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A History of Violence (2005)

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A mild-mannered man becomes a local hero through an act of violence, which sets off repercussions that will shake his family to its very core.

Director:

David Cronenberg

Writers:

John Wagner (graphic novel), Vince Locke (graphic novel) | 1 more credit »
Popularity
2,169 ( 187)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 37 wins & 78 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Viggo Mortensen ... Tom Stall
Maria Bello ... Edie Stall
Ed Harris ... Carl Fogarty
William Hurt ... Richie Cusack
Ashton Holmes ... Jack Stall
Peter MacNeill ... Sheriff Sam Carney
Stephen McHattie ... Leland
Greg Bryk ... Billy
Kyle Schmid ... Bobby Singer
Sumela Kay ... Judy Danvers
Gerry Quigley Gerry Quigley ... Mick
Deborah Drakeford Deborah Drakeford ... Charlotte
Heidi Hayes ... Sarah Stall
Aidan Devine ... Charlie Roarke
Bill MacDonald Bill MacDonald ... Frank Mulligan
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Storyline

This is the story of a mild-mannered man, named Tom Stall, who becomes a local hero through an act of violence, he lives a happy and quiet life with his lawyer wife and their two children in the small town of Millbrook, Indiana. But one night their idyllic existence is shattered when Tom foils a vicious attempted robbery in his diner. Sensing danger, he takes action and saves his customers and friends in the self-defense killings of two-sought-after criminals. Heralded as a hero, Tom's life is changed overnight, attracting a national media circus, which forces him into the spotlight. Uncomfortable with his newfound celebrity, Tom tries to return to the normalcy of his ordinary life only to be confronted by a mysterious and threatening man who arrives in town believing Tom is the man who wronged him in the past. As Tom and his family fight back against this case of mistaken identity and struggle to cope with their changed reality, they are forced to confront their relationships and the... Written by Anthony Pereyra {hypersonic91@yahoo.com}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Everyone has something to hide. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong brutal violence, graphic sexuality, nudity, language and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA | Germany | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 September 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Una historia violenta See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$32,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$515,992, 25 September 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$31,493,782, 5 February 2006
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The mobsters were originally supposed to be Italian, but after the casting of Ed Harris and William Hurt, David Cronenberg decided to change the mob to Irish, giving Viggo's character the Irish surname Cusack. He felt that Mortensen, Harris, and Hurt wouldn't make convincing Italians. See more »

Goofs

Tom's truck is a GMC when he is working on getting it running. However, when driving to Philly, you can see Chevrolet is written on the steering wheel. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
William Orser: [Leland and Billy walk out of the motel room] So we keep headin' east?
Leland Jones: Yeah, that's the idea.
William Orser: Stay out of the big cities?
Leland Jones: Uh-huh.
William Orser: I think I'm tired.
Leland Jones: [Leland smiles] Yeah. Me, too.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Before its theatrical release in India in 2006, the film was certified A (adults only), but with cuts. Some of these including deletion of visuals showing a man's face blown off and taking off undergarment during sex were cut on the demand of the censor board, while other cuts like a lady lifting her skirt and showing her undergarment, an explicit sex scene and the sex scene on stairs, were made voluntarily by the applicant after the film's examination by the board. See more »

Connections

Referenced in MovieBerto: Una historia de violencia (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Life of a Fool
Written by Paul Burch
Performed by Paul Burch
Courtesy of Bloodshot Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Good & Bad Of 'A History Of Violence'
7 January 2007 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

This was a very intriguing movie, for the most part. It had some things that really turned me off, but also things that made it extremely interesting at times.

There is excellent suspense in this movie which builds beautifully. It begins with a nice, soft- spoken modest guy named "Tom Stall" (Viggo Mortensen), a guy who runs a café in a small Indiana town. He suddenly becomes a hero when a pair of serial killers enter his establishment, threaten to rape the waitress and possibly kill the rest of the people inside and Tom disposes of them with quick action. He gets national attention for his heroics, but that just brings in a couple of mysterious people into town. One of them, "Carl Fogarty," (Ed Harris) calls "Tom" by another name: "Joey."

That's our first glimpse that "Tom" may not be "Tom," but some guy named "Joey" from Philadelphia who used to have mob connections. That turns out to be true. In fact, "Joey" was a brutal killer in his past days. I won't divulge any more of the story for those who haven't seen it. It's simply a good story about how our past can come back to haunt us, especially if their is anything illegal or immoral in it.

I liked the fact that the action, although violent at times, was not overdone. Most of the movie is pretty low-key.

What I didn't care for, or thought stretched credibility, was our hero's wife, who was way too big-city-hard looking and profane to be some small-town country girl who would marry such a nice guy as "Tom." Maria Bello ("Edie") did not fit what this character should have looked and sounded like. Also, Tom's son "Jack" morphed from a nice old-fashioned, meek, picked-on school kid to a sullen, wise-guy, profane macho man in no time. That was unrealistic, unless they were trying to infer the kid was exactly like his old man. Speaking of profanity, 14 uses of the Lord's name in vain in less than 80 minutes was offensive, at least to me.

William Hurt gets third billing in the film but only shows up with 14 minutes left! Granted, his role is a memorable one, however. Harris also had few lines for someone who gets good billing. Another guy I thought was pretty cool was the sheriff, played by Peter MacNeill. He had bigger roles than Harris or Hurt but got no billing.

Overall, offensive material notwithstanding, this was a unique film and one I would would watch again.


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