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The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio (2005)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama | 1 June 2007 (Spain)
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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

In real-life, the singer who introduced the nameless "Name The Sandwich" jingle contest was Freddie Cannon, who performed the song on American Bandstand (1952). See more »

Goofs

When Mother throws the Jell-o at Father, it runs down his chest in a narrow "V" shape. But in the later close-up, there is much more Jell-o, covering most of the front of his t-shirt. See more »

Quotes

Leo "Kelly" Ryan: This is my last dollar. What if we don't win?
Evelyn Ryan: Well, that is a problem for another day.
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

Sitting on Top of the World
(1925)
Music by Ray Henderson
Lyrics by Sam Lewis and Joe Young
Produced by Teddy Borowiecki (as Teddy Borowlecki)
Performed by k.d. lang
k.d. lang appears courtesy of Nonesuch Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Another small beauty
29 December 2005 | by CJClark1064See all my reviews

This one came to me in the form of an Academy screener so it's eligible for Oscars - but I had never heard of it - nor read anything about it. So, it's a true sleeper. It's not perfect, but it's a really lovely movie nevertheless and deserves to be better known - certainly by Oscar voters who otherwise might give it a miss. If you are an Academy voter reading this please don't disregard this movie - once again it proves that so many of the smaller American films are the really good ones - small budgets give the director/writers a much better chance, and to have producers looking after you (like Steve Starkey & Robert Zemeckis in this case) is enormously helpful - but one fears that the distributors have decided to bury this gem.....come on guys, give it the chance it needs.


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