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A History of Violence (2005)

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2:26 | Trailer
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 in this action thriller.

Director:

David Cronenberg

Writers:

John Wagner (graphic novel), Vince Locke (graphic novel) | 1 more credit »
Popularity
2,717 ( 311)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 37 wins & 80 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 thrill-packed actioner follows 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 ... Written by Anthony Pereyra {hypersonic91@yahoo.com}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A film by David Cronenberg 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:

A History of Violence See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$32,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$364,000, 25 September 2005

Gross USA:

$31,504,633

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$60,740,827
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

Many hints are dropped throughout the movie that Tom may be more than he seems. The big question then becomes whether he is what Carl Fogarty says he is. The diner scene in particular is rich with this. The diner scene obviously shows that Tom can be exceptionally brutal and efficient at killing people, (he even manages to disarm one of the robbers with just a coffee pot) but there are also more subtle clues at work, mostly by comparing Tom's reactions to everyone else in the diner. When the robbers first enter the diner, Tom reads them like an open book and tries to get rid of them by refusing to serve them coffee. When the robbers refuse to leave and first start acting upset, everyone else visibly has fearful or at least disturbed reactions; their hands shake, they freeze in place or startle, their voices quiver. Tom never changes the way he carries himself or his tone of voice, and a very quick shot of him pouring coffee for the robbers shows that his hand is perfectly steady. Lastly, the fact that Tom even passes up one opportunity to start fighting back because he realizes the timing isn't right and the older robber isn't distracted enough shows how calculated he is in his actions, and that he is not acting on impulse. When Tom is interviewed by a news reporter after the robbery he tries to downplay what he did and is reluctant to talk about it. The reporter takes a moment to highlight that Tom went way beyond an average Joe in handling the robbers. Jack violently snaps when finally pushed too far by the bullies, hinting that the violent nature runs in Tom's bloodline, and that Jack is capable of more violence than one would ever think from looking at a skinny, dorky teen. See more »

Goofs

When Sam the Sheriff comes to the house for the second time (after the second batch of killings), he parks diagonally at the beginning of the driveway, essentially blocking the entrance to the driveway. He and Tom/Joey go into the house to talk, and while they are talking, Edie pulls into the garage, parks and comes into the house. She could not have pulled into the garage with the Sheriff's car blocking the driveway. 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 »


Soundtracks

Club Hoppin'
Written by Michael Foster and Darrell 'Digga' Branch
Performed by Blinky Blink
Courtesy of Spirit Music Group
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
excellent, but not for the kiddies
6 October 2005 | by gsygsySee all my reviews

This is, like all Cronenberg's work, a mythic movie. It occupies the world of "monsters" that Tom Stall's daughter dreams about at the start. It's as if we get to see the little girl's nightmare as the film unfolds. It's because of this poetic, super-real quality that criticisms from the "this isn't real life" brigade have no relevance. The screenplay is exceptionally tight and well-woven - no image is wasted. The subplot of the son's troubles with a school bully parallels the main plot. The very existence of the son is there to show the inheritance - the history - of violence. The sex scenes are there to show the proximity of lust and violence. The end can be nothing other than what it is: as someone else on IMDb has commented, the genie is out of the bottle. This is true for the family in the film, the society we see surrounding the family, and it's true for our families and our society. It's about the inexhaustible rage of humans. It couldn't be more relevant, it couldn't be more timeless. It is well acted and beautifully photographed. I have some minor reservations - did we really need so much of Howard Shore's music? - but on the whole I think this is a superb film. Not for the kiddies, however.


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