6.8/10
45,344
538 user 152 critic

The Pledge (2001)

A retiring police chief pledges to catch the killer of a young child.

Director:

Writers:

(book), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
4,357 ( 2,051)

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Beau Daniels ...
Rudy
...
...
Strom
Wendy Donaldson ...
Resort Owner (as Wendy Morrow Donaldson)
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Sheriff (as P. Adrien Dorval)
...
Shawn Henter ...
Bus Driver
Kathy Jensen ...
Store Clerk
Taryn Knowles ...
...
Hank
...
Monash Deputy
J.J. McColl ...
Real Estate Agent
Gordon May ...
Criminologist #1
...
Deputy #3 (as Gardinar Millar)
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Storyline

The night he retires as a Nevada sheriff, Jerry Black pledges to the mother of a murdered girl that he will find the killer. Jerry doesn't believe the police arrested the right man; he discovers this is the third incident in the area in the recent past with victims young, blond, pretty, and small for their age. So he buys an old gas station in the mountains near the crimes in order to search for a tall man who drives a black station wagon, gives toy porcupines as gifts, and calls himself the wizard: clues from a drawing by the dead girl. Jerry's solitary life gives way to friendship with a woman and her small, blond daughter. Has Jerry neglected something that may prove fatal? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Detective Jerry Black has made a promise he can't break, to catch a killer he can't find. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 January 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Asesino oculto  »

Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$5,765,347 (USA) (21 January 2001)

Gross:

$19,719,930 (USA) (1 April 2001)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The picture was a passion project for writer/director Sean Penn and actor Jack Nicholson. Unfortunately, the screenplay was turned down by every major studio in Hollywood. Producer Elie Samaha, and his studio Franchise Pictures, who specialized in picking up screenplays in turnaround, quickly pounced on the material and signed up Penn and Nicholson for a reduced fee. The pair agreed as long as Penn could have complete creative and casting control. See more »

Goofs

This was filmed in British Columbia, which is considerably wetter than the Sierra Nevada, and it shows. The shot of downtown Reno seems to be the only real scene from that region. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jerry Black: She said it. She said it. She did.
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Crazy Credits

In memory of our Brothers In Arms Michael D. Haller and Jack Nitzsche See more »

Connections

References Five Easy Pieces (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

If It's Love
Written by: Scott Nickoley and Jamie Dunlap
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User Reviews

 
Unexpected
23 September 2001 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

Having seen "The Pledge" without knowing much about it, I got something other than what I bargained for. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.

If you're looking for a good whodunit, avoid this movie. If you're looking for a fast-paced thriller, avoid this movie. But if you're into seeing an intense character study bolstered by impressive acting and clever directing (kudos, Sean Penn), you've come to the right place.

I read one IMDB review calling this film Nicholson's worst ever. This is not true -- that reviewer obviously never saw "Man Trouble" -- but I can see why some folks really don't like this movie. It doesn't deliver what you'd expect, and what it does deliver is neither conventional nor uplifting. In fact, it's pretty depressing. But if you ponder the story afterward, you realize there's a certain dark justice at work here. Like, blacklight dark.

So then, "The Pledge" is not a light and frothy piece, but if you're the type who thinks watching some poor b**tard's descent into madness is entertainment, have at it.


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