he just didn't "get it." This character driven murder mystery is one of the decade's best! Definitely four stars!

The layered conflicts drive the story forward like a Mack truck careening down the side of a mountain, making the movie seem much shorter than its 130 minutes. Kevin Spacey's compelling portrayal of David Gale, a brilliant, principled man with more than his share of human flaws and bad luck, is excellent and is surely Oscar material.

The story begins four days before Gale's execution in a Texas prison. Gale is finally breaking his years of silence by agreeing to tell his side of the story to news-magazine reporter, Bitsey Bloom. Skeptical that this Death Row inmate is out to convince her, and the world, of his innocence, Bitsey takes the assignment expecting it to be a typical, no-brainer.

Gale's story is told in a series of tightly choreographed flashback sequences, each building in character, motive and momentum toward an exciting and most unexpected conclusion.

The story also puts a very fine point on the debate over the death penalty and gives its audience something to talk & think about on the way home.

Not since "Presumed Innocent" have I been so deliciously unable to predict an ending! It is a pleasure to leave the theater feeling completely happy about having invested the price of my ticket in this movie! It is two hours very well spent.


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