6.6/10
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163 user 216 critic

The Homesman (2014)

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Three women who have been driven mad by pioneer life are to be transported across the country by covered wagon by the pious, independent-minded Mary Bee Cuddy, who in turn employs low-life drifter George Briggs to assist her.

Director:

Tommy Lee Jones

Writers:

Tommy Lee Jones (screenplay), Kieran Fitzgerald (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
4,122 ( 606)
5 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tommy Lee Jones ... George Briggs
Hilary Swank ... Mary Bee Cuddy
Grace Gummer ... Arabella Sours
Miranda Otto ... Theoline Belknap
Sonja Richter ... Gro Svendsen
Jo Harvey Allen ... Mrs. Polhemus
Barry Corbin ... Buster Shaver
David Dencik ... Thor Svendsen
William Fichtner ... Vester Belknap
Evan Jones ... Bob Giffen
Caroline Lagerfelt ... Netti Svendsen
John Lithgow ... Reverend Alfred Dowd
Tim Blake Nelson ... Freighter
Jesse Plemons ... Garn Sours
James Spader ... Aloysius Duffy
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Storyline

Three women who have been driven mad by pioneer life are to be transported across the country by covered wagon by the pious, independent-minded Mary Bee Cuddy, who in turn employs low-life drifter George Briggs to assist her.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The untold story of The West.

Genres:

Drama | Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, sexual content, some disturbing behavior and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA | France

Language:

English | Danish

Release Date:

18 May 2014 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Deuda de honor See more »

Filming Locations:

New Mexico, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$139,311, 21 November 2014, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,428,883, 22 February 2015
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Grace Gummer, who appears here in her first major film role, co-stars with her mother, Meryl Streep, who has a supporting role. See more »

Goofs

When Cuddy draws the black bean, which means she will transport the women, someone remarks that it is May 4, and she should be back by the 4th of July, which means, of course, that it is late spring. Yet in the first few days they run into snowfall, and Briggs constantly complains about the cold nights. The women show no apparent discomfort when they are bathed naked in a stream. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mary Bee Cuddy: [prodding plow horses] Come on, girls.
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Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Modern Westerns (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Flow Gently, Sweet Afton
Music & Lyrics by Robert Burns
Arranged by Austin Leonard Jones
Performed by Lela Rose Allen and Sachie Capitani
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Leave your vanity at home for this western journey
11 May 2015 | by Ed-ShullivanSee all my reviews

I enjoy a good western but it would not be fair to this Tommy Lee Jones production to classify it as such without emphasizing the film is more than just a wagon trail journey of two unlikely characters across the rough and unforgiving western terrain. No, it is the story of two unlikely characters, a single and strong willed farmer named Mary Bee Cuddy played by Hilary Swank and a thieving drifter named George Briggs played by Tommy Lee Jones who agree to transport three women by wagon with real psychiatric (madness) problems from Nebraska to Idaho.

There have been hundreds of relatively good westerns produced in the past half century where the hero and heroine remain strong and stoic whilst riding through the barren lands their suits and dresses remain pressed and in pristine condition while their hair is coiffed perfectly, and miraculously the heroine's makeup never dries, cracks or runs. Well such is not the case in the Homesman.

Hilary Swank has never been afraid to shed the glamor of Hollywood and for her role as the stubborn, single, and capable farmer Mary Bee Cuddy the potential suitors that she asks to marry her turn her down and explain that she is far too plain looking, sexless, and too controlling in nature. So Mary Bee Cuddy agrees to make the arduous journey across the western plains maybe in the hope of finding a suitor in Idaho as she has run out of potential suitors in Nebraska and seems to be losing hope in raising a family on her own farm in Nebraska.

As Mary Bee Cuddy commences her journey she comes across someone even more homely and desperate than herself in the name of aging drifter George Briggs who is within minutes of losing his life at the end of a rope for illegally claiming mining rights to another persons staked property. The terms set forth by Mary Bee Cuddy before she will agree to free George Briggs from his futile situation and imminent death by hanging are simple. He must first agree to travel across the western plains of Nebraska to assist Mary Bee Cuddy in the transportation of three insane women to a church in Idaho where they will receive the care and attention they will require to survive.

And so the two hardened caretakers and their three insane passengers set out on their journey which I found to be not like any other western I had previously seen. This is not a humorous and light hearted western but a tough, grueling, and sad journey with what I was surprised provided unexpected results. Some people may not be happy with the last 30 minutes of this feature film, but this is actually where writer/actor/director Tommy Lee Jones hooked me with what I felt was a good feature film that ended strongly.

There are numerous cameos throughout the film including standout performances by Tim Blake Nelson as a lonesome cowboy, John Lithgow as Reverend Dowd, and Jesse Plemons as a derelict husband to one of the insane women. Look for mother Meryl Streep in Idaho as the Reverends wife Altha Carter who enjoys sharing the screen with her real life daughter Grace Gummer who plays one of the three insane women Arabella Sours.

I give the film a good 7 out of 10 rating.


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