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The Homesman (2014)

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Three women who have been driven mad by pioneer life are to be transported across the country by covered wagon by the pious, independent-minded Mary Bee Cuddy, who in turn employs low-life drifter George Briggs to assist her.

Director:

Tommy Lee Jones

Writers:

Tommy Lee Jones (screenplay), Kieran Fitzgerald (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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4,198 ( 1,131)
5 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tommy Lee Jones ... George Briggs
Hilary Swank ... Mary Bee Cuddy
Grace Gummer ... Arabella Sours
Miranda Otto ... Theoline Belknap
Sonja Richter ... Gro Svendsen
Jo Harvey Allen ... Mrs. Polhemus
Barry Corbin ... Buster Shaver
David Dencik ... Thor Svendsen
William Fichtner ... Vester Belknap
Evan Jones ... Bob Giffen
Caroline Lagerfelt ... Netti Svendsen
John Lithgow ... Reverend Alfred Dowd
Tim Blake Nelson ... Freighter
Jesse Plemons ... Garn Sours
James Spader ... Aloysius Duffy
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Storyline

Three women who have been driven mad by pioneer life are to be transported across the country by covered wagon by the pious, independent-minded Mary Bee Cuddy, who in turn employs low-life drifter George Briggs to assist her.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The untold story of The West.

Genres:

Drama | Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, sexual content, some disturbing behavior and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA | France

Language:

English | Danish

Release Date:

18 May 2014 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Deuda de honor See more »

Filming Locations:

New Mexico, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$45,433, 16 November 2014

Gross USA:

$2,429,989

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,819,421
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Danish director Nikolaj Arcel recommended fellow Dane Sonja Richter for the part of Gro Svendsen. Arcel said Jones approached him a few minutes after A Royal Affair (2012) was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. See more »

Goofs

During the Indian attack, every shot of the carriage has mountains in the background. The road from Nebraska to Iowa is nowhere near any mountains. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mary Bee Cuddy: [prodding plow horses] Come on, girls.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Film 2017: Episode #44.6 (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Take Thee This Token
Music by Marco Beltrami
Lyrics by Glendon Swarthout
Performed by Hilary Swank
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Remarkable work of auteur cinema -- realism at its best
20 July 2014 | by jdeurekaSee all my reviews

Tommy Lee Jones has a wry, dry character -- rich and deep as unwatered open plains of the Americas. He's transferred his particular personality power to the story of The Homesman. He's successfully created a fine work of "auteur cinema" (much as I personally think this form rarely exists).

The Homesman is an emotionally and powerful, idea-rich, almost humorless story -- with an immense amount of humor. It has very tight, economic tale telling with no fat on the bone; in which much is implied, historical accuracy hits its target by nuance, and the story itself is deeply respectful of an intelligent audience.

The Homesman is not "entertainment" in the haha, shoot-'em-up Western sense. It's realism committed to a moral cause -- criticism of the disenfranchised, the homeless, the people who cannot make it no matter how hard they try. It has a brilliant sense of time and place that tells the life stories of dozens of hard-enduring, long-suffering "forgotten men" -- the women no less than the men.

The key heartbreaker is Hilary Swank's character of Miss Mary Bee Cuddy. She's born into a Western frontier world where she and everyone else believes and practices that "No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." Hard workers and decent people. But tragically that is not enough. Why? The Homesman leaves that question deliciously unanswered. Life is not fair. God is not just.

Beautifully The Homesman does -- kind of -- answer life's problems with the value of sheer vitality and gutsiness itself. Thus that key visual motif in the movie that comes from: George Caleb Bingham, "The Jolly Flatboatmen". We must dance the dance of life, however mad.


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