AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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A History of Violence
Director: David Cronenberg (Dir)
Release Date:   30 Sep 2005
Premiere Information:   World premiere at the Cannes Film Festival: 16 May 2005; Toronto Film Festival opening: 10 Sep 2005; Los Angeles and New York openings: 23 Sep 2005
Production Date:   13 Sep--late Dec 2004 at Toronto Film Studios, Toronto
Duration (in mins):   96 or 98
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Cast:   Viggo Mortensen (Tom Stall [assumed name of] /Joey Cusack)  
    Maria Bello (Edie Stall)  
    Ed Harris (Carl Fogarty)  
    William Hurt (Richie Cusack)  
    Ashton Holmes (Jack Stall)  
    Peter MacNeill (Sheriff Sam Carney)  
    Stephen McHattie (Leland)  
    Greg Bryk (Billy)  
    Kyle Schmid (Bobby)  
    Sumela Kay (Judy Danvers)  
    Gerry Quigley (Mick)  
    Deborah Drakeford (Charlotte)  
    Heidi Hayes (Sarah Stall)  
    Aidan Devine (Charlie Roarke)  
    Bill MacDonald (Frank Mulligan)  
    Michelle McCree (Jenny Wyeth)  
    Ian Matthews (Ruben)  
    R. D. Reid (Pat)  
    Morgan Kelly (Bobby's buddy)  
    Martha Reilly (Shoe saleswoman)  
    Jason Barbeck (Richie's thug)  
    Bruce Beaton (Richie's thug)  
    Neven Pajkic (Richie's thug)  
    Brendan Connor (Local TV reporter)  
    Nick Antonacci (Local TV reporter)  
    John Watson (Baseball coach)  
    Don Allison (TV broadcaster)  
    Brittany Payer (Motel girl)  
    Mitch Boughs (Kid in diner)  
    April Mullen (Kid in diner)  
    George King (Hospital well-wisher)  
    Shawn Campbell (Orderly)  

Summary: In the small town of Millbank, Indiana, Tom Stall runs the local diner, while his wife Edie runs a small law practice and rears their two children, teenager Jack and pre-schooler Sarah. Although Jack struggles with teenage angst and a bullying classmate, the family is happy with their uneventful lives, and Tom considers himself a lucky man. One quiet Saturday night, ruthless spree killers Leland and Billy drive into town and enter the diner. The self-effacing Tom allows himself to be bullied into keeping the diner open past closing time, then tells Leland to take what he wants from the till, but when Leland tells Billy to "start" with the waitress, Tom breaks the glass coffee pot against Leland's face, and in the melee that follows, grabs Leland's semi-automatic weapon, then quickly kills him and Billy, despite being wounded in the foot by Leland's knife. When Tom is released from the hospital, he does not like being labeled a hero by the television news programs, which laud him for saving the people in the diner from two spree killers, and consequently shuns a television reporter. A short time later, when Tom returns to the diner, which is crowded with customers and well-wishers, three thuggish-looking men in suits arrive, led by Carl Fogarty, who repeatedly addresses Tom as "Joey" and in a threatening manner, implies that Tom knows who he is because they knew each other years ago in Philadelphia. Edie, who is in the diner at the time, is frightened of the men and calls town sheriff Sam Carney, even though Tom wants to forget about the incident after the men leave. Later, Sam stops Fogarty's Town Car and tells him to leave Millbank, which he says is a nice town that looks after its own, then goes to Tom and Edie's house, where he tells them that Fogarty is a known mob killer, as are his two henchmen. Sam then hesitantly asks Tom if he is in the witness protection program, but Tom denies this and says he does not know the men. Early the next morning, while Tom is in the diner, he sees the Town Car again and, thinking that it is driving toward his house, phones Edie and frantically tells her to grab their shotgun because the men are coming to their house. Despite his wounded foot, Tom runs home, then realizes that he was mistaken about the car. Edie, and especially Jack, are worried about what is happening, but Tom dismisses their concerns. That afternoon, when Edie takes Sarah to buy shoes in the local mall, she panics when Sarah briefly disappears, and is startled to see Fogarty sitting on a bench looking at the child. Fogarty, whose face is badly scarred and missing an eye, says that Joey Cusack did that to him and he wants to speak with Joey. Meanwhile, at his high school, Jack is confronted by fellow student Bobby and two of Bobby's friends, but instead of making a joke of Bobby's taunts, as he had done in the past, Jack explodes in violence and badly beats Bobby. Later, Tom rebukes Jack for his actions, saying that their family does not settle things with violence, but Jack sarcastically responds that, instead, their family kills people. Tom angrily slaps Jack, causing the boy to run off. A short time later, Fogarty and his henchmen show up at the house, with Jack in the backseat of the Town Car. Fogarty orders Tom to come with him or he will start to hurt Jack. Tom tells Edie to get into the house with Sarah as he gradually walks closer to Fogarty, still denying that he is Joey. When one of the thugs reaches for Tom, he suddenly disables the man with martial arts, grabs his gun, then kills another man. Fogarty then wounds Tom, but as Fogarty moves closer to him to fire the fatal shot, Tom whispers "I should have killed you in Philly." Just then, Fogarty is killed by a shotgun blast fired by Jack. That night, when Edie visits Tom in the hospital, she angrily demands that he tell her if he really is Joey. When he does not deny it, she vomits, then refuses to listen to his pleas that he spent three years ridding himself of Joey and was reborn when he met her. She runs away from him, and when Tom returns home from the hospital, he finds that his things have been moved out of their room. Sam comes to the house to say that "things" just do not add up, but when Edie comes home, she calmly assures Sam that Tom is who he says he is, then starts to cry as Tom comforts her. After Sam leaves, Tom continues to hold Edie, but she pushes him away and, rushing up the stairs, screams "Joey" at him. In the stairway, they strike each other, then have rough sex, but afterward, instead of letting Tom kiss her, she pushes him away. That night, while Tom is sleeping on the couch, he is awakened by a phone call from his brother Richie, now a prominent mob boss in Philadelphia. He agrees to Richie's request to meet with him, then drives to Philadelphia, where one of Richie's henchmen takes Tom to Richie's suburban mansion. At first Richie kisses and warmly embraces his younger brother, but in his study, Richie tells Tom that his impetuousness has cost him a lot over the years and he must pay the price. While they talk, Richie's henchman grabs Tom from behind, trying to strangle him with a wire, but Tom puts his hand through the loop and overcomes him, then kills two other henchmen, first striking them with killing blows, then shooting them with the gun he picks up. After Tom runs out of the study, another henchman arrives, and Richie starts to leave the house through the open front door. Tom, however, has not left the house, and catching Richie and his henchman unaware, kills them. Early in the morning, Tom throws his weapon into a pond on Richie's property and ponders his fate. Later, he returns to his home as Edie, Sarah and Jack are eating dinner. After a few moments, Sarah silently sets a place at the table for her father and Jack passes the roast to him as Edie looks at Tom and he expectantly looks toward her. 

Production Company: New Line Cinema (A TimeWarner Company)
  Benderspink  
Production Text: A Benderspink Production; A David Cronenberg Film
A Benderspink Production; A film by David Cronenberg
A film by David Cronenberg
Distribution Company: New Line Cinema (A TimeWarner Company)
Director: David Cronenberg (Dir)
  Walter Gasparovic (1st asst dir)
  Robert Warwick (2d asst dir)
  Tyler Delben (3d asst dir)
  Elizabeth S. D. "Duff" Parker (Trainee asst dir)
  Aric Dupere (Trainee asst dir)
Producer: Chris Bender (Prod)
  JC Spink (Prod)
  Roger E. Kass (Exec prod)
  Josh Braun (Exec prod)
  Toby Emmerich (Exec prod)
  Justis Greene (Exec prod)
  Kent Alterman (Exec prod)
  Cale Boyter (Exec prod)
  Jake Weiner (Co-prod)
Writer: Josh Olson (Scr)
Photography: Peter Suschitzky (Dir of photog)
  Peter Suschitzky ("A" cam op)
  Candide Franklyn (Steadicam and "B" cam op)
  Russel Bowie ("A" cam 1st asst)
  Jaclyn Young ("A" cam 2d asst)
  Zena Bielewicz (Cam loader)
  Takashi Seida (Still photog)
  Anthony Nocera (Video asst)
  Mark Lewandowski (Video playback)
  Scotty Allan (Chief lighting tech)
  Samuel Bojin (Best boy elec)
  Pierre Berube (Best boy rigging elec)
  Bernie Branston (Elec)
  Kevin Alanthwaite (Elec)
  Tony Eldridge (Elec)
  Allan Angus (Generator op)
  Robert Johnson (Key grip)
  Marc Purdy (Best boy grip)
  Jordan Toms (Dolly grip)
  Carlo Campana (Grip)
  Marko Willis (Grip)
  James Kohne (Grip)
  Jon Billings (Rigging grip)
  Frank Teunissen (Best boy rigging grip)
  William F. White International Inc. (Grip and elec equipment furnished by)
Art Direction: Carol Spier (Prod des)
  James McAteer (Art dir)
  Dusty Reeves (Art dept coord)
  Jae Pak (1st asst art dir)
  J. Ryan Halpenny (2d asst art dir)
  Itsuko Kurono (Art dept apprentice)
Film Editor: Ronald Sanders (Ed)
  Tad Seaborn (1st asst Avid ed)
  Aaron Marshall (1st asst film ed)
  Sandy M. Pereira (2d asst film ed)
  Catherine Rankin (Negative cutter)
Set Decoration: Gordon White (Set des)
  Gordon Lebredt (Set des)
  Peter Nicolakakos (Set dec)
  Danielle Fleury (Asst set dec)
  Kevin Haeberlin (Lead dresser)
  Malcolm Byard (Lead dresser)
  Greg Daprato (Set dresser)
  Greg Pelchat (On set dresser)
  Deryck Blake (Prop master)
  Charles McGlynn (Asst prop master)
  Michael J. Meade (Prop buyer)
  Joe Curtin (Const coord)
  Paul Jefferson (Head carpenter)
  Richard McStay (Asst head carpenter)
  Thomas Pearce (2d asst head carpenter)
  Robert S. Smith (On set carpenter)
  Daniel Brown (Carpenter)
  Michael Bunt (Carpenter)
  Anthony Codd (Carpenter)
  Paul Dzatko (Carpenter)
  Henry Ilola (Carpenter)
  Brian Lumley (Carpenter)
  Rick Marshall (Carpenter)
  Myles Roth (Carpenter)
  Tom Sheehan (Carpenter)
  John Bannister (Key scenic painter)
  Tim S. Campbell (Lead painter)
  Luke Gibson (Asst lead painter)
  Janet L. Cormack (Scenic assist)
  Kenneth Samaroo (On set painter)
  Werner Schlatter (Painter)
  Derek Stephenson (Painter)
  James Coppella (Painter)
  John Flynn (Painter)
  Norman Kelner (Painter)
  Brad Francis (Painter)
  Sam Santoro (Key laborer)
  Scott Howes (Const laborer)
  Neil Crawford (Const laborer)
  Jim Peters (Key greensman)
  Walter Woloschuk (Lead greensman)
  Mike Vanderteems (On set greens)
Costumes: Denise Cronenberg (Cost des)
  Tisha Cowmeadow (Set cost supv)
  Ciara Brennan (Set cost)
  Matthew Campbell (Cost truck supv)
Music: Howard Shore (Mus)
  Paul Broucek (Exec in charge of mus for New Line)
  Lori Silfen (Mus bus affairs exec)
  Howard Shore (Score orch & cond)
  Jennifer Dunnington (Mus ed)
  Mark Willsher (Score ed)
  Jonathan Schultz (Score ed)
  Isobel Griffiths (Mus contractor)
  Karen Elliott HotHouse Music (Mus supv)
  John Kurlander (Score rec)
  Air Lyndhurst Studios, London (Score rec at)
  Peter Cobbin (Score mixed by)
  Abbey Road Studios, London (Score mixed at)
  Vic Fraser (Mus preparation)
  Chris Cozens (Auricle op)
  Eventone Editorial, Tuxedo, NY (Score pre-prod at)
  Elizabeth Cotnoir (Mus prod mgr)
  Alan Frey (Mus prod coord)
  Giancarlo Vulcano (Mus copyist)
  Jim Bruening (Picture analysis)
  Greg LaPorta (Electronic mus programming)
  Tim Stritmater (Tech eng)
Sound: Glen Gauthier (Sd mixer)
  Steve Switzer (Boom op)
  Moshe Saadon (Boom op)
  Wayne Griffin (Supv sd ed)
  Michael O'Farrell (Supv sd ed)
  Gren-Erich Zwicker (1st asst sd ed)
  Matthew Hussey (1st asst sd ed)
  Orest Sushko (Re-rec mixer)
  Christian Cooke (Re-rec mixer)
  Mark Zsifkovits (Re-rec mixer)
  Clive Turner (Sd eff ed)
  Alastair Gray (Dial ed)
  Andy Malcolm (Foley artist)
  Goro Koyama (Foley artist)
  Don White (Foley rec mixer)
  Anna Malkin (Foley rec asst)
  Footsteps Post-Production Sound, Inc. (Foley rec at)
  Matthew McKenzie (ADR mixer)
  Colin McLellan (ADR mixer)
  Eric Thompson (ADR mixer)
  Chris Navarro (ADR rec)
  Deluxe/Sound & Picture (ADR rec at)
  Wilshire Stages (ADR rec at)
  Deluxe (Re-rec)
  Sound & Picture (Re-rec)
  Jamie Gould (Re-rec asst)
Special Effects: Neil Trifunovich (Spec eff supv)
  Gary Kleinsteuber (Spec eff rigging foreman)
  Daniel Gibson (Spec eff set forman)
  Peter Sissakis (Spec eff tech)
  Lauren Ritchie (Exec in charge of visual eff)
  Mr. X Inc. (Visual eff)
  Aaron Weintraub (Visual eff supv, Mr. X Inc.)
  Dennis Berardi (Visual eff supv, Mr. X Inc.)
  Sarah McMurdo (Visual eff prod mgr, Mr. X Inc.)
  Fiona Campbell-Westgate (Visual eff prod, Mr. X Inc.)
  Sean Cohen (3D anim)
  Mark Stepanek (3D anim)
  Barb Benoit (Visual eff compositor)
  Rob Del Ciancio (Visual eff compositor)
  Jef Lonn (Visual eff compositor)
  Bonnie Dickson (Compositing asst)
  David Singer (Operations mgr, Mr. X Inc.)
  Mike Diltz (Tape op, Mr. X Inc.)
  Film Effects, Inc. (Titles & opt des)
  EFILM (Digital intermediate)
  Mikes Eaves (Digital intermediate col timer)
  Bob Fernley (Digital intermediate supv)
  Martha Pike (Digital intermediate ed)
Make Up: Stéphan Dupuis (Makeup supv)
  Christopher Pizzarelli (Key makeup artist)
  Dorota Zajac (Asst makeup artist)
  Patrick Baxter (Prosthetic lab tech)
  Mary Lou Green-Benvenuti (Key hairstylist)
  Divyo Putney (Asst hairstylist)
Production Misc: Deirdre Bowen (Casting)
  The Loop Troop-Canada (ADR voice casting)
  Mark Bennett (U.S. casting)
  Christopher Richards (Casting asst)
  Millie Tom (Casting asst)
  Zameret Kleiman (Extras casting)
  Luisa Cabiddu (Extras casting coord)
  Heather Meehan (Unit prod mgr)
  Erik Holmberg (Exec in charge of prod)
  Leon Dudevoir (Prod exec)
  Paul Prokop (Exec in charge of finance)
  Jody Levin (Exec in charge of post prod)
  Jack Deutchman (Post-prod supv)
  Lori Waters (Post-prod supv)
  Lynell Bangs (Prod accountant)
  Rick Coffee (1st asst accountant, US)
  Julie C. Paquin (1st asst accountant)
  André Paquin (2d asst accountant)
  Alex Kontsalakis (Payroll acountant)
  Steve Sheridan (Asst accountant trainee)
  Robert H. Steiner (Const auditor)
  Jeff Behlendorf (Post-prod accountant)
  Emily Glatter (Supv prod coord)
  Elspeth Haughton (Prod coord)
  Emma Sanders (Post-prod coord)
  Amanda Alden (Asst prod coord)
  Claire Smith (Prod secy)
  Ryan Keaveney (Prod office asst)
  Ryan Hupponen (Prod office asst)
  Dug Rotstein (Scr supv)
  Debra Beers (Loc mgr)
  Robin Greavette (Asst loc mgr)
  Fernando DaSilva (Asst loc mgr)
  Warner Strauss (Asst loc mgr)
  Kyle O'Connor (Loc prod asst)
  Darren J. Biro (Loc prod asst)
  Jon Davidson (Prod controller)
  Andrew Matthews (Exec in charge of film investment)
  Joshua Ravetch (Prod resources)
  Joe Steele (Prod resources)
  Scott Kanyuck (Prod attorney)
  Kelly Lofstrom (Contract admin)
  Carolyn Rohaly (Asst to Mr. Cronenberg)
  Neal Flaherty (Asst to Mr. Bender)
  Louise Muskala (Asst to Mr. Greene)
  Prudence Emery (Unit pub)
  William Dobson (Set medic)
  Frenchie Berger (Gun wrangler)
  Debra Weyman (Studio teacher)
  John E. Nelles (Dial coach)
  By Davids' (Catering)
  Star Grazing (Craft service)
  Eric Sherping (Craft service asst)
  Elaine Hughes (Craft service asst)
  David Staples (Transportation coord)
  Stuart Mitchell (Transportation capt)
  Ken Barbet (Transportation capt)
  David Tommasini (Helicopter pilot)
  Hugh McCallum (Driver for Mr. Mortensen)
  Michael K. Jones (Driver for Ms. Bello)
  Ray Gabourie (Driver for Mr. Harris & Mr. Hurt)
  Maurice Tremblay (Driver)
  Bruce Raymer (Driver)
  Walter L. Dibacco (Driver)
  William L. Tataryn (Driver)
  Lorne Frederick (Driver)
  Lalchan Samaroo (Driver)
  John Coles (Driver)
  Don Morley (Driver)
  Ron Hines (Driver)
  Frank Norris (Driver)
  Thomas Osmond (Driver)
  Kevin L. Murphy (Driver)
  Michael Gabourie (Driver)
  Glenn Hughes (Picture vehicle capt)
  Lenita Karhunen (Transport office admin)
  Robin Joseph (Mus clearances)
  Entertainment Clearances, Inc. (Rights & clearances)
  Cassandra Barbour Entertainment Clearances, Inc. (Rights & clearances)
  Laura Sevier Entertainment Clearances, Inc. (Rights & clearances)
  Laurie Cartwright (Risk management)
  Juliana Selfridge (Risk management)
  Jeff Egan (Prod safety)
  AON/Albert G. Ruben Insurance Services, Inc. (Insurance provided by)
  Lee Tucker (Preview tech supv)
  Cast and Crew Entertainment Service, Inc. (Payroll)
Stand In: John Stoneham, Jr. (Stunt coord)
  Chris McGuire (Stunts)
  Dave Van Zeyl (Stunts)
  Duncan McLeod (Stunts)
  Chad Camelleri (Stunts)
  Bryan Thomas (Stunts)
  Rafal Mickiewicz (Stand-in)
  Jen Ricci (Stand-in)
  Jason McLean (Stand-in)
Color Personnel: Ricardo Olivero (Lab col timer)
MPAA Rating: R
Country: Canada and United States
Language: English

Music:
Songs: "Life of a Fool," written by Paul Burch, performed by Paul Burch, courtesy of Bloodshot Records; "Club Hoppin'," written by Michael Foster and Darrell "Digga" Branch, performed by Blinky Blink, courtesy of Spirit Music Group.
Composer: Darrell "Digga" Branch
  Paul Burch
  Michael Foster
Source Text: Based on the graphic novel A History of Violence , written by John Wagner, art by Vince Locke (New York, 1997).
Authors: John Wagner
  Vince Locke

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Media 1! Filmproduktion München GmbH & Co. KG 1/12/2005 dd/mm/yyyy PA0001303939
New LIne Productions, Inc. 1/12/2005 dd/mm/yyyy PA0001303939

PCA NO: 41604
Physical Properties: Sd: SDDS Sony Dynamic Digital Sound; Dolby Digital; dts in selected theatres
  col: Deluxe
  Lenses/Prints: Deluxe, released on FUJI; camera & lenses by Panavision

 
Genre: Drama
Sub-Genre: Crime
 
Subjects (Major): Family relationships
  Impersonation and imposture
  Marriage
  Multiple murderers
  Murder
  Personality change
 
Subjects (Minor): Automobiles
  Bars
  Baseball
  Brothers
  Bullies
  Diners (Restaurants)
  Firearms
  Gangsters
  High school students
  Hospitals
  Indiana
  Knives
  Lawyers
  Missing persons
  Newspapers
  Philadelphia (PA)
  Ponds
  Reputation
  Robbery
  Scars
  Sheriffs
  Shopping malls
  Small town life
  Television news and information
  Wounds and injuries

Note: During the opening credits, there is a sequence lasting several minutes in which "Leland" and "Billy" ruthlessly kill the proprietor, the maid and the maid's little girl in a motel in the Southwest. In the scenes taking place in Philadelphia, protagonist "Tom Stall" is always addressed as "Joey" or "Joey Cusack." "Carl Fogarty" also only addresses him as Joey.
       John Wagner and Vince Locke's graphic novel A History of Violence , which was the basis for the film, was the first in DC Comics' popular Paradox Graphic Mystery series. The second novel in the series, The Road to Perdition , previously was made into the Sam Mendes-directed film of the same title in 2002. The film adaptation of A History of Violence follows the graphic novel's basic story line, but with a number of important differences: Whereas the film offers few details of Tom's early life or the reason why he decided to remake himself, in the graphic novel, one of the book's three chapters, "The Brooklyn Murders," provides a detailed recounting of Tom's early life, as he relates it to "Edie." The film retains the first names of the main characters, but all of the mobsters' surnames have been changed from Italian to various ethnic groups. Tom's surname was changed from McKenna to Stall, and Joey's surname was changed from Muni to Cusack.
       Other differences include the fact that Tom was originally from Brooklyn, not Philadelphia, and that the character of "Richie" was changed from Joey's best friend, Richie Benedetto, in the graphic novel, to his brother in the film. The graphic novel gives a more sympathetic view of the young Joey, who was only fourteen when he left Brooklyn. Near the end of the graphic novel, Richie, who has been held prisoner by a mob boss and brutally tortured for more than twenty years, pleads with his childhood friend to kill him, which he reluctantly does.
       A plot point from the book which is not used in the film is that, in the graphic novel, Tom is missing a little finger, and when "John Torrino" (called Carl Fogarty in the film) first visits Tom's diner, he is wearing a vial containing the missing digit. This point is an important difference because, in the graphic novel, police identify Tom as Joey by testing his DNA against the finger after Torrino (Fogarty) dies. Two other major differences exist between the graphic novel and the film. The first is that, while in the film Edie turns on Tom and it is unclear at the end of the film if their relationship will ever recover, in the graphic novel, she does not waver in her feelings. Finally, in the graphic novel, it is Edie, not their son "Buzz" (called "Jack " in the film) who saves Tom's life by killing Torrino.
       As noted in reviews and news items, A History of Violence was Canadian director David Cronenberg's largest budgeted film to date, costing $30,000,000 to produce. The film marked the eleventh collaboration between Cronenberg and composer Howard Shore, a fellow Canadian. Costume designer Denise Cronenberg, who is the director's sister, previously has worked on several of David Cronenberg's films.
       Although most sources, including the film's program at the Toronto Film Festival, stated that it was a U.S. production, the film was shot at the Toronto Film Studios and at other locations in Ontario, Canada. The township of Millbrook, Ontario was the location site of the film's Millbrook, IN. As noted in the onscreen acknowledgments, the film was also shot in the Ontario townships of Scugog, King City, New Tecumseth and Tottenham, as well as the Everton Conservation area outside Toronto. Onscreen acknowledgments were also given to SAAN Stores Lts. and St. John's Rehab Hospital, where various scenes were shot.
       As noted in a DV article, as part of the film's exploitation, cable television channel CourtTV, in partnership with New Line Cinema, broadcast a two-hour block of programming tied to one of the themes of the film, that of someone living a double life. The programming was part of CourtTV's recently inaugurated "Red Carpet Treatment" shows highlighting new films that were topically connected to the channel's law and order theme.
       Reviews were almost universally laudatory of the film, with most praising the acting of Viggo Mortensen as Tom and Maria Bello as Edie, in particular. Many reviews pointed out the power of Cronenberg's theme of underlying violence set against a rural American background, with some noting that, for a film with an underlying theme of violence and brutality, there were relatively few short scenes that graphically portrayed violent acts. Although some critics suggested that the film was an indictment of America and its violent history, in interviews, Cronenberg denied that the picture specifically was an indictment of the U.S. or its policies. Several reviews compared the film to classic American Westerns, particularly The Gunfighter (see above), the 1950 Twentieth Century-Fox film directed by Henry King and starring Gregory Peck as a former gunfighter who is trying to escape his violent past life.
       In addition to being selected as one of AFI's ten Movies of the Year, A History of Violence received two Academy Award nominations, for Josh Olson for Best Adapted Screenplay and William Hurt for Best Supporting Actor. The film also received two Golden Globe nominations, for Best Picture--Drama and for Best Actress--Drama (Bello). Additionally, Olson was nominated for a Writers Guild Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, and he and authors Wagner and Locke were nominated for a USC Scripter award. Hurt also received an L.A. Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor. According to an 11 Dec 2005 LAT news item, the film was also a "close runner-up" to the L.A. Film Critics' Best Picture winner Brokeback Mountain (see above). 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Daily Variety   12 Sep 2002   p. 5, 21.
Daily Variety   18 May 2005   p. 12.
Daily Variety   24 Aug 2005   p. 4.
Entertainment Weekly   7 Oct 2005   p. 48.
Hollywood Reporter   20 Mar 2003   p. 4, 38.
Hollywood Reporter   13 Feb 2004   p. 3, 83.
Hollywood Reporter   5-11 Oct 2004   p. 34.
LAWeekly   16 Sep 2005   p. 106, 108.
Los Angeles Times   23 Sep 2005.   
Los Angeles Times   11 Dec 2005.   
The Nation   24 Oct 2005.   
New Republic   17 Oct 2005   pp. 17-18.
New York Times   23 Sep 2005.   
Rolling Stone   6 Oct 2005   p. 163.
Sight and Sound   Oct 2005   pp. 14-16, 64.
Time   26 Sep 2005.   
Variety   23--29 May 2005.   
Village Voice   21-27 Sep 2005   p. 34, 37.
WSJ   22 Sep 2005.   

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