6.3/10
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162 user 116 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:

'Twas the night before Christmas... 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

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

Harold Ramis offered a role to Bill Murray but Murray did not return his calls. 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: Oh, Vic?
Vic: What?
Charlie Arglist: [Shows a severed thumb] Whose thumb is this?
Vic: Oh yeah, Roy. good news: Charlie brought your thumb.
See more »

Connections

References Alvin & the Chipmunks (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Let's Be Gentlemen Please
Written by Michael Gent
Performed by The Gentlemen
Courtesy of Sodapop Records
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User Reviews

 
Icy-cold humor, warmly recommended
29 January 2006 | by Vomitron_GSee all my reviews

When the name Harold Ramis is mentioned, a lot of people will probably say "Harold who?". When explained to those people that he directed the wonderful romantic comedy GROUNDHOG DAY and wrote the screenplays for GHOSTBUSTERS I & II, they'll probably say "Oooh, that Harold!". After the redundant De Niro-wrecks ANALYZE THIS & THAT it got a little quiet around Ramis. Now he's back with THE ICE HARVEST, a movie that somewhat differs from his other work. It's been a while since I've seen such a successful mixture of black comedy and film-noir/thriller.

Charlie (John Cusack), a Kansas attorney on the verge of a burn-out, and his associate Vic (Billy Bob Thornton) have just stolen 2 million $ from their boss on Christmas Eve. They're planning on leaving that same night to enjoy their money elsewhere. Charlie also is in love with the beautiful stripclub-owner Renata and hopes that his newly earned dollars will make a fine argument to persuade her to go with him. But an upcoming ice storm makes it very difficult to leave the town immediately. On top of that, a mysterious figure has arrived in Wichita informing all over the place about Charlie. It will turn out to be a night full of surprises where everyone seems to be playing dark and deceiving games.

This movie relies on the statement "Money is the root of all evil". It's slightly disturbing to see how far one will go when a considerable amount of money is involved. Maybe not all of the twists and turns in the plot are unpredictable, but there are enough of them to keep it interesting, all this at a fairly high pace. They provide enough enjoyable moments, with the trunk-scene as one of the highlights. This particular scene leads to a funny discussion between Charlie and Vic about a Mercedes and a Lincoln. All this in order to say that the script and dialogues are more than decent.

Cusack and Thornton deliver the goods, never over-acting it. Besides them there's also a striking performance by Connie Nielsen as femme-fatale Renata and I never thought that a completely drunk Oliver Platt, as Charlie's drinking buddy, could be so hilarious. And it was nice to see Mike Starr and Randy Quaid in some smaller roles. So the complete cast pulls it off quite good.

Maybe THE ICE HARVEST (with the appropriate tagline "Thick Thieves. Thin Ice.", by the way) isn't a movie for a wide audience, because of the grim & black humor and the occasional pretty violent outbursts. But it sure is a welcome alternative for mainstream movies and highly recommended for film-noir-fans.


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