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Encyclopedia > A History of Violence (film)
A History of Violence

Promotional poster for A History of Violence
Directed by David Cronenberg
Produced by Chris Bender
JC Spink
Written by Comic Book:
John Wagner
Screenplay:
Josh Olson
Starring Viggo Mortensen
Maria Bello
Ed Harris
William Hurt
Music by Howard Shore
Editing by Ronald Sanders
Distributed by New Line Cinema
Release date(s) September 23, 2005
Running time 96 min.
Language English
Budget $32,000,000 (est.)
Gross revenue $60,332,684
Allmovie profile
IMDb profile

A History of Violence is a crime drama thriller film directed by David Cronenberg, and written by Josh Olson, based on the graphic novel of the same name by John Wagner and Vince Locke. The film was released in 2005 and features Viggo Mortensen as the owner of a diner who is thrust into the spotlight after killing two robbers in self-defense. Most of the film was shot in Millbrook, Ontario, and the final scene being shot at the historic Eaton Hall Mansion, located in King City, Ontario, Canada. [1] The film was put into limited release in the United States on September 23, 2005 and wide-release on September 30, 2005. It received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for William Hurt and Best Adapted Screenplay for Josh Olson. It has the distinction of being the final major Hollywood motion picture released on VHS.[2] Image File history File links Download high resolution version (510x755, 72 KB) This is a copyrighted poster. ... David Paul Cronenberg OC, FRSC (born March 15, 1943[2]) is a Canadian film director and occasional actor. ... John Wagner is a comics writer who has also written under the pseudonyms John Howard, T.B. Grover, Mike Stott, Keef Ripley, Rick Clark and Brian Skuter, among others. ... Josh Olson is an Academy Award nominated screenwriter and director. ... Viggo Peter Mortensen, Jr. ... Maria Elaine Bello (born April 18, 1967) is an American actress. ... For other persons of the same name, see Edward Harris. ... William Hurt (born March 20, 1950) is an Academy Award-winning American actor. ... Howard Leslie Shore (born October 18, 1946) is an Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy Award-winning Canadian composer, best known for composing the scores to The Lord of the Rings film trilogy and films of David Cronenberg. ... New Line redirects here. ... is the 266th day of the year (267th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The year 2005 in film involved some significant events. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... The police procedural is a sub-genre of the mystery story which tries to demonstrate accurately the activities of a police force as they investigate crimes. ... Thriller films are movies that primarily use action and suspense to engage the audience. ... David Paul Cronenberg OC, FRSC (born March 15, 1943[2]) is a Canadian film director and occasional actor. ... Josh Olson is an Academy Award nominated screenwriter and director. ... Trade paperback of Will Eisners A Contract with God (1978), often mistakenly cited as the first graphic novel. ... A History of Violence Cover. ... John Wagner is a comics writer who has also written under the pseudonyms John Howard, T.B. Grover, Mike Stott, Keef Ripley, Rick Clark and Brian Skuter, among others. ... Vincent Locke is an accomplished artist who began work in 1986 illustrating Deadworld, a zombie horror comic that soon became an underground hit. ... The year 2005 in film involved some significant events. ... Viggo Peter Mortensen, Jr. ... Look up diner in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Self defense refers to actions taken by a person to defend onself, ones property or ones home. ... The Township of Cavan-Millbrook-North Monaghan is located in central-eastern Ontario, Canada in Peterborough County, Ontario, Canada, about twenty kilometers southwest of the city of Peterborough. ... Eaton Hall is a Norman chateau in King City, Ontario, Canada built for Lady Flora McCrea Eaton in 1937 on a 700 acre (2. ... King City is an affluent, unincorporated village in King Township, Ontario, Canada, located just north of Toronto. ... Although he never won an Oscar for any of his movie performances, the comedian Bob Hope received two honorary Oscars for his contributions to cinema. ... William Hurt (born March 20, 1950) is an Academy Award-winning American actor. ... Josh Olson is an Academy Award nominated screenwriter and director. ... Bottom view of VHS cassette with magnetic tape exposed Top view of VHS cassette with front casing removed The Video Home System, better known by its abbreviation VHS, is a recording and playing standard. ...

Contents

Plot

Tom Stall is a local restaurant owner in the small town of Millbrook, Indiana, who lives peacefully with his wife Edie, teenage son Jack, and daughter Sarah. He becomes a local hero when he defends himself, his customers, and his staff from two armed robbers, killing them in the process. After the story receives national attention, several members of the Philadelphia Irish Mob arrive in town, led by the physically scarred Carl Fogarty. The manipulative Fogarty slyly charges that Tom is really someone named Joey Cusack, the former mob killer who disfigured his face 20 years before in Philadelphia. Tom denies the allegation, and claims he has never been to Philadelphia. Fogarty is persistent, however, and his constant presence and threatening behavior menace the whole Stall family. For other uses, see Indiana (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Philadelphia (disambiguation) and Philly. ... The Irish Mob, or Irish Mafia, is one of the oldest organized crime groups in the United States, in existence since the early 19th century. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Jack, who has always avoided fighting when bullied at school, now retaliates against his tormentors who are trying to get at him by making fun of his father. He kicks one of the bullies in the crotch and punches and kicks the other several times while screaming at him to shut up about his father, apparently sending the bully to the hospital. He is then kidnapped by the mobsters who offer him back in exchange for his father. Tom kills several of the gangsters in a lightning scuffle, getting shot and nearly killed himself. During the fight, goaded and with nothing left to hide, Tom tells Fogarty "I should have killed you back in Philly," finally admitting that he is Joey Cusack. However, Jack intervenes, saving Tom by shooting Fogarty in the back with a shotgun. His wife begins to suspect the truth, and questions him while visiting him in the hospital. He admits everything, and his family becomes upset and angry that he has lied to them for so many years. When the local sheriff starts to believe the mobsters' claim of Tom's criminal past, Edie defends Tom, saying that the sheriff should stop imagining things. After the sheriff leaves, Edie yells at Tom and they have sex right on the stairs. This brings out a dark side of Edie which she never experienced before.


Some days later, Richard "Richie" Cusack, Tom's brother and a Philadelphia crime boss, telephones Tom and demands that "Joey" visit him. Tom fears that his brother will not forgive him for having jeopardized Richie's mob career by maiming Fogarty; however, he knows that his family will remain at risk if he does not respond. He drives to Philadelphia to meet his brother at a secluded estate. A clearly drunken Richie describes his terribly mixed feelings at seeing his runaway brother again after so long, but then signals one of his men to garrote him. Tom defends himself by rapidly killing all of Richie's henchmen, and ultimately Richie himself. A garrote or garrote vil (a Spanish word; alternative spellings include garotte and garrotte) is a handheld weapon, most often referring to a ligature of chain, rope, scarf, wire or fishing line used to strangle someone to death. ...


Tom then drives home to his family, who are all sitting down to dinner. He receives a silent welcome in a tense atmosphere, where only his daughter can initially make eye-contact with him, although they end up preparing his place at the table. The film ends with the implied question of whether or not his family can welcome him back into the fold.


Cast

Viggo Peter Mortensen, Jr. ... Maria Elaine Bello (born April 18, 1967) is an American actress. ... For other persons of the same name, see Edward Harris. ... William Hurt (born March 20, 1950) is an Academy Award-winning American actor. ... Ashton Holmes (b. ... McHattie as Romulan Senator Vreenak in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode In the Pale Moonlight. Stephen McHattie Smith (born February 3, 1947 in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada) is a Canadian actor. ...

Adaptation

The film is loosely based on the original graphic novel. Screenwriter Josh Olson intended from the very beginning to use the original story as a springboard to explore the themes that interested him, and Cronenberg admitted that he did not know the screenplay was an adapted work until he had begun discussing Olson's second draft. The diner scene that sets the story in motion is nearly identical, and the basic cast of characters remains largely unchanged. The particulars of the plot are very different, especially as the story progresses. Josh Olson is an Academy Award nominated screenwriter and director. ...


The protagonist's name is changed from Tom McKenna to Tom Stall; John Torrino becomes Carl Fogarty, Tom's son Buzz becomes Jack, his daughter Ellie becomes Sarah, and Sheriff Carney's first name changes from Frank to Sam. The town in which the story takes place is changed from River's Bend, Michigan to Millbrook, Indiana, and the origin of the mobsters is changed from Brooklyn to Philadelphia. According to the German press kit, David Cronenberg and screenwriter Josh Olson changed the Italian-sounding names because they did not want the audience to anticipate Tom's Mafia ties too early in the film. In the film's audio commentary, Cronenberg says that Joey and Richie were Italian in Olson's screenplay, which he changed because Viggo Mortensen and William Hurt would not make convincing Italians, and he wanted to keep the film away from "the Sopranos Syndrome." This article is about the U.S. State. ... For other uses, see Indiana (disambiguation). ... This article is about the New York City borough, or Kings County, New York. ... For other uses, see Philadelphia (disambiguation) and Philly. ... This page is a candidate to be moved to Wiktionary. ... On a DVD (or laserdisc), an audio commentary is a bonus track consisting of a lecture or comments by one or more speakers, who talk about the movie as it progresses. ... The Sopranos is a popular HBO drama created by David Chase. ...


Much of the story of the graphic novel is a lengthy flashback detailing Tom's falling out with the mob. While the film is completely sequential and makes a brief and vague allusion to the trouble Tom caused as mob member, the graphic novel details at length a heist perpetrated by Tom against the mob. Olson opted to focus on Tom's struggles against his past and his relationship with his family, largely to the exclusion of the details of his falling out with his brother and the Mafia. In literature, film, television and other media, a flashback (also called analepsis) is an interjected scene that takes the narrative back in time from the current point the story has reached. ... Allusion is a figure of speech, reference/representation of/to a well-known person, place, event, literary work, or work of art. ... For the 1967 film, see Robbery (film). ...


The most profound alterations of the original novel's plot concern the character of Richie and his fate. In the comic book, he and Tom are childhood friends; while in the film they are brothers (they were not brothers in Olson's original screenplay; Cronenberg changed them to brothers to give their relationship more resonance). In the novel, Richie is captured by mobsters and mutilated after the incident that sends Tom on the lam: Richie's limbs are cut off and his eye taken out, yet he is still kept alive to be suspended from the ceiling in a harness and tortured for years. During the dramatic climax of the graphic novel Tom comes face to face with Richie, and Tom suffocates him in an act of euthanasia. In the film, Richie is depicted as Tom's brother; he is a mob boss who tries to have Tom killed. However, Tom ultimately overcomes Riche's henchmen, and subsequently kills his brother. On the lam or on the run refers to the state of being wanted by an authority and traveling to avoid capture. ...


While in the comic, Tom's family is supportive and completely understanding, the film depicts his family struggling with the startling truth about Tom. The lengthy subplot concerning his son Jack turning to violence after his father's example does not exist in the comic, nor does the emotionally charged fight (and subsequent rough sex on the stairs) between Tom and Edie. In the comic, Edie shoots Torrino, and in the film, Jack shoots Fogarty. The comic concludes with Tom violently defeating the mobsters that haunted him, whereas the film ends with Tom's silent return to his family; a change that drastically shifts the tone of the film towards a more familial focus. A rough sex classic: Slap Happy #3: Human Toilets Rough sex is wild, energetic sexual intercourse. ...


Interpretation

The film's title plays on multiple levels of meaning. Roger Ebert says that David Cronenberg suggests three possibilities: "(1) to a suspect with a long history of violence; (2) to the historical use of violence as a means of settling disputes, and (3) to the innate violence of Darwinian evolution, in which better-adapted organisms replace those less able to cope", with the last as the dominant focus of the film. "I am a complete Darwinian," says Cronenberg, whose new film is in many ways about the survival of the fittest—at all costs.[3] Cronenberg did not come up with the title, however. That distinction belongs to John Wagner. John Wagner is a comics writer who has also written under the pseudonyms John Howard, T.B. Grover, Mike Stott, Keef Ripley, Rick Clark and Brian Skuter, among others. ...


Thematic similarities between the film and the works of Sam Peckinpah have been much commented on: in an interview, Cronenberg did not deny this but also emphasized that there were significant differences both in terms of plot and style.[citation needed] Olson has acknowledged the debt the film pays to Peckinpah, especially the film Straw Dogs. He has also cited David Peoples' and Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven (there is a sly reference to pig farming by William Hurt's character) and the 1947 Jacques Tourneur thriller, Out of the Past. David Samuel Sam Peckinpah (February 21, 1925 – December 28, 1984) was an American film director who achieved iconic status following the release of his 1969 Western epic The Wild Bunch. ... Straw Dogs is a 1971 film directed by Sam Peckinpah and starring Dustin Hoffman and Susan George. ... David Webb Peoples (born c. ... For other uses, see Clint Eastwood (disambiguation). ... Jacques Tourneur, born November 12, 1904 – died December 19, 1977, was a French film director. ... This article is about the 1947 film; there was also a 1998 documentary of the same name. ...


Critical reception

Besides receiving Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor (William Hurt) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Josh Olson), the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes claims 87% of critics have given the film positive reviews (based on 189 reviews).[4] On Metacritic, the film had an average score of 81 out of 100, based on 37 reviews.[5] William Hurt (born March 20, 1950) is an Academy Award-winning American actor. ... Josh Olson is an Academy Award nominated screenwriter and director. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Metacritic is a website that collates reviews of music albums, games, movies, TV shows, DVDs and books. ...


Awards and nominations

Won

16th Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards December 19, 2005 The 16th Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards, given by the Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association on 19 December 2005, honored the best in film for 2005. ... 40th Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards January 3, 2006 Best Picture: Munich The 40th Loutzenhiser Awards, honoring the best in film for 2005, were announced on 3 January 2006. ... 31st Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards December, 2005 The 31st Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards, given by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), honored the best in film for 2005. ... 40th National Society of Film Critics Awards Saterday, January 7, 2006 The 40th National Society of Film Critics Awards, given by the National Society of Film Critics on 7 January 2006, honored the best in film for 2005. ... David Paul Cronenberg OC, FRSC (born March 15, 1943[2]) is a Canadian film director and occasional actor. ... 71st New York Film Critics Circle Awards December 12, 2005 at the Alonquin Hotel, New York, USA The 71st New York Film Critics Circle Awards, honoring the best in film for 2005, were given on 12 December 2005 at the Alonquin Hotel, New York, USA. Ang Lees Brokeback Mountain... 9th Online Film Critics Society Awards January 16, 2006 The 9th Online Film Critics Society Awards, honoring the best in film for 2005, were given on 16 January 2006. ... 9th San Diego Film Critics Society Awards December, 2005 The 9th San Diego Film Critics Awards, honoring the best in film for 2005, were given in December, 2005 by the San Diego Film Critics Society. ... 9th Toronto Film Critics Association Awards December 21, 2005 The 9th Toronto Film Critics Association Awards, honoring the best in film for 2005, were given on 21 December 2005. ...

Nominations

The 78th Academy Awards, honoring the best in film for 2005, were held on March 5, 2006 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California. ... Josh Olson is an Academy Award nominated screenwriter and director. ... William Hurt (born March 20, 1950) is an Academy Award-winning American actor. ... 59th BAFTA Film Awards February 19, 2006 Best Film: Best British Film: The 59th British Film Awards, given by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts on 19 February 2006, honored the best in film for 2005. ... Josh Olson is an Academy Award nominated screenwriter and director. ... Josh Olson is an Academy Award nominated screenwriter and director. ... John Wagner is a comics writer who has also written under the pseudonyms John Howard, T.B. Grover, Mike Stott, Keef Ripley, Rick Clark and Brian Skuter, among others. ... Vincent Locke is an accomplished artist who began work in 1986 illustrating Deadworld, a zombie horror comic that soon became an underground hit. ... Josh Olson is an Academy Award nominated screenwriter and director. ... 2005 Festivals poster The 2005 Cannes Film Festival started on May 11 and ran until May 22. ... David Paul Cronenberg OC, FRSC (born March 15, 1943[2]) is a Canadian film director and occasional actor. ... 63rd Golden Globe Awards January 16, 2006 Picture, Drama: Picture, Musical or Comedy: Series, Drama: Series, Musical or Comedy: The 63rd Golden Globe Awards, honoring the best in film and television for 2005, were presented on January 16, 2006 at the Beverly Hilton, in Los Angeles, California. ... Maria Elaine Bello (born April 18, 1967) is an American actress. ... IFP/New York is a twenty-five-year-old, not-for-profit membership and advocacy organization serving the independent film community as a source for networking and support while promoting film as a vital and influential public art form. ... David Paul Cronenberg OC, FRSC (born March 15, 1943[2]) is a Canadian film director and occasional actor. ... 31st Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards December, 2005 The 31st Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards, given by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), honored the best in film for 2005. ... David Paul Cronenberg OC, FRSC (born March 15, 1943[2]) is a Canadian film director and occasional actor. ... 9th Online Film Critics Society Awards January 16, 2006 The 9th Online Film Critics Society Awards, honoring the best in film for 2005, were given on 16 January 2006. ... 10th Satellite Awards December 13, 2004 Picture, Drama: Picture, Musical or Comedy: Series, Drama: Series, Musical or Comedy: The 10th Satellite Awards, honoring the best in film- and televisionmaking in 2005, were given on 17 December 2005. ... Viggo Peter Mortensen, Jr. ... Maria Elaine Bello (born April 18, 1967) is an American actress. ... 58th Writers Guild of America Awards February 4, 2006 Best Adapted Screenplay: Best Original Screenplay: The 58th WGA Awards, given on 4 February 2006, honored the best film and televison writers of 2005. ...

See also

A History of Violence Cover. ... This article is about films based on English-language comics. ...

References

  1. ^ Newswire article
  2. ^ Citypaper.com article
  3. ^ Rogerebert.com reviews: A History of Violence
  4. ^ A History of Violence - Rotten Tomatoes. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved on 2007-09-23.
  5. ^ History of Violence, A (2005): Reviews. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2007-09-23.

This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 266th day of the year (267th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Metacritic is a website that collates reviews of music albums, games, movies, TV shows, DVDs and books. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 266th day of the year (267th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
USCCB - (Film and Broadcasting) - A History of Violence (897 words)
Director David Cronenberg's masterfully crafted film, based on a graphic novel, has overtones of those classic Westerns in which the peaceable hero is forced to resort to violence against implacable evil, features first-rate performances (including William Hurt and Ashton Holmes), but despite a redemptive ending, the violence quotient won't be to every taste.
The story has overtones of those classic Westerns in which the peaceable protagonist must resort to force against implacable evil, or films such as "The Desperate Hours" in which a decent family is confronted by brutish thugs, not to mention numerous other films where men of conscience try to escape their fate.
To say that the film shows the effects of violence on a family as well as a community seems to be stating the obvious, but the results are thought-provoking.
A History of Violence (film) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1150 words)
A History of Violence is an Academy-Award nominated 2005 film, directed by David Cronenberg.
It is based on a graphic novel (A History of Violence) by John Wagner.
The film was put into limited release on September 23, 2005, in the United States and later, went into wide-release September 30, 2005.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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