The Claim

( 1 )

Overview

One man's small empire threatens to collapse under the weight of his greed and deceit in this drama that transplants the story of Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge to 19th century America. In 1867, Dillon Peter Mullan is an Irish immigrant who settled in California during the Gold Rush of '49 and has done quite well for himself. Dillon owns nearly every business of consequence in the town of Kingdom Come; if someone wants to dig for gold, rent a room, open a bank account, or even order a drink, they have ...
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Overview

One man's small empire threatens to collapse under the weight of his greed and deceit in this drama that transplants the story of Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge to 19th century America. In 1867, Dillon Peter Mullan is an Irish immigrant who settled in California during the Gold Rush of '49 and has done quite well for himself. Dillon owns nearly every business of consequence in the town of Kingdom Come; if someone wants to dig for gold, rent a room, open a bank account, or even order a drink, they have to go to Dillon to do it. One of the few profitable enterprises in town that he doesn't own is the brothel, which is operated by Lucia Milla Jovovich, Dillon's lover. Circumstances change somewhat when Dalglish - a surveyor with the Central Pacific Railroad - turns up and expresses his plans to implement a railroad in the area. Dillon, sensing a great opportunity afoot, travels well out of his way to ensure that the line is run through Kingdom Come, to enhance the town's commercial prospects. Also arriving in town the same time as Dalglish are two women, the beautiful but ailing Elena Nastassja Kinski and her lovely teenage daughter Hope Sarah Polley; their presence is deeply troubling for Dillon, for they are the keys to a dark secret Dillon has kept from the people of Kingdom Come. The Claim is Michael Winterbottom's second adaptation of the works of Thomas Hardy; his 1996 feature Jude was adapted from Hardy's final novel, Jude the Obscure.
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Liberally adapted from a Thomas Hardy novel, The Claim is a memorable but melancholy tale that transposes its action from the book's British setting to the mountainous American West. The story unfolds in the rugged frontier town of Kingdom Come, where mayor Daniel Dillon portrayed by Peter Mullan rules with an iron hand. Dillon is haunted by the memory of a decision he made two decades earlier, and the arrival in town of a faded tubercular beauty Nastassja Kinski and her 20-year-old daughter Sarah Polley intensifies the pain of that memory. Railroad surveyor Donald Dalglish Wes Bentley, whose recommendation could bring prosperity to Kingdom Come, takes a shine to the young woman -- unaware that she, like Dillon, harbors a tragic secret. The plot might seem unnecessarily cryptic, but that's just what director Michael Winterbottom Wonderland intended. His stark, gritty drama is deliberately ambiguous, and he's stingy about sharing details with his audience. But The Claim will reward viewers who invest the extra concentration needed to follow the story. Winterbottom's film is a carefully wrought, unconventional western in the spirit of Robert Altman's McCabe and Mrs. Miller, and it's graced with unusually fine performances contributed by a superb cast.
All Movie Guide - Jason Clark
In a matter of a few years, director Michael Winterbottom has slowly become one of the more interesting British filmmakers currently working, simply by retaining the ability to make films that are both classical and progressive in nature. This period effort set in the wintry landscapes of the Sierra Nevada region proves to be his most unique and rewarding movie yet, blessed with an undeniably precise knowledge of time and place, with a permanent, lived-in quality brought to fruition by a remarkable ensemble cast. A director who never goes for cheap effect, Winterbottom subtly draws viewers into this haunting tale of family regained and the power of greed by letting them take in the details through small gestures. He is helped immeasurably by his production team, including the magnificent art direction by Mark Tildesley and cinematographer Alwin Kuchler, which conspires to create an epic picture that feels momentous as much with emotion as it does with visuals. The movie never draws attention to itself, which is why it becomes so affecting -- it is one of the few recent films that seem effortlessly rooted in its setting. Combined with his other 2000 offering -- the superb, working-class drama Wonderland) -- Winterbottom has become a master eavesdropper on lives as they are lived, creating a world that feels as real to the viewer as it does to the subjects onscreen.
San Francisco Chronicle
A rich emotional experience, ranging in degree from fire to ice. Bob Graham

A rich emotional experience, ranging in degree from fire to ice. Bob Graham
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/26/2001
  • UPC: 883904130147
  • Original Release: 2000
  • Source: Mgm (Video & Dvd)
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Peter Mullan Dillon
Wes Bentley Dalglish
Milla Jovovich Lucia
Nastassja Kinski Elena
Sarah Polley Hope
Julian Richings Bellinger
Sean McGinley Sweetley
Duncan Fraser Crocker
Technical Credits
Michael Winterbottom Director
Kerry Barden Casting
Douglas Berquist Co-producer
Frank Cottrell Boyce Screenwriter
Wendy Brazington Casting
Andrea Calderwood Executive Producer
Andrew Eaton Producer
Joanne Hansen Costumes/Costume Designer
Paul Healy Set Decoration/Design
Billy Hopkins Casting
Martin F. Katz Executive Producer
Alwin Küchler Cinematographer
Nick Laws Asst. Director
Alexis Lloyd Executive Producer
Michael Nyman Score Composer
Ken Rempel Production Designer
Suzanne Smith Casting
George Tarrant Sound/Sound Designer
Mark Tildesley Production Designer
Trevor Waite Editor
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    5 Stars From The Mojave Muleskinners, ''Capt.Ball''

    Top Notch. If you're looking for an authentic film about the Old West around 1867, and how it might have been, you got to watch this. This is a Canadian made film about the building of the Continental Railroad and I'm impressed. If you're a miner, prospector, gunfighter, reenactor,...you have to watch this film. I recently found an old Cylinder Record with crude singing very much like what you'll hear in the movie. It's now my favorite Cylinder Record. This is a Must See film if you think you're a western buff. Not an abundance of action but a very realistic couple of hours. Currently seeking my own personal copy. Have Fun. Capt.Ball-President Mojave Muleskinners

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews