A History of ViolenceDirector: David Cronenberg
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David Cronenberg directed this screen adaptation of a graphic novel by John Wagner and Vince Locke which explores how an act of heroism unexpectedly changes a man's life. Tom Stall (Viggo Mortensen) lives a quiet life in a small Indiana town, running the local diner with his wife, Edie (Maria Bello), and raising their two children. But the quiet is shattered one day when a pair of criminals on the run from the police walk into his diner just before closing time. After they attack one of the customers and seem ready to kill several of the people inside, Tom jumps to the fore, grabbing a gun from one of the criminals and killing the invaders. Tom is immediately hailed as a hero by his employees and the community at large, but Tom seems less than comfortable with his new notoriety. One day, a man with severe facial scars, Carl Fogarty (Ed Harris), sits down at the counter and begins addressing Tom as Joey, and begins asking him questions about the old days in Philadelphia. While Tom seems puzzled, Carl's actions suggest that the quiet man pouring coffee at the diner may have a dark and violent past he isn't eager to share with others -- as well as some old scores that haven't been settled.
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Cast & Crew
|Viggo Mortensen||Tom Stall|
|Maria Bello||Edie Stall|
|Ashton Holmes||Jack Stall|
|William Hurt||Richie Cusack|
|Stephen McHattie||Leland Jones|
|Peter MacNeill||Sheriff Sam Carney|
|Ed Harris||Carl Fogarty|
|Heidi Hayes||Sarah Stall|
|Greg Bryk||William "Billy" Orser|
|Josh Braun||Executive Producer|
|Denise Cronenberg||Costumes/Costume Designer|
|Walter Gasparovic||Asst. Director|
|Glen Gauthier||Sound/Sound Designer|
|Justis Greene||Executive Producer|
|Wayne Griffin||Sound Mixer|
|Roger E. Kass||Executive Producer|
|James McAteer||Art Director|
|Michael O'Farrell||Sound Mixer|
|Howard Shore||Score Composer|
|Carol Spier||Production Designer|
1. Monsters [6:03]
2. Family Man [4:36]
3. Jack [1:25]
4. Teens [7:20]
5. A Stop at the Dinner [1:52]
6. An American Hero [3:44]
7. Bad Man [4:01]
8. "Get the Shotgun" [9:12]
9. "Ask Tom" [6:07]
10. Tought Guy [3:37]
11. Standoff [4:01]
12. The Truth [5:52]
13. Questions ans Answers [3:44]
14. Philadelphia [8:26]
15. Richie [4:56]
16. Home [12:06]
17. End Credits [4:29]
Acts of Violence
Eye for an Eye
Scene 44 (Deleted Scene)
Play without Commentary
Play with Commentary by Director David Cronenberg
The Unmaking of Scene 44
Violence History: United States Version vs. International Version
Too Commercial for Cannes
Feature Commentary with David Cronenberg
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Cronenberg does it again! Awesome movie. Viggo is amazing as ever, this film great. If you're repulsed by gore then beware, though.
This was a great story - great acting but could have done with a whole lot less of the graphic sexual activity
The Godfather Meets the Bourne Identity! There isn't as much of a mysterious journey in "A History of Violence" as was in The Bourne Identity, as the secret in this film is made known to viewers all too soon. However, there is good acting and a lot of action, the combination of which usually results in an enjoyable film. Good movie.
This film was a suprise to me. It includes so many contraversial topics. At the same time, the action scenes are very beautiful.
For all of the hype this film recieved, it seems that this is nothing more than a David Lynch wannabe. With it's foreboding visuals, it's graphic and disturbing content, and of course its creepy villians too, it can't fool anyone about it's rediculious mystery, or the sense that this is blatantly imitated material.
I was very excited for this movie after seeing some enticing promos. However, it failed to live up to the hype. The story line was very weak with hardly any charachter development, and more than one graphic scene that could have been left out. Beyond the obvious backstory explained in the first half hour of the film, there are no intriguing elements in the plot. Some good action shots weren't enough to make up for the poor script. Very disappointing.
This movie is amazing. It is funny, harrowing, scary, violent, touching and heartbreaking. It is terrific. It can be discussed in highbrow conversation or just enjoyed for being a fast paced, action packed blast. A thinking action movie, a violent character study and analysis of family and what family implies. And more. Much more.
This was a remarkable film and an important development in the ouevre of Cronenberg. While his usual attention to sexuality and violence is present, it does not take on the physically transformative paths his previous films have. Even so, it is more powerful for it. Mortensen's performance as Tom is nuanced and delicate because it is alternately so kind and so terrifying. The film is visceral and brutal but more concerned with the relationships in the family and how that violence effects how they love one another.
There are also questions (perhaps not given quite enough screen time) to the notion of whether violence is an inherited and inherent male trait. The previous reviews don't seem to understand that this isn't an action movie. It isn't a weepy melodrama. It is a new animal and a remarkable one.
Many of these themes were revisited in Eastern Promises and they together form a interesting study.
This is not to say that the movie isn't entertaining or is some dry, boring thing. Quite the contrary. It is a richly rewarding, immensely funny film, with amazing sights and technical expertise.
The dvd is very good and the commentary by Cronenberg is not to be missed, he is as eloquent and intelligent as one could possibly hope for.
For fans of intelligent and probing films, sure. But also for people who want to be challenged and entertained all at once.