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
1,752 ( 71)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 37 wins & 82 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 ... Charlotte
Heidi Hayes ... Sarah Stall
Aidan Devine ... Charlie Roarke
Bill MacDonald Bill MacDonald ... Frank Mulligan
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Storyline

Leading a happy and quiet life with his lawyer wife and their two children in the small town of Millbrook, Indiana, mild-mannered Tom Stall cherishes his simple, uneventful existence. However, their idyllic lifestyle is shattered when, one night, Tom saves his customers and friends in self-defence, foiling a vicious attempted robbery in his diner by two violent wanted criminals. Now, heralded as a local hero, Tom's life is changed overnight, attracting unwanted attention, and a national media feeding frenzy. Uncomfortable with his newfound celebrity, Tom tries to return to normalcy, only to find himself confronted by a mysterious man who arrives in town believing Tom is the man who wronged him in the past. More and more, as Tom and his family struggle to cope with their new reality and this case of mistaken identity, they have no other choice but to fight back and protect all that they hold dear. But, is there more to Tom than meets the eye? Does he have, indeed, a history of violence? Written by Nick Riganas

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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Viggo Mortensen bought many props for the diner and the Stall home from his trip in the American Midwest. This helped him get deeper into his character. See more »

Goofs

When the camera cranes down on the black car as it's being pulled over, the camera is reflected in the driver's window. 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.
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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

Life of a Fool
Written by Paul Burch
Performed by Paul Burch
Courtesy of Bloodshot Records
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User Reviews

 
A top notch thriller
5 June 2005 | by yrfilmsSee all my reviews

I saw the film at the Cannes Film Festival. All I have to say is: Wow. One of the best thrillers ever. It's refreshing to watch a film in genre that's so often full of clichés. Besides being a thriller, it also a smart film about the culture of violence. How it dominates our world. One of the questions the film asks whether one can live free of violence, even the slightest. In the film violence lurks in every corner and the characters are forced to defend themselves. Definitely my favorite Cronenberg film, also his most mainstream I might add. It's a modern Western and reminds one of those great Western films. As the title indicates it's a very violent film but guess it will be toned down as usual, specially the sex scene. All the stars are in peek form and perfectly cast. William Hurt makes a comeback to better roles. He was also great in "The King". It will and should get some awards at the end of the year from critics and etc.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

Canada | USA

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:

$61,385,065
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (heavily cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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