American Crime

An American Crime

4.8 5
Director: Tommy O'Haver

Cast: Catherine Keener, Ellen Page, James Franco

     
 

The true story of a young girl held captive by her insane caretaker comes to life in this disturbing film from Ella Enchanted director Tommy O'Haver. Hard Candy's Ellen Page stars as Sylvia Likens a teenager who, along with her sister, is left to live temporarily with seemigly-mild-mannered housewife Gertrude Baniszewski, played by Catherine Keener.…  See more details below

Overview

The true story of a young girl held captive by her insane caretaker comes to life in this disturbing film from Ella Enchanted director Tommy O'Haver. Hard Candy's Ellen Page stars as Sylvia Likens a teenager who, along with her sister, is left to live temporarily with seemigly-mild-mannered housewife Gertrude Baniszewski, played by Catherine Keener. Unfortunately for Sylvia, Gertrude soon snaps and holds her hostage in harsh conditions until the former's eventual death. Bradley Whitford costars as the prosecutor tasked with trying the case against Baniszewski.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/19/2008
UPC:
0687797114198
Original Release:
2007
Rating:
R
Source:
Alchemy / Millennium
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:32:00
Sales rank:
22,672

Special Features

5.1 Dolby Digital Surround; English SDH & Spanish Subtitles; Previews

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Catherine Keener Gertrude Baniszewski
Ellen Page Sylvia Likens
James Franco Andy
Bradley Whitford Prosecutor
Ari Graynor Paula Baniszewski
Nick Searcy Lester Likens
Michael O'Keefe Reverend Bill
Romy Rosemont Betty Likens
Jeremy Sumpter Coy Hubbard
Evan Peters Ricky Hobbs
Hayley McFarland Jennie

Technical Credits
Tommy O'Haver Director,Screenwriter
Nathan Amondson Production Designer
Spring Aspers Musical Direction/Supervision
Zach Bangma Art Director
Anya Colloff Casting
Melissa Kent Editor
Pamela Koffler Executive Producer
Alan Ari Lazar Score Composer
Alan Lazar Score Composer
Amy McIntyre-Britt Casting
Rebecca Perkins Makeup Special Effects
Hans Christian Ritter Co-producer
Chad Rosen Asst. Director
Katie Roumel Producer
Byron Shah Cinematographer
Richard Shore Executive Producer
Jocelyn Hayes Simpson Producer
Scott Stolz Sound/Sound Designer
Kevin Turen Producer
Irene Turner Screenwriter
Christine Vachon Producer
Ruth Vitale Executive Producer
Richard Vitale Executive Producer
John Wells Executive Producer
Henry Winterstern Producer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- American Crime
1. Main Titles [9:25]
2. No Family [9:06]
3. Confession [7:09]
4. Nothing To Do [5:27]
5. Family Meeting [9:18]
6. Harsh Lesson [6:51]
7. Bad Role Model [6:31]
8. Work as a Family [10:53]
9. Cleansing [8:44]
10. Escape [9:15]
11. Nothing Done [9:02]
12. End Credits [5:40]

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An American Crime 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
meme101060 More than 1 year ago
Very sad that this could happen in America. The book is "House of Evil: The Indiana Torture Slaying by John Dean"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
AN AMERICAN CRIME is a problematic little reenactment of a real criminal case of child abuse dating back to 1965. The story is horrifying and while the film places the facts in our faces, the impact of the film is out of focus. This is due to the script that elects to glaze over the motivational aspects of a brutal crime in favor of attempting to investigate fully the mindset of both the perpetrator and the victims. Were it not for some sterling performances by Catherine Keener and Ellen Page this film might be easily dismissed: the strength of these actresses to overcome a weak script and manage to involve us is much to their credit as artists. Indiana, 1965, and Gertrude Baniszewski (Catherine Keener) is a 'borderline' single mother of several children who is asked to take care of Sylvia (Ellen Page) and Jennie Likens (Hayley McFarland) while the girls parents remain on the road as carnies, promising to send checks to help support their farmed out children. Gertrude is a woman of loose morals who adds babies to her large family during liaisons with young men like the itinerant Dennis (James Franco). Gertrude takes in laundry to support her household and requires her young children to work toward the same goal. A friction develops between Sylvia and Jenny and the children by Gertrude's illicit adventures as well as covert sexual similarities surfacing in her children and at 'family meetings' Gertrude doles out punishment for Sylvia - punishment including cigarette burns, coke bottle insertions, branding etc. - all of which are undeserved and eventually lead to Sylvia's imprisonment in the basement where Gertrude and her children and their friends daily torture Sylvia. Eventually Sylvia dies and Gertrude and family are brought to court for charges of first-degree murder and variations thereof. The court proceedings (under the leadership of lawyer Leroy K. New played by Bradley Whitford) provide the story drivers as each allegation is then acted out by flashbacks until the verdicts are reached. Catherine Keener is superb as the deranged, maladaptive Gertrude and Ellen Page adds yet another feather to her cap in a role that in another actor's hands could have been over the top. Writer/director Tommy O'Haver (the script was written with the aid of Irene Turner) does manage to show us the facts of this atrocity yet fails to go inside the characters to give us the psychobiographies this film has the potential for illuminating. It may well repel some viewers, but it does bring to the forefront a crime that is all too common in this country. Grady Harp
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Their should be a book on it .It is a great movie,and since its rated R.Kids can't watch it so instead they could read the book it would be a life changing exprenice for them it already is a great movie.So you should think about making a book i would be really good. And if uyou make one I hope to read it in the future
Anonymous More than 1 year ago