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
2,083 ( 331)
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:

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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although uncredited, David Cronenberg contributed to the final shooting draft of the screenplay. See more »

Goofs

(at around 13 mins) When Carl Fogarty first shows up at Stall's Diner, he tells Tom/Joey that his name is 'Joey Dewsack' (mispronouncing 'Cusack' twice). It is most pronounced the second time he says it. 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

There are some minute differences between the US and the International version when it comes to some of the violent scenes:
  • Fogarty's thug, who gets his nose smashed into his skull has more blood spurt out in the International version in the shot where he is dying on the ground.
  • When Joey stomps on Richie's thug's throat, he spits blood (instead of it 'welling up') and the sound effect of the neck breaking is louder. Both shots last the same length of time and use the same take, the amount of blood was simply toned down digitally for the MPAA. Most video versions outside the U.S. use the 'international version' but the shots appear in the supplements on the U.S. DVD (In the featurette titled 'Violence's History', Cronenberg shows the U.S. and international cut scenes side by side and explains the reason why there wasn't a standard 'unrated' version in the U.S. was because the changes were so small).
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Connections

Featured in HBO First Look: A History of Violence (2005) 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

 
Well, what did you expect?
2 October 2005 | by xNINxSee all my reviews

I read through a lot of these comments, and it seems quite a few people who have given this film a bad rating based their judgment on either the sex scenes, or the gore (or both). Well, it's called "A History of Violence", and it's directed by David Cronenberg! What did they expect? The film is, simply put, amazing. Anyone who enjoys Cronenberg's other films will greatly appreciate this one. It speaks on many levels, and I suggest seeing it more than once to fully take it all in. Beautiful performances all around. I felt as though that is how people put in a situation like that would really act. I had a smile on my face the entire film because I have been waiting all summer (or longer) for a film of this caliber, and it was worth it.


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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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