6.2/10
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225 user 116 critic

The Human Stain (2003)

Trailer
1:45 | Trailer
When a disgraced former college dean has a romance with a mysterious younger woman haunted by her dark, twisted past, he is forced to confront a shocking fact about his own life that he has kept secret for fifty years.

Director:

Robert Benton

Writers:

Philip Roth (novel), Nicholas Meyer (screenplay)
3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anthony Hopkins ... Coleman Silk
Nicole Kidman ... Faunia Farley
Ed Harris ... Lester Farley
Gary Sinise ... Nathan Zuckerman
Wentworth Miller ... Young Coleman Silk
Jacinda Barrett ... Steena Paulsson
Harry Lennix ... Mr. Silk
Clark Gregg ... Nelson Primus
Anna Deavere Smith ... Mrs. Silk
Lizan Mitchell Lizan Mitchell ... Ernestine
Kerry Washington ... Ellie
Phyllis Newman ... Iris Silk
Margo Martindale ... Psychologist
Ron Canada ... Herb Keble
Mili Avital ... Young Iris
Learn more

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Storyline

This is the story of Coleman Silk (Sir Anthony Hopkins), a classics professor with a terrible secret that is about to shatter his life in a small New England town. When his affair with young troubled janitor Faunia Farley (Nicole Kidman) is uncovered, the secret Silk had harbored for over fifty years from his wife, his children, and colleague, writer Nathan Zuckerman (Gary Sinise), fast explodes in a conflagration of devastating consequences. It is Zuckerman who stumbles upon Silk's secret and sets out to reconstruct the unknown biography of this eminent, upright man, esteemed as an educator for nearly all of his life, and to understand how this ingeniously contrived life became unravelled. Written by lakeshoreentertainment.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

How far would you go to escape the past?


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Third of four collaborations between Margo Martindale and Director Robert Benton. The others being Nobody's Fool (1994), Twilight (1998), and Feast of Love (2007). See more »

Goofs

When Coleman is looking in the dictionary for the definition of the word "Spooks" he turns to nearly the beginning of the book that couldn't possibly be the letter "S" See more »

Quotes

Nelson Primus: How do you know she doesn't want to use you to make up for all that she's lost? Do I represent you in a paternity suit, Coleman? "Give up the girl, Achilles." I took your intro to European lit umpteen years ago as an undergrad. Give her up, and your troubles go away.
See more »

Connections

References The Manchurian Candidate (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Sleepy Lagoon
(1940)
Music by Eric Coates
Lyrics by Jack Lawrence (uncredited)
Performed by Tommy Dorsey
Courtesy of Soundies Inc.
By Arrangement with De Pugh Music
See more »

User Reviews

an engaging, charming film
25 November 2004 | by csk_londonSee all my reviews

The Human Stain is a film about an elderly retired middle-class university professor called Coleman (played by Anthony Hopkins) who begins a relationship with a troubled woman (played by Nicole Kidman) who leads a white-trash existence, and the effects it has on both of them. It also has the side plots (but very much intertwined) of the elderly man's friendship with a young writer (character name Zuckerman)and the young woman's ongoing troubles with her ex-husband.

I thought this was a lovely film - Anthony Hopkins is excellent and extremely convincing in this role, as were the characters of Farley (the ex-husband) & Zuckerman. The friendship particularly between Zuckerman and Coleman was extremely warm and charming. However, whilst Nicole Kidman's acting was very good, I remained unconvinced by the character that she played. Aside from this, I found the film extremely engaging and believable.


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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

Germany | France | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 October 2003 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Human Stain See more »

Filming Locations:

Québec, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,034,195, 2 November 2003

Gross USA:

$5,381,908

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$22,954,068
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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