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Water for Elephants (2011)

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Set in the 1930s, a former veterinary student takes a job in a travelling circus and falls in love with the ringmaster's wife.

Director:

Francis Lawrence

Writers:

Richard LaGravenese (screenplay), Sara Gruen (novel)
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Popularity
4,224 ( 18)
3 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Reese Witherspoon ... Marlena
Robert Pattinson ... Jacob
Christoph Waltz ... August
Paul Schneider ... Charlie
Jim Norton ... Camel
Hal Holbrook ... Old Jacob
Mark Povinelli ... Kinko / Walter
Richard Brake ... Grady
Stephen Monroe Taylor ... Wade
Ken Foree ... Earl
Scott MacDonald ... Blackie
James Frain ... Rosie's Caretaker
Sam Anderson ... Mr. Hyde
John Aylward ... Mr. Erwin
Brad Greenquist ... Mr. Robinson
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Storyline

After his parents' death, Jacob Jankowski is left penniless and homeless. Events lead him to joining the circus as their vet, working under their unstable boss August whose violent tendencies give everyone reason to be cautious around him, including his beautiful and quiet wife Marlena, whom August is very possessive of and who Jacob finds himself soon falling in love with. Written by mel47

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Life is the most spectacular show on earth.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for moments of intense violence and sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Polish

Release Date:

22 April 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Agua para elefantes See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$38,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,842,353, 24 April 2011, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$58,709,717

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$117,094,902
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Datasat | SDDS

Color:

Color | Black and White (home movie sequence)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In a deleted scene of Vanity Fair (2004), Reese Witherspoon played Robert Pattinson's mother. In this movie, they play lovers. See more »

Goofs

Rex the lion is supposed to be without teeth, but in many shots can be seen with all of his teeth intact. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Russ: [in the rain] Uh, Excuse me sir. Can we help you? Can we help you with something?
Old Jacob: Did I miss the Spec?
Charlie: Uh, yeah, I'm afraid so. The show was this afternoon.
Old Jacob: Oh.
Charlie: Did you come with the folks from Green Haven? Why don't we get out of the rain, and we'll call them for you.
Old Jacob: No, no! I came on my own.
Russ: It's okay. We're gonna call the home. We're gonna have them come pick you up.
Old Jacob: I'm telling you, I didn't come with the home! Why don't you take those rings out of your head, and maybe you ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

In 'The producers wish to thank' section of the credits, the Circus World Museum is listed as being in Barbaroo, WI. The actual town is Baraboo, WI. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #1.15 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Hush Little Baby
Traditional
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A beautiful film, less depressing than the book I believe
22 April 2011 | by kalel41See all my reviews

Having read a few reviews of this depression era set novel by Sara Gruen, I was apprehensive to see the film. The readers and critics had said it was too depressing and didn't end well. I'm happy to say the film is not bad at all. It captures the mood of the 1930s, and we the audience really get a sense of what it must have been like to live in that time in history. (Yes we went through our own depression but it was quite different and much more difficult back then.) The film centers around Jacob (Robert Pattinson) a student of veterinary science at Cornell, who gives up his education and runs away after his parents die in a car accident. He stumbles upon a traveling circus, where he is taken in by riff raffs and other stowaways. They have all become a part of the circus ensemble in order to make ends meet. Jacob eventually meets their ringleader August, played by Christolph Waltz (Inglorious Basterds) and his beautiful wife Marlena (Reese Witherspoon). August takes Jacob under his wing initially, but later Jacob learns his true colors. I do not wish to give away too much of the storyline but something tells me people will like this movie as much as the book if not more. I think the film makers have managed to make a film about the depression era without it being depressing. The film has an epic feel to it. It's, emotional, inspiring, romantic, and overall it makes for a very good drama. Even the ending is uplifting. The cast is wonderful as well. Robert Pattinson holds his own against two Oscar winners. It's great to see Reese Witherspoon back in action and in top form. There aren't enough great things I can say about Christoph Waltz. He balances the line between being dangerous and comedic with razor sharp precision, and is very intimidating…his performance is brilliant. It's great to see a film with real sets, and gritty and flawed characters, rather than imaginative CG rendered places and creatures. Even the train, (where a large part of the film takes place) feels alive with all its moving parts…it has a personality of its own. It's a surprising film from director Francis Lawrence whose previous films include "Constantine" and "I am Legend." It's clear that the team he works with has a great sense of capturing a story's mood, time, and place. "Water for Elephants" is a beautiful, moving, and entertaining film. Go see it! http://tickingticket.blogspot.com/


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