7.3/10
31,761
156 user 53 critic

An American Crime (2007)

Trailer
1:17 | Trailer
The true story of suburban housewife Gertrude Baniszewski, who kept a teenage girl locked in the basement of her Indiana home during the 1960s.

Director:

Tommy O'Haver
Reviews
Popularity
3,389 ( 334)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ellen Page ... Sylvia Likens
Hayley McFarland ... Jennie Likens
Nick Searcy ... Lester Likens
Romy Rosemont ... Betty Likens
Catherine Keener ... Gertrude Baniszewski
Ari Graynor ... Paula Baniszewski
Scout Taylor-Compton ... Stephanie Baniszewski
Tristan Jarred ... Johnny Baniszewski
Hannah Leigh ... Shirley Baniszewski (as Hannah Leigh Dworkin)
Bradley Whitford ... Prosecutor
Michael O'Keefe ... Reverend Bill Collier
Carlie Westerman ... Marie Baniszewski
Michelle Benes ... Hope Orbach
Patricia Place Patricia Place ... Mrs. Doyle
Calvin Keet Calvin Keet ... Mr. Doyle
Edit

Storyline

Based on a true story that shocked the nation in 1965, the film recounts one of the most shocking crimes ever committed against a single victim. Sylvia and Jennie Fae Likens, the two daughters of traveling carnival workers are left for an extended stay at the Indianapolis home of single mother Gertrude Baniszewski and her six children. Times are tough, and Gertrude's financial needs cause her to make this arrangement before realizing how the burden will push her unstable nature to a breaking point. What transpires in the next three months is both riveting and horrific. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The true story of a child's punishment that became a woman's crime. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong and disturbing depiction of child abuse and torture | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Real pictures of Sylvia can be found online, mainly crime scene photos. See more »

Goofs

A Ford Maverick is seen parked outside the house. The Maverick was not introduced until 1969, four years after the events of the film. See more »

Quotes

Gertrude Baniszewski: There are things in life we have to do, whether we like it or not.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The final credit states "Sylvia Likens, 1949-1965". See more »

Connections

Featured in The 60th Primetime Emmy Awards (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Walk in Jerusalem
Written by Mahalia Jackson
Performed by Mahalia Jackson
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony BMG Music Entertainment
See more »

User Reviews

Bad portraying of truth.
11 August 2009 | by BearlytamedSee all my reviews

This movie just made me very upset. It made it look like Paula and Stephanie Baniszewski was innocent. Reading the true crime reports of all taken place. Both them girls did horrible things to this poor girl. Why should they be portrayed as anything better then what horrible people they are. What this family and the neighborhood children did to this poor child should be fully shown. They should , hold there heads in shame and be haunted by this the rest of their life's. I could not live with myself if I was to have done anything like this .I only hope and pry the children of this family and all the children involved are punished by a higher means. And for Stephanie to clam she was Salvias friend? What kind of friend would allow someone to be treated this way..hogwash! All horrible people, horrible. They all should rot in hell!


28 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 156 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 December 2007 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

The Basement See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,306,875
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page



Recently Viewed