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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
2,487 ( 319)
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:

Tom Stall had the perfect life... until he became a hero. 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

When David Cronenberg first received the script there was no indication regarding its being based on a graphic novel. It wasn't until he'd done his own rewrite that he was made aware of the source material. He chose not to read it as the film had already evolved into its own thing. See more »

Goofs

When William Orser drives the car in front of the office at the beginning of the movie, the boom and some crewmembers are reflected in the front fender. 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 Hell's Kitchen: A Fond Farewell (2018) 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

 
A gripping experience with complex themes
14 September 2005 | by trez1See all my reviews

I saw this film at a special screening in NYC on Tuesday. It is superb both in direction and acting. Both the sex and violent scenes are quick and direct. While the violence is quite graphic, as to be expected with Cronenberg, the camera does not linger on it at all. The real story is told through the emotional dynamics in the family as the plot unfolds. Mortensen's performance as Tom Stall is brilliant and wonderfully nuanced and the entire cast is first rate. Maria Bello as the wife and Ashton Holmes as the son and Ed Harris as the "heavy" are spot on. William Hurt's scene is a standout. There are moments in the film where you laugh and then are horrified within seconds. DC doesn't dumb down to the audience but enjoys the complexities of human reactions to issues of identity, violence and society's view of "good" versus "bad" violence. I still can't get this film out of my mind. I'm definitely planning on seeing it again when it opens widely. Highly recommended.


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