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Dolan's Cadillac (2009)

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A young man attempts to seek to avenge his wife's death after she is murdered by a Las Vegas mobster.


Jeff Beesley


Richard Dooling (screenplay), Stephen King (short story)



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Christian Slater ... Dolan
Emmanuelle Vaugier ... Elizabeth
Wes Bentley ... Robinson
Greg Bryk ... Chief
Aidan Devine ... Roman
Al Sapienza ... Fletcher
Karen LeBlanc ... Delta
Cory Generoux Cory Generoux ... Pedro
Vivian Ng Vivian Ng ... Jun Li
Patrick Bird Patrick Bird ... Jose
Eugene Clark ... Tink
Max Keene Max Keene ... Danny
Robert Benz Robert Benz ... Sheriff Bob
Tim Allen Tim Allen ... Marshall (as Timothy Allen)
Amy Matysio ... Amy


In Las Vegas, school teachers Robinson and his wife Elizabeth are trying for a baby. While horse riding through the desert one evening, Elizabeth witnesses the execution of two coyotes and an illegal immigrant by the human trafficker Jimmy Dolan and decides to report the incident to the police. However, she loses her cellular and Dolan finds it, tracks her address down and threatens her. Elizabeth goes to the FBI with Robinson and they move to a safe house under the protection of two agents. When Elizabeth sneaks from the house to buy pregnancy tests, her car explodes and she dies. Robinson decides to avenge Elizabeth's death. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



Canada | UK


English | Spanish | Chinese

Release Date:

1 April 2010 (Portugal) See more »

Also Known As:

Czarny Cadillac See more »


Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (European Film Market)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Several articles of graffiti are seen in the rest area near the highway; 'Don't look up here, you're pissing on your shoes' above the urinals, 'My mother made me a whore' on the wall, and 'All that you love will be carried away' in the broken map case. These are taken from another short story by Stephen King called "All you love will be carried away", found in the collection 'Everything's Eventual'. See more »


When Robinson target practices with his pistol, the camera gives a "down the barrel" view. The interior of the barrel is smooth. All pistols have a rifled barrel (as shown in the famous James Bond film introductions). See more »


Dolan: That brave vibration each way free, as the poet said.
See more »


References Dirty Harry (1971) See more »


Hold On
Performed by Crystal Kay
Written by Joey Carbone
Composed by Anthony Mazza, Christine Kellogg, Ron Harris
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User Reviews

The mind of Stephen King is a terrible thing to waste.
18 July 2010 | by dunmore_egoSee all my reviews

The director of DOLAN'S CADILLAC, Jeff Beesley, was told by his agent, "If you can't knock this movie outta the park, you might as well forget it - go back to pumping gas." Uh, Jeff, I got some bad news....

From a Stephen King short story of the same name (from the 1993 collection, Nightmares and Dreamscapes), screenwriter Richard Dooling misses the point completely and somehow thinks he can improve on a writing legend's plot elements - much like the rewriters of THE SOUND OF THUNDER (2005) had the brass balls to think they could improve on a Ray Bradbury story. DOLAN'S CADILLAC - a straight-to-DVD release - is another great Stephen King story wasted onto the small screen.

Robinson (Wes Bentley) and wife Elizabeth (Emmanuelle Vaugier) are a regular Las Vegas couple, whose life is upended when Elizabeth witnesses human-trafficker Dolan (Christian Slater) execute people in the Nevada desert. Dolan has her killed. Robinson gets revenge in a very unique, exacting way.

Dolan is chauffered around in a bulletproof Cadillac as fortified as a tank. In the short story, Robinson uses this fact to entomb Dolan in a highway grave, the first person narrative pathologically taking us through the meticulous life-planning and interesting physics of devising the trap. In the book, the "arc of descent" becomes a blueprint for Robinson's subterranean trap and a metaphor for his psychological and physical deterioration. While in the movie, the arc of descent is something that Dolan pulls out of thin air while standing at a pee trough. Was that the writer's subliminal message to us?: I'm URINATING ALL OVER STEPHEN KING!

King's characters are efficiently made two-dimensional by leaden Wes Bentley (whose terrifically vapid performance in GHOST RIDER must have scored him this role) and Christian Slater, getting drunk on Jack (Nicholson, not Daniels). The highway trap is merely a flat drop covered with tarpaulin. No science required.

In trying to extend King's story to movie length, instead of inserting all those interesting master plan elements, which would have drawn out the time compellingly, screenwriter Dooling puts in banalities: Robinson buying a Dirty Harry gun, Dolan extending his trafficking to children, Chinese mobsters, an FBI guy (Al Sapienza from THE SOPRANOS) and loads of black mascara for Wes Bentley in lieu of acting.

To hear director Beesley speak of his filmic debacle in the DVD Featurette is to wonder whether he has ever viewed his own film: "...extremely entertaining... a great ride... a Saturday night popcorn movie..." And here's the one that made peanuts fly out of my nose: "At its heart it's very much an art film." Choke. Gasp. Bwohahahahahaha!

King's story was an homage to Edgar Allan Poe's The Cask of Amontillado in subtle, disturbing ways; story described in detail how Dolan's highway grave could never be discovered. Beesley's movie gives us a scene of Robinson shifting a final stone slab into place over Dolan's screaming face, for the sole reason to echo Poe's (and King's) words, "For the love of God, no!" But this final homage is Beesley's final illogical mistake. The manner in which Beesley's trap is built is rife for discovery by authorities; the final stupid stone over Beesley's own face.

Poe and King have assured themselves their places in history. Beesley has assured himself a career at the Shell Gas-N-Go.

Fill 'er up please, Jeff.

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