6.2/10
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The Proposition (1998)

Father Michael McKinnon goes from the U.K. to Boston circa 1935. For unknown reasons, he avoids at all costs the most prominent parishioners, Arthur and Eleanor Barret. Meanwhile, Eleanor ... See full summary »

Writer:

Rick Ramage
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Loggia ... Hannibal Thurman
Bronia Wheeler Bronia Wheeler ... Sister Mary Frances
Kenneth Branagh ... Father Michael McKinnon
Madeleine Stowe ... Eleanor Barret
William Hurt ... Arthur Barret
Ken Cheeseman ... Wayne Fenton
Jim Chiros Jim Chiros ... Timothy
Dee Nelson ... Susan Vicar
Pamela Hart Pamela Hart ... Skip Taylor
Wendy Feign ... Maid
Blythe Danner ... Syril Danning
Dossy Peabody Dossy Peabody ... Hannibal's Secretary
Neil Patrick Harris ... Roger Martin
Thomas Downey ... Torrey Harrington (as Tom Downey)
Tom Kemp ... Arthur's Chauffeur
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Storyline

Father Michael McKinnon goes from the U.K. to Boston circa 1935. For unknown reasons, he avoids at all costs the most prominent parishioners, Arthur and Eleanor Barret. Meanwhile, Eleanor and Arthur desperately want to have a child, but Arthur is sterile, so they hire Harvard law student Roger Martin to impregnate Eleanor, but unfortunately Roger falls in love with her.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One man gave up everything he owned. The other, everything he believed in.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 March 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Shakespeare's Sister See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$61,560, 29 March 1998

Gross USA:

$147,773

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$147,773
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Scott Wolf and Matt Damon were considered for the role of Roger Martin. See more »

Goofs

The narration of this movie is supposed to be Father McKinnon telling the story to Hannibal Thurman, yet there are parts of the story that Hannibal is in which would certainly not have to be told to Hannibal by McKinnon. If that isn't bad enough, there is a part of the narration (right after Roger agrees to be the surrogate father) that McKinnon says "Hannibal knew that.........." even though it is Hannibal he is talking to. See more »

Quotes

Father Michael McKinnon: You're probably the one person in the world Arthur Barret respects enough to fear, loves enough to kill for.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Modern Woman
Composed and Arranged by Sonny Kompanek
See more »

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User Reviews

Flawed, but enjoyable
16 May 2001 | by OrielSee all my reviews

Fortunately for me, I stumbled on this film with absolutely no expectations--didn't even know the title until I looked it up on the IMDb! But it kept me watching, fascinated, for two hours (including commercials), and at the end I felt like I wanted to spend more time with it. It has romance, elegant atmosphere, a surprising plot, intriguing themes, and good actors...so, while the pacing and direction sometimes seem a touch stilted, I'd definitely watch it again.

I'm a bit baffled that everyone who finds fault with this film picks on the story. For me, the story was the strong point: it had some truly surprising twists and grew from the complexities and relationships of a range of fully drawn characters--a luxury most films, with their flat cardboard characters, don't offer. And the references to Virginia Woolf, also singled out for criticism by many viewers, actually served to enrich and illuminate the ways the film dealt with the tragic inability of a woman to escape the double standard. In the world of the film, where even a seemingly perfect husband could with no warning transform into a tyrant, even a woman who thought she had it all could be trapped by a paucity of choices.

That makes it sound like a preachy feminist movie, which it isn't. In fact, those who enjoy good old-fashioned murder mysteries will get a kick out of it. Perfect it isn't, but I can think of far worse ways to spend a lazy evening.


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