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An American Crime (2007)

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

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4,014 ( 1,463)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Jennie Likens
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Lester Likens
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Betty Likens
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Paula Baniszewski
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Shirley Baniszewski (as Hannah Leigh Dworkin)
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Reverend Bill Collier
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Hope Orbach
Patricia Place ...
Mrs. Doyle
Calvin Keet ...
Mr. Doyle
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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 shocking crime and a secret that wouldn't keep. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 December 2007 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

The Basement  »

Filming Locations:


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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ellen Page was the only choice to play Sylvia Likens. See more »

Goofs

In a scene set in 1965, a character rushes into a phone booth and dials for an operator without inserting a coin. The free operator call feature was not instituted until many years later. See more »

Quotes

Leroy K. New: Are you scared?
Gertrude Baniszewski: I've been scared about a lot of things for a long time.
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in The Afflicted (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Rules of Love
Written by Kal Mann and Dave Appell
Performed by The Orlons
Courtesy of ABKCO Music & Records, Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The world can be cruel but intentions are crueler!
31 May 2008 | by See all my reviews

Well when watching this film i really did not no what i was getting my self into but i must say the film was disturbingly "AMAZING". Ellen Page of course was incredible. The kids the nanny everyone played there part perfectly. How corporal punishment turns so ugly is emphasised in this film with great intricacy.

After I watched this film i could not get it out of my heads for weeks, It was that mesmerising.

The film should have received awards for Pages acting but unfortunately she has'nt.

The film came out on 2007 and i am still rambling on about it in 2008. I urge everyone to watch this film. SUPERB MARVELLOUS is what it is.


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