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The Pledge (Jack Nicholson)


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18 replies to this topic

#1 of 19 OFFLINE   Charles J P

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Posted April 10 2003 - 03:00 PM

What the hell was up with this movie. I searched here, first, but wasnt really to surprised to not find anything. I mean
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the guy works the whole second half of the movie, to try to prove himself and honor his promise and in the end, everyone thinks he's a nut. WTF!?


#2 of 19 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted April 10 2003 - 03:39 PM

Charles, I edited the post so that the spoiler wouldn't immediately pop up in the thread preview.

I believe there were official review and discussion threads about The Pledge when the film was first released to theaters, but they've scrolled off.

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#3 of 19 OFFLINE   ThomasC

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Posted April 10 2003 - 03:53 PM

Charles,
Quote:
he already honored his promise. The killer was the retarded Indian. The pledge made him go crazy, and he started to think there was more to it.


#4 of 19 OFFLINE   Vickie_M

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Posted April 10 2003 - 08:46 PM

Quote:
he already honored his promise. The killer was the retarded Indian. The pledge made him go crazy, and he started to think there was more to it.


Hmmm? The killer wasn't the Indian. Where did you get that quote? There was more to it. The killer was
the man who died in the car crash.
I'm willing to be persuaded otherwise, but I thought the movie was quite clear about who the killer was.

I do agree that the pledge made him go crazy though, and everyone did think he was a nut, but he was right all along. I loved this movie. It was one of the best films of 2001. It's one of Nicholson's best roles, and Sean Penn is a gifted director.
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#5 of 19 OFFLINE   Joshua_Y

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Posted April 10 2003 - 10:06 PM

I always thought Tom Noonan was the killer...the guy who died in the crash...I dont believe it was The Indian because the cops knew that he was mentally challenged and simply talked him into admitting it...

Nonetheless...this is one of the best films of 2001...and I think may be Nicholsons best role ever...theres not a thing in this movie that I dont love dearly...

#6 of 19 OFFLINE   ThomasC

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Posted April 10 2003 - 11:34 PM

Crap,
what crash?
I guess I'll have to watch it again...

Are you talking about the priest or reverend or whoever he was?


#7 of 19 OFFLINE   Charles J P

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Posted April 10 2003 - 11:52 PM

No, why doesnt an admin add "spoilerrs" to the title? There was a grey haired man that worked at the sweets store below where the victim's (the one from the very start of the movie) grandmother lived. I would have been much more OK with the ending if there was some indication that the indian did do it and he was just crazy. As it stands, is the movie just a look at what happens to you when you really really believe something and no one else believes you?

#8 of 19 OFFLINE   Holadem

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Posted April 11 2003 - 12:10 AM

The Priest (or whatever the hell he was) did it, there was a porcupine in his car which they showed after the crash. Had the crash not happened, they would have caught him.

Good movie, but one I will never watch again, too goddamn depressing.

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#9 of 19 OFFLINE   Charles J P

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Posted April 11 2003 - 12:33 AM

The priest was not even the guy in the car crash. That was a separate guy. The priest was bald and the guy with the porcupine in the car was the co-owner of the candy store. He was the one that gave the victims the little porcupine chocolates.

#10 of 19 OFFLINE   soop.spoon

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Posted April 11 2003 - 01:19 AM

Holadem has it right...
the guy who dies in the car crash
was clearly the killer. A twist of fate kept the killer's identity concealed. The reasons for Nicholson's character's breakdown is open to your interpretation.

#11 of 19 OFFLINE   Charles J P

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Posted April 11 2003 - 01:31 AM

I guess I would have chosen the movie to end one of two ways.
1) Jack MAKES us assume that the "giant" is the killer. What if the little girl at the beginning was meeting with the giant and getting candies from him, but it was actually the indian that killed her.

2) Or, that if it was the giant, then I dont like the fact that Jack never got his man so I dont think he should have crashed, or that all the cops would have realized that he must have been the killer and then Jack wouldnt have gone crazy because no one believed him.

#12 of 19 OFFLINE   LennyP

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Posted April 11 2003 - 02:20 AM

No giants, no indians, that's all just tricks and misleads, the unknown guy in the car crash who was going to the meeting place but died was the killer. They were waiting and waiting, and he never came, that's why Jack went insane, he's still waiting, he's locked in that endless cycle, muttering to himself, an excellent ending, I love all 3 Sean Penn's movies. Check out the Crossing Guard!
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#13 of 19 OFFLINE   Brett_B

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Posted April 11 2003 - 02:28 AM

Quote:
I dont believe it was The Indian because the cops knew that he was mentally challenged and simply talked him into admitting it...
I am one of the VERY FEW that did not like this movie on little bit. The above comment pretty much sums it up, especially the phrase "the cops knew". I guess maybe that was the intention of the movie, to go crazy along with Nicholson's character. It just seemed that whenever Jack tried to present evidence in his assumption, he was basically blown off as if he did not know what he was talking about, yet they wanted you to believe that he was on of the top detectives (always dedicated to his work).

The whole scene where he was talking to the school's guidance counselor questioning the girl's drawing was laughable to me. The whole time when he was explaining his rational, the counselor was basically saying, "No way! Never!" Then when he asked her to consider it hypothetically, she basically confirmed his concerns. She was acting as if she already knew all of the evidence in the case along with the apparant "confession", otherwise I have a hard time believing that the counselor wouldn't at least consider the possibility.

Don't even get me started about Jack presenting the scenario to his superior, showing that this may actually be a result of a serial killer. Come on! I mean here we have an entire police force that was basically "blowing-off" a murder (possibly a serial killer to boot). I can understand maybe having one or two morons on the police force, but the ENTIRE police force?

#14 of 19 OFFLINE   Damin J Toell

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Posted April 11 2003 - 04:19 AM

I love the film. It is based on Friedrich Dürrenmatt's wonderful novel of the same name, which is turn an exploration of Søren Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling, and that book is itself a dissertation on the Old Testament story of God asking Abraham to sacrifice his son. The point of the film is not that of a cop searching for a killer, but rather a man searching for his own faith. Jerry makes a pledge to God, and he decides that he must follow through with that pledge, no matter the result. Like Abraham, Jerry is willing to risk his own child (or, rather, the child that he practically adopts) in order to fulfill his pledge. At the final moment, however, in both cases, God decides to spare the men the loss of their children. Jerry, however, suffers for his decision, as God does not directly tell him that he has been spared from having to make the sacrifice, and the rest of society does not understand his faith.

In Dürrenmatt's novel, the narrator ironically states that the story would make a terrible book, since it's not really a story about a cop searching for a killer. From many of the reviews I've read of the film, it seems a lot people think the same thing of the film.

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#15 of 19 OFFLINE   Charles J P

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Posted April 11 2003 - 04:26 AM

Thank you Damin, I knew there was something more to this film. Is it shallow for this information to take me from only being so/so about this film to liking it?

#16 of 19 OFFLINE   Damin J Toell

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Posted April 11 2003 - 04:45 AM

Quote:
Is it shallow for this information to take me from only being so/so about this film to liking it?


I don't think so at all. If anything, it seems to me that learning/thinking more about something and appreciating it more as a result is the exact opposite of being shallow. Posted Image

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#17 of 19 OFFLINE   Edwin-S

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Posted April 11 2003 - 05:05 AM

It amazes me that people end up getting confused about who the killer was in this movie. It is made pretty clear at the end of the movie who the killer was. It seems pretty clear to me why Nicholson goes crazy, but I suppose a lot of interpretations of his breakdown can be made.

I found this film to be one of the most boring, meandering movies I have ever seen. The tiresome travelogues that took place in this film drained it of any energy that it possessed. By the end of the film, a person didn't care who the killer was or care about Jerry. The only thing a person felt thankful for was that the entire boring, monotonous exercise had come to its conclusion.

If the rest of Sean Penn's directorial efforts are anything like this movie, he should either learn how to edit or hire someone who already knows what editing a movie is about.
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#18 of 19 OFFLINE   chris rick

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Posted April 11 2003 - 08:50 AM

The Pledge is a great film precisely because it makes so crystal clear that the killer was in fact the man who died in the car crash (i.e. the candy store co-owner, who if I'm not mistaken is also mildly handicapped-not sure it's been awhile but I seem to remember this too vaguely from the scene with the woman working in the candy store when we hear the killer's voice) and not the man whom the Nicholson character thought it in fact was (The Priest). Most thrillers devolve into simple whodunnits, but Penn's direction and Nicholson's performance take us into far more dangerous territory- This man becomes so obsessed with his "Pledge" that the weight of it clouds his judgement; and while it is crystal clear to us as the audience that the Priest is not the killer, it is also clear that Nicholson's Pledge has weighed so heavily on him that he is no longer capable of doing the great detective work that defined him for so many years, and that it has essentially, by the end of the film driven him mad. This is a great film and one of the best of its year.
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#19 of 19 OFFLINE   Philip Verdieck

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Posted April 11 2003 - 09:33 AM

Quote:
Good movie, but one I will never watch again, too goddamn depressing.


Agreed.


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