The Pledge

January 19, 2001 0 By Fans
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Sam Shepard and Jack Nicholson starPatricia Clarkson, Michael O'Keefe and Jack NicholsonAndrew Stevens at event of The PledgeVanessa Redgrave and Jack Nicholson starJack Nicholson, Aaron Eckhart and Sam ShepardJack Nicholson stars as Detective Jerry Black


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

Release Year: 2001

Rating: 6.9/10 (27,044 voted)

Critic's Score: 71/100

Sean Penn

Stars: Jack Nicholson, Benicio Del Toro, Patricia Clarkson

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?

Writers: Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Jerzy Kromolowski


Patricia Clarkson

Margaret Larsen

Beau Daniels


Benicio Del Toro

Toby Jay Wadenah

Dale Dickey


Wendy Morrow Donaldson

Resort Owner

Adrien Dorval


(as P. Adrien Dorval)

Aaron Eckhart

Stan Krolak

Shawn Henter

Bus Driver

Kathy Jensen

Store Clerk

Taryn Knowles

Ginny Larsen

Nels Lennarson


Costas Mandylor

Monash Deputy

J.J. McColl

Real Estate Agent

Gordon May

Criminologist #1

Gardiner Millar

Deputy #3

(as Gardinar Millar)

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


Official Website:
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Release Date: 19 January 2001

Filming Locations: Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada

Box Office Details

Budget: $45,000,000


Opening Weekend: $5,765,347
(21 January 2001)
(1275 Screens)

Gross: $29,419,291

Technical Specs



Did You Know?


This is an adaptation of a Friedrich Dürrenmatt novel that was based on a story he wrote for the 1958 German movie
It Happened in Broad Daylight (which had a slightly different, not as dark ending). In that movie the murderer was played by Gert Fröbe who would six years later play Auric Goldfinger in the James Bond movie


Revealing mistakes:
When Jerry flips the light switches on when Lori comes to the station for the first time, the lights come on before he flips the switches.


[first lines]

Jerry Black:
She said it. She said it. She did.

User Review


Rating: 7/10

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

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

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.