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A Simple Plan (1998)

When three blue collar acquaintances come across millions of dollars in lost cash they make a plan to keep their find from the authorities but find complications and mistrust weaving its way into their plan.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 15 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Lou
Jack Walsh ...
Tom Butler
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Tom Carey ...
Dwight Stephanson
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Marie Mathay ...
Paul Magers ...
Joan Steffand ...
Anchorwoman
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Storyline

Three diverse characters, for the most part intellectually challenged, find a deserted plane with a bag full of millions of dollars inside. They devise a simple plan to keep the money if no-one claims it. Ofcourse, nothing turns out simple... Written by Filmtwob <webmaster@filmfreak.co.za>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They've worked hard all their lives, but they still can't afford the American Dream. Stealing it is even better. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

22 January 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Thousand Miles  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$390,563, 13 December 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$16,311,763, 16 May 1999
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hank and Sarah have a black & white photo of Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno from The Incredible Hulk TV series on their fridge. See more »

Goofs

In an early scene, the Mitchells appear to look straight out their bedroom window to watch Jacob's pickup coming up the driveway, but a later outdoor shot of the house shows no front window that would provide quite that same view; further, the front windows are a different style. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Hank Mitchell: [narrating] When I was still just a kid, I remember my father telling me what he thought that it took for a man to be happy. Simple things, really. A wife he loves, a decent job, friends and neighbors who like and respect him. And for a while there, without hardly even realizing it, I had all that. I was a happy man.
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Connections

Referenced in Special Report (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

So Sleepless You
Written by John Crooke, David Burris, Mike Kenerley & Mike Mitschele
Performed by Jolene
Courtesy of Sire Records Group
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
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User Reviews

Simply Terrific
7 February 1999 | by See all my reviews

Simply one of the best films of the year, perhaps the decade! A Simple Plan is about three men who find a huge amount of money in a plane wreck. They decide to keep the dough. It's like winning the lottery. It's the American Dream except that " you're supposed to work for the American Dream. But that just makes this better" replies one of the characters.

A Simple Plan stars Bill Paxton and Billy Bob Thornton as two Minnesotan brothers Hank and Jacob who find the money with Jake's friend Lou played by Brent Briscoe.

The film is directed by Sam Raimi, the creator of the Evil Dead movies and there are some suitably macabre and funny Evil Dead touches to this masterpiece, although Raimi doesn't botch A Simple Plan up as he did with Sharon Stone's The Quick And The Dead a couple of years ago. This is a restrained, delicate Raimi.

A Simple Plan instead is on one plane a wry incisive comment on the human condition, but it's also a cautionary tale about the evil good men can do.

The characters are fascinating. Paxton as Hank is the brainy one of the three. He's been to college and has a wife (Bridget Fonda) who's just about to have a baby. Jacob is slow and sad with a big touch of goodness about him. His hair is lank, his teeth are dirty, he's in his thirties and has never had a girlfriend.

Jake gets drunk most days and nights with his boozing friend Lou, and both are unemployed. The prospect of a ton of money is as unsettling and exciting to this lot as it would be to any honest person who becomes suddenly very rich unexpectedly and illegally. This find is guaranteed to turn their lives up side down.

But things take increasingly violent turns until A Simple Plan has the air of a Shakespearian tragedy solidly biased by Hitchcockian twists. Add to this Raimi's weird sense of humour and a Coen Brothers, Fargo like frozen air and you have a superb film that will have you laughing uncomfortably as you ponder the extent to which men and women will go nuts and nasty when greed overcomes them.

Quite rightly both Bill Paxton and Billy Bob Thornton are being touted for big acting awards as a result of their work in this marvellous film.


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