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Changeling (2008)

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A grief-stricken mother takes on the LAPD to her own detriment when it tries to pass off an obvious impostor as her missing child.

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 47 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Christine Collins
... Walter Collins
... Sandy
... Detective Lester Ybarra
... Operator
Erica Grant ... Operator
Antonia Bennett ... Operator
... Operator
... Ben Harris
... Girl on Tricycle
Madison Hodges ... Neighborhood Girl
... Rev. Gustav Briegleb
... Chief James E. Davis
Devon Conti ... Arthur Hutchins
... Man at Diner
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Storyline

Los Angeles, 1928. A single mother returns from work to find her nine-year-old son gone. She calls the LAPD to initiate a search. Five months later, a boy is found in Illinois who fits the description; he says he's her son. To fanfare and photos, the LAPD reunite mother and son, but she insists he's not her boy. The cops dismiss her as either a liar or hysterical. When she joins a minister in his public criticism of the police, they in turn use government power to silence and intimidate her. Meanwhile, a cop goes to a dilapidated ranch to find a Canadian lad who's without legal status; the youth tells a grisly tale. There's redress for murder; is there redress for abuse of power? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

To find her son, she did what no one else dared.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violent and disturbing content, and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Universal [Germany]

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 October 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El sustituto  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$489,015, 26 October 2008, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$35,739,802

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$113,020,256
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

| (opening and end sequence)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Both Hilary Swank and Reese Witherspoon lobbied for the role of Christine Collins. Clint Eastwood cast Angelina Jolie at the suggestion of Executive Producer Ron Howard, who noted that Jolie's "look" would fit best with the time period. See more »

Goofs

When Rev. Gustav is speaking from the pulpit of his church, the design of the pipe organ is from at least 1950. In the 1920's, the pipes were hidden behind a facade. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Christine Collins: Walter, honey. Time to wake up.
Walter Collins: Just ten more minutes...
Christine Collins: Sorry, sport. You can sleep in tomorrow, that's what Saturdays are for.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The black-and-white Universal logo used in the 1940s opens the film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Making of Plus One (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Wow, Talk About A Film That Hooks You In!
26 July 2009 | by See all my reviews

Wow, is this an involving story. It hooks you in fast and really grabs hold. It's very good in that aspect because it really makes you care about what happens. The story involves a parent's worst nightmare, so I would expect moms and dads to be particularly horrified. The movie manipulates, no doubt being overdone here and there, but it's generally effective.

Angelina Jolie does a superb job of portraying a Los Angeles woman ("Christine Collins") in the late 1920s whose boy is kidnapped. Five months later, the "proud" police department brings her kid back, making it a good PR session. Unfortunately, it's not her kid and stupidly, although she's naturally upset about, she poses with the kid and takes him home. (Would that really happen?).

Then she begins her quest of finding her real "Walter." Further twists and turns make the story increasingly horrifying. In all, you won't be able to keep your eyes off the screen wondering if justice will ever prevail in the end and who exactly is involved in what. It's not particularly a fun ride - you'll have a frown on your face for quite some time - but it sure is interesting and an excellent two hour-plus of entertainment. By the end, you'll be emotionally exhausted.

Kudos to all the actors in here for riveting performances and to the production and design team for a great period piece. Where else can you feel you're back 75-80 years in time with the boxy cars and flapper hats than in movies?


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