6.3/10
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160 user 119 critic

The Ice Harvest (2005)

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A shady lawyer attempts a Christmas Eve crime, hoping to swindle the local mob out of some money. But his partner, a strip club owner, might have different plans for the cash.

Director:

Harold Ramis

Writers:

Richard Russo (screenplay), Robert Benton (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Cusack ... Charlie Arglist
Billy Bob Thornton ... Vic Cavanaugh
Lara Phillips ... Rusti
Bill Noble Bill Noble ... Culligan
Brad Smith Brad Smith ... Ronny
Ned Bellamy ... Sidney
Connie Nielsen ... Renata Crest
Mike Starr ... Roy Gelles
T.J. Jagodowski T.J. Jagodowski ... Officer Tyler
Meghan Maureen McDonough ... Francie
Tab Baker Tab Baker ... Dennis
Frank Gallo Frank Gallo ... Restaurateur
William Dick ... Manager
Oliver Platt ... Pete Van Heuten
David Pasquesi ... Councilman Williams
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Storyline

Larceny, lust and lethal behavior. In icebound Wichita, Kansas, it's Christmas Eve, and this year Charlie Arglist just might have something to celebrate. Charlie, an attorney for the sleazy businesses of Wichita, and his unsavory associate, the steely Vic Cavanaugh have just successfully embezzled $2 million from Kansas City boss Bill Guerrard. But the real prize for Charlie is the stunning Renata, who runs the Sweet Cage strip club. Charlie hopes to slip out of town with Renata. But as daylight fades and an ice storm whirls, everyone from Charlie's drinking buddy Pete Van Heuten to the local police begin to wonder just what exactly is in Charlie's Christmas stocking - and the 12 hours of Christmas Eve are filled with surprises. Written by focus features

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Thick Thieves. Thin Ice. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, language and sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Universal [United States]

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 November 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La cosecha de hielo See more »

Filming Locations:

Carpentersvillle, Illinois, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,740,799, 27 November 2005

Gross USA:

$8,819,059, 11 December 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Scott Phillips initially convinced himself that his novel The Ice Harvest was unadaptable. Upon reading it again, he felt that his book could indeed be adapted. See more »

Goofs

When Charlie is in the convenience store buying the toys for his children, a cooler can be seen with wine in it. Kansas only sells wine in liquor stores. See more »

Quotes

Charlie Arglist: Did I ever tell you my father was a twin?
Pete Van Heuten: Identical?
Charlie Arglist: Fraternal. Looked a lot alike, though, him and my uncle. Different temperaments completely. My father, he's a cop. By-the-book guy. Believed in the law, wanted his only son to be a lawyer. Drank in moderation, didn't smoke. Kept up his life insurance premiums. Voted in every election, not just for president.
Pete Van Heuten: Lemme guess, uncle didn't vote?
Charlie Arglist: He said he didn't want to encourage the bastards. In and out of jail from the time he was 16... drunk ...
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Connections

Referenced in Be Kind Rewind (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Hark the Herald Angels Sing
Written by Charles Wesley and Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Performed by David Kitay
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User Reviews

 
Blue Christmas for Cusack and Thornton in Seriocomic Noir Thriller
27 November 2005 | by dtbSee all my reviews

THE ICE HARVEST (TIH), another quirky triumph from Focus Features, should really be sold as a thriller with darkly comedic undertones a la FARGO rather than a comedy with thriller elements a la GROSSE POINTE BLANK (even though John Cusack looks remarkably like he did in GPB here). It's a subtle but crucial difference, and a successful change in tone for director Harold Ramis. The suspenseful yet surreally funny Kansas-set story of nervous Mob lawyer John Cusack teaming up with laid-back yet ruthless Billy Bob Thornton to steal over $2 million from Cusack's boss Randy Quaid, only to find themselves stuck in Wichita by an ice storm and all manner of goof-ups and goofballs, with a hit man on their tail to-boot, TIH tells its twisted tale as if my fave thriller author Jim Thompson (THE GRIFTERS, THE GETAWAY, POP. 1280, among others) wrote it in a jovial mood -- though I suspect that in a jovial mood, Thompson would have been more likely to smirk than belly-laugh. Set on Christmas Eve, TIH starts with the best unexpected holiday-themed credits since 1947's LADY IN THE LAKE and only gets more gleefully malevolent from there. You know our antiheroes are literally in for a blue Christmas, thanks to Alar Kivilo's sleek azure-tinged photography. Cusack and Thornton make such a good team that I'm now eager to rent their previous collaboration, PUSHING TIN, even though I've heard mixed reviews of that, too. Oliver Platt has been touted as TIH's scene-stealer in the role of Cusack's friend who stole his wife and, having lived to regret it, spends the whole film getting drunk and hilariously obnoxious. Platt's a hoot, all right, but Thornton has the slyest lines; his explanation of how his wife ends up killed by the hit man is evilly funny, all the more so for Thornton's matter-of-fact delivery. Connie Nielsen also deserves kudos for stealing her own scenes more subtly and sensuously as the sexy owner of The Sweet Cage, one of many strip joints in town that Cusack frequents (I came away from the movie thinking strip joints must be a cottage industry in Wichita). Nielsen looks like a Petty Girl or Varga Girl come to life, fresh from the pages of a vintage Esquire issue. If you want a wicked little tongue-in-cheek noir as an antidote to the season's holiday cheer, TIH may well be your cup of hemlock. (When TIH comes out on DVD, rent it along with BAD SANTA, FARGO, and/or GROSSE POINTE BLANK and have yourself a merry little day of eccentric movie mayhem!)


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