The discovery of a corpse threatens to unravel a bumbling local politician's campaign for governor of Colorado.


John Sayles


John Sayles
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Chris Cooper ... Dickie Pilager
Richard Dreyfuss ... Chuck Raven
Cajardo Lindsey ... Lloyd
John C. Ashton John C. Ashton ... Director
Elizabeth Rainer Elizabeth Rainer ... Leslie
Donevon Martinez Donevon Martinez ... Lazaro Huerta
James Gammon ... Sheriff Joe Skaggs
Benjamin Kroger ... Deputy Davis
Charles Mitchell Charles Mitchell ... Henry
Danny Huston ... Danny O'Brien
Alma Delfina ... Lupe Montoya
Roslyn Washington Roslyn Washington ... Hilary
David Clennon ... Mort Seymour
Mary Kay Place ... Grace Seymour
Tim Roth ... Mitch Paine


Set against the backdrop of a mythic "New West," a satire that follows grammatically-challenged, "user-friendly" candidate Dicky Pilager, scapegrace scion of Colorado's venerable Senator Jud Pilager, during his gubernatorial campaign. When Pilager finds that he's reeled in a corpse during the taping of an environmental political ad, his ferocious campaign manager, Chuck Raven, hires former idealistic journalist turned rumpled private detective Danny O'Brien to investigate potential links between the corpse and the Pilager family's enemies. Danny's investigation pulls him deeper and deeper into a complex web of influence and corruption, involving high stakes lobbyists, media conglomerates, environmental plunderers, and undocumented migrant workers. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Vote Richard Pilager. The Best Government Money Can Buy. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Chris Cooper and David Clennon would later appear in another politically charged movie, Syriana (2005). See more »


When Danny is splashing in the mine, the type of flashlight he is holding changes several times. See more »


[first lines]
Ad Spokesman: Richard Pilager cares about Colorado.
See more »


References All the President's Men (1976) See more »


Darn That Dream
Written by Edgar De Lange (as Eddie DeLange) and Jimmy Van Heusen
Performed by Dexter Gordon
Courtesy of Blue Note Records, a Division of Capitol Records, Inc.
Under License from EMI Film & Television Music
See more »

User Reviews

Flawed But Well Worth Seeing
17 September 2004 | by jmatrixrenegadeSee all my reviews

I'm surprised at the opening negative reviews this film is receiving on the board. The suggestion this film is the worse Sayles had to offer gives his last couple films a better rating than they deserve -- the baby adoption one seemed unfinished and the one with the Florida (?) resort building was a bit bland to say the least. It is quite true that Silver City does not meet the standards of "Lone Star" and other great Sayles films -- he has gone into a bit of a slump. Still, this film suggests we might hope he is climbing out of it.

The film still seems more about sending messages than entertaining. The obvious Dubya clone is too broad, and we don't we see how he ticks. Richard Dreyfuss is great as the campaign director, though he too doesn't really get another screen time. Still, on the whole, there is a lot to offer, especially the sense of place (though some of the mountains look like fake background). Sayles also offers some great supporting characters, as always. Daryl Hannah must be underlined here; she is quite a find -- who knew?

Liking the film, I guess, depends on liking the former news reporter given the role to investigate an embarrassing find. I enjoyed Danny Huston's character and found his investigations handled well. The caterer/chef he hires to help him out also gives a nice performance as does Huston's ex-g/f, the reporter. As do others they both meet along the way. For instance, the scenes involving an investigative website and rightwing talk show host were enjoyable.

The film ends on a realistic note that is refreshing. It tells a story, stories actually, while preaching its message. And, some of the "bad guys" (including Kris Kristofferson) are not portrayed as evil slimebags or anything, adding a sense of fairness to the whole thing.

A flawed movie that remains an enjoyable movie for mature moviegoers.

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English | Spanish

Release Date:

24 September 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Silver City See more »

Filming Locations:

Colorado, USA See more »


Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$337,484, 19 September 2004

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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