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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.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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3,689 ( 666)
5 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... George Briggs
... Mary Bee Cuddy
... Arabella Sours
... Theoline Belknap
... Gro Svendsen
... Mrs. Polhemus
... Buster Shaver
... Thor Svendsen
... Vester Belknap
... Bob Giffen
... Netti Svendsen
... Reverend Alfred Dowd
... Freighter
... Garn Sours
... 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:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

18 May 2014 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Deuda de honor  »

Filming Locations:

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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
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones' scenes only took one day to film. See more »

Goofs

At the end, a man plays a banjo on a riverboat. The banjo has steel strings with frets and a design that first appeared around 1890. In the 1850s, banjos had gut strings and no frets. See more »

Quotes

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

Featured in Film '72: Episode dated 19 November 2014 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Rosalie The Prairie Flower
Music & Lyrics by George Frederick Root (as George Fredrick Root)
Performed by Hilary Swank
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Remarkable work of auteur cinema -- realism at its best
20 July 2014 | by See all my reviews

Tommy Lee Jones has a wry, dry character -- rich and deep as unwatered open plains of the Americas. He's transferred his particular personality power to the story of The Homesman. He's successfully created a fine work of "auteur cinema" (much as I personally think this form rarely exists).

The Homesman is an emotionally and powerful, idea-rich, almost humorless story -- with an immense amount of humor. It has very tight, economic tale telling with no fat on the bone; in which much is implied, historical accuracy hits its target by nuance, and the story itself is deeply respectful of an intelligent audience.

The Homesman is not "entertainment" in the haha, shoot-'em-up Western sense. It's realism committed to a moral cause -- criticism of the disenfranchised, the homeless, the people who cannot make it no matter how hard they try. It has a brilliant sense of time and place that tells the life stories of dozens of hard-enduring, long-suffering "forgotten men" -- the women no less than the men.

The key heartbreaker is Hilary Swank's character of Miss Mary Bee Cuddy. She's born into a Western frontier world where she and everyone else believes and practices that "No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." Hard workers and decent people. But tragically that is not enough. Why? The Homesman leaves that question deliciously unanswered. Life is not fair. God is not just.

Beautifully The Homesman does -- kind of -- answer life's problems with the value of sheer vitality and gutsiness itself. Thus that key visual motif in the movie that comes from: George Caleb Bingham, "The Jolly Flatboatmen". We must dance the dance of life, however mad.


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