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Manderlay (2005)

Not Rated | | Drama | 3 June 2005 (Denmark)
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A story of slavery, set in the southern U.S. in the 1930s.

Director:

Lars von Trier (as Lars Von Trier)

Writer:

Lars von Trier (as Lars Von Trier)
1 win & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bryce Dallas Howard ... Grace Margaret Mulligan
Isaach De Bankolé ... Timothy
Danny Glover ... Wilhelm
Willem Dafoe ... Grace's Father
Michaël Abiteboul Michaël Abiteboul ... Thomas
Lauren Bacall ... Mam
Jean-Marc Barr ... Mr. Robinsson
Geoffrey Bateman Geoffrey Bateman ... Bertie
Virgile Bramly ... Edward
Ruben Brinkman ... Bingo
Doña Croll Doña Croll ... Venus (as Dona Croll)
Jeremy Davies ... Niels
Llewella Gideon Llewella Gideon ... Victoria
Mona Hammond Mona Hammond ... Old Wilma
Ginny Holder ... Elisabeth
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Storyline

After gangster Mulligan's (Willem Dafoe's) cars colony, fleeing northern justice, finds a hiding place in Alabama, spoiled, naive daughter Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard) refuses to travel on after seeing the Manderlay cotton plantation being run under slavery rules, called Mam's (Lauren Bacall's) law, including flogging. She keeps half of dad's goons as guard to force the dying matriarch-owner's heirs, which she shamelessly dispossesses and reduces to "staff", to taste destitution under absurd, gun-imposed contracts. The "slaves" are made free partners, supposed to vote for progress after lessons from Grace. But almost all of her democracy-pupils prove to be fickle, dumb, and selfish, except old Wilhelm (Danny Glover). Her and their ignorance in Southern planting and crafty Dixie ways means more problems are created then solved. By the time dad returns to pick her up or abandon her for good, she's the one who has learned and changed the most. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Liberation. Whether They Want It Or Not. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Denmark | Sweden | Netherlands | France | Germany | UK | Italy | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 June 2005 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

The Film 'Manderlay' as Told in Eight Straight Chapters See more »

Filming Locations:

Denmark See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,117, 29 January 2006

Gross USA:

$78,378

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$674,918
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

John C. Reilly was originally signed to play Dr. Hector, but was replaced by Zeljko Ivanek during production. A donkey was put to death while filming, and it was reported in the U.S. magazine Entertainment Weekly that this was what prompted Reilly to walk off the set, though he has never commented publicly on the incident, or his exact reasons for leaving this movie. Executive Producer Peter Aalbæk Jensen told Swedish media that "people should not be upset, instead they should think about the situation of the Third World." Since this movie was filmed in Sweden, they followed Swedish law, which says that animals can be put to death in movie productions, if a veterinarian is the one carrying out the killing. Writer and Director Lars von Trier cut the scene from this movie, which was attributed to protests from animal rights groups. von Trier said that he didn't want to draw attention away from the content of this movie. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: It was in the year of 1933, when Grace and her father were heading southward with their army of gangsters.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Closing dedication: In Memory Of Humbert Balsan 21.08.1954 - 10.02.2005 See more »


Soundtracks

Young Americans
Written and Performed by David Bowie
Courtesy of RZO Music, Inc.
Published by Chrysalis Music Limited
EMI Music Publishing Limited / RZO Music Limited
See more »

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User Reviews

 
it's a von Trier - so what do you expect
10 June 2005 | by wudamaySee all my reviews

I have already several years ago decided that Lars von Trier's movies can neither be called good or bad, they are always different and thought provoking but most certainly also irritating and annoying. Manderlay is no exception.

Our heroin spots a dictator on the axis of evil, storms in with light sabers and an ever-optimistic smile, brushes away the dictator and her regime, and is proud of having brought freedom and democracy to yet another place (any similarities with other persons - living or dead - are fully intentional and of course debatable).

But how do you make democracy work when people have not learned it through practice and the collective memory of democracy's fallacies since the ancient Greek city states. How do you make people value their freedom and be responsible for their own fortune, when it is much more comfortable to blame someone else for their fate.

Von Trier brilliantly and ironically discusses these issues with surprising twists in the plot. But he will most definitely offend all kinds of Americans who will be too rash to judge this movie as anything between a misunderstanding and an insult of the American people of whatever color.

Bryce Dallas Howard (Grace) delivers a great performance.

To make a movie on an almost naked stage with imaginary doors etc. is very different from anything else and it actually could contribute to focus more on the actors performance (as on a theater stage). But I think that the hasty cutting of scenes and the annoyingly shaky hand-held camera actually diminish the actors chances of delivering a forceful performance. I don't mind the hand-held camera of the Dogma movies, but this is no Dogma movie. It has "artificial" music, sound effects, lightning, requisites, etc. So why bother to have a hand-held camera.

Manderlay is an excellent movie for anybody who enjoys being provoked or how wants to confirm her/his prejudice about von Trier as a weird director with tendencies to be proud-to-be-old-Europe.


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