Seraphim FallsApril 13, 2007
At the end of the Civil War, a colonel hunts down a man with whom he has a grudge.
Release Year: 2006
Rating: 6.8/10 (14,057 voted)
Critic's Score: 62/100
David Von Ancken
Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Liam Neeson, Anjelica Huston
In the 1860s, five men have been tracking a sixth across Nevada for more than two weeks. They shoot and wound him, but he gets away. They pursue, led by the dour Carver, who will pay them each $1 a day once he's captured. The hunted is Gideon, resourceful, skilled with a knife. Gideon's flight and Carver's hunt require horses, water, and bullets. The course takes them past lone settlers, a wagon train, a rail crew, settlements, and an Indian philosopher. What is the reason for the hunt; what connects Gideon and Carver? What happened at Seraphim Falls?
Writers: David Von Ancken, Abby Everett Jaques
Kevin J. O'Connor
(as Wes Studie)
Never turn your back on the past.
Release Date: 13 April 2007
Filming Locations: Death Valley National Park, California, USA
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $155,560
(28 January 2007)
(21 September 2008)
Did You Know?
Liam Neeson and Pierce Brosnan both said they had the most fun in their career making this film, since they both loved westerns as kids and were thrilled to be finally getting a chance to be in one.
During the scenes in the railroad camp, numerous extras are seen flailing away at the new railroad tracks with spike hammers, despite no one actually installing any spikes. In one particularly obvious scene, two teams of laborers drop two rails on the roadbed side by side, then immediately start hammering randomly on them, without anyone actually placing any spikes, or even bothering to gauge the distance between the rails.
Well, we definitely got I'm. I wouldn't say gut shot, but got 'im pretty good.
He didn't even take his rifle. Horse run off though.
It's cleared up some. Why don't we get a move on.
Let him bleed…
Powerful but misdirected
I think you're going to see some very mixed reviews for this film. The
tragedy is that it's going to be picked up primarily by fans of
westerns, who are looking for shootouts and plots that can be boiled
down to "good guys" and "bad guys." Do not go into this movie expecting
This is ultimately a revenge story, but not a straightforward or
clean-cut one; in this way I would compare it to "Memento" and "The
Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada".
It's not clear who we're "supposed" to sympathize with at the
beginning. We want to sympathize with the revenge-seeker; but we're
told almost nothing about why he wants revenge. As he displays at least
as many brutal and mercenary traits as anyone else in the film, we
question why we side with him, and realize that we're only inclined to
do so because our previous experience with "revenge" stories has
programmed us to do so.
But the quarry is far from a sympathetic character as well, and we're
torn emotionally on what we want to see happen. That is, until the
original tragedy is finally revealed. And I've honestly never seen such
a well-conceived scene of this type… the tragedy is heart-rending.
I won't say much more except that as the film goes on, the degree to
which it will appeal to fans of literal straightforward westerns
decreases significantly. You see, as the film begins, Carver's pursuit
of Gideon takes them through various isolated episodes: encounters with
various characters. As the film goes on, these encounters become more
and more obscurely surreal; the final such encounter seems almost
supernatural or fantastic. The writer and director have peeled away the
internal reality of the story, and are speaking to us through the form
itself. Not something that your average Western viewer is likely to
accept or appreciate.
Viewers will come to this film expecting a completely realist story;
and that's what they seem to be getting at the beginning of the movie.
The viewer is not prepared for this realism to slowly and obscurely
fall apart – and while that may be the reason that the film creates
such a powerful and somehow creepy experience by the end, the same
factor is likely to leave most viewers feeling robbed.
Ultimately this film is definitely worth watching, but may not have
enduring appeal to lovers of the traditional Western genre. A note
while viewing: pay attention to the theme of loss, and how various
possessions of the characters are lost.