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The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio (2005)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama | 1 June 2007 (Spain)
Trailer
2:29 | Trailer

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ON DISC
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

Opening Weekend USA:

$159,056, 2 October 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$626,310, 20 November 2005
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

The decision to have Evelyn (Julianne Moore) talk directly to camera was inspired by television commercials from the 1950s, which used that technique frequently. See more »

Goofs

At one point, the characters watch an actual clip from an actual Miss America pageant in which emcee Bert Parks asks a contestant about that year's presidential election. But shortly afterward, a sequence is identified as occurring in May 1960. Because the Miss America contest was always held (at that time) in September, this clip would have to be been from an earlier pageant (probably 1959) - which was not an election year. See more »

Quotes

Detective Feeney: If you were stranded on an island and could take only one beverage with you, which beverage would you take?
Evelyn Ryan: Orange juice.
Detective Feeney: Orange juice?
Evelyn Ryan: Yes, orange juice... to prevent scurvy.
[pauses]
Evelyn Ryan: But my beverage of choice is Dr. Pepper.
Detective Feeney: [laughs]
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

The World Waiting for the Sunrise
(1919)
Music by Ernest Seitz
Lyrics by Gene Lockhart (as Eugene Lockhart)
Performed by Les Paul and Mary Ford
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Under license from EMI Film & Television Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Captured The Era/True to the Book
30 September 2005 | by DANDEESee all my reviews

Don't mean to be too exuberant, BUT this was a heart-warming movie. Woody Harrelson is perfect in his pathetic role as loser. (Consider "Palmetto" and "The Money Train.") He is a winner at this type of role. Yet, in his portrayal of this father of a large family and the husband of a "stand by your man" and "look to the sunny side of life" woman. Woody manages to evoke our pity and makes us reach for understanding. A terrific supporting role.

Julianne Moore, the star of the movie, is the heroine, the mainstay who keeps everything together. Never been out of her little town of Defiance, Ohio(it's real, look it up!) until one of her daughters drives her to Goshen, Indiana. What an adventure! 100 miles from home. A different state, even though its hard to tell. This daughter is the story teller, the author of the best selling book that became a movie. She captures the 1950s, the silly excitement of writing a catchy commercial phrase, and the heroism and humor of a large family growing up in an era long gone.

It will not be a blockbuster. Opening night, which we wouldn't have missed, was in a large, mostly vacant theatre. Everyone clapped their approval at the close. I'm guessing that most of us had read the book before going.

If you're one of those who haven't read the book, don't worry about it. The movie is like a "To Kill A Mockingbird," in that it captures the book beautifully. (Doesn't deny you the pleasure that comes from reading the book; but let's you in on the wonder of it all.) I have a feeling this movie will fade from view within a few weeks. It may also be one of those movies that ends up in the Academy Awards for best screenplay, best supporting actor, best actress. So, don't let it slip away without YOUR seeing it tomorrow or next weekend. These are the kind of movies, and the caliber of performances that are so rewarding you really need to give it a look see. (Then, buy the book!)


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