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The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio (2005)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama | 1 June 2007 (Spain)
Trailer
2:30 | Trailer
In order to support her ten children, Evelyn Ryan enters a commercial jingle-writing contest.

Director:

Jane Anderson

Writers:

Terry Ryan (book), Jane Anderson (screenplay)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Julianne Moore ... Evelyn Ryan
Woody Harrelson ... Kelly Ryan
Laura Dern ... Dortha Schaefer
Trevor Morgan ... Bruce Ryan at 16 yrs
Ellary Porterfield ... Tuff Ryan at 13, 16 & 18 yrs
Simon Reynolds ... Ray the Milkman
Monté Gagné Monté Gagné ... Lea Anne Ryan at 17 yrs
Robert Clark ... Dick Ryan at 16 yrs
Michael Seater ... Bub Ryan at 15 yrs
Erik Knudsen ... Rog Ryan at 13 yrs
Jake Scott Jake Scott ... Bruce Ryan at 11 yrs
Jordan Todosey ... Tuff Ryan at 9 yrs
Ryan Price Ryan Price ... Mike Ryan at 6 yrs
Shae Norris Shae Norris ... Barb Ryan at 4 yrs
Abigail Falle Abigail Falle ... Betsy Ryan at 2 yrs
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Storyline

Kelly and Evelyn Ryan live in Defiance, Ohio with their 10 children. At first glance their life seems idyllic; they call each other "Mother" and "Father" and seem to dote on the kids. But Kelly was a garage-band crooner whose voice was ruined in an auto accident. He's resigned to a dead-end factory job that barely pays the bills, and is given to fits of alcohol-induced rage. Evelyn, a stay-at-home wife and mother, deals with this abuse by appealing to her priest, who is no help at all. She deals with their poverty by entering the jingle contests that were the rage in the 50's and early 60's, even sending in multiple entries in the names of the children. She is very clever at it, winning more than her share of prizes, but her successes aren't enough to keep the wolf from the door. Further, they trigger Kelly's insecurities and he retreats deeper into the bottle, using food and mortgage money to support the habit. Can the loving, optimistic Evelyn hold the family together? Is she ... Written by Joe Jurca

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The true story of how a mother raised ten kids on twenty-five words or less.

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some disturbing images and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 June 2007 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

La ganadora See more »

Filming Locations:

Brampton, Ontario, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$159,056, 2 October 2005

Gross USA:

$627,844

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$750,212
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

Robert Zemeckis bought the property with an eye on directing it. See more »

Goofs

Shortly after film begins, there is a head-on shot of Evelyn sitting at a typewriter filling out a full-page entry blank for a Dial Soap contest with form entered into typewriter carriage so audience can read details near top of page right-side up. However, if this was actually the case, she would be typing her entry onto the bottom of the form upside-down. See more »

Quotes

Evelyn Ryan: Let's go to bed. I'm tired of this day. I need a new one.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Before the ending credits roll, updates are given of all the children and of Ms. Schaefer along with their real life photos. See more »

Connections

Features Queen for a Day (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

Rag Mop
(1940)
Music by Johnny Lee Wills
Lyrics by Deacon Anderson
Performed by The Ames Brothers
Courtesy of RCA Records
By Arrangement with Sony BMG Music Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

 
See this movie
16 June 2006 | by katyaohaganSee all my reviews

I felt the need to sign up and review a movie for the first time, just so there would be more written about this lovely little movie. This is a real gem that seems to have slipped through the net, which is a real pity. I had no expectations and knew nothing about it when I stumbled upon it, and I have been trying to persuade all of my friends to see it since then.

It's one of those rare family movies that really feels authentic. There's nothing hokey here, and no obvious, cheesy dialog. The little directorial flourishes are sweet and unobtrusive and flow naturally with the story, which although sometimes whimsically told, has a deeply moving center.

Julianne Moore deftly handles an extremely tricky role. She manages to convey the complexities in a character that on the surface, and in lesser hands, could read as drippy and one-dimensional. Instead as we see this woman's challenging life play out, we respect her more and more, and truly feel invested in what becomes of her remarkable spirit.

All in all, a wonderful surprise, beautifully executed. See it.


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