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Elephant (2003)

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2:06 | Trailer
Several ordinary high school students go through their daily routine as two others prepare for something more malevolent.

Director:

Gus Van Sant

Writer:

Gus Van Sant
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Popularity
4,572 ( 46)
8 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alex Frost ... Alex
Eric Deulen ... Eric
John Robinson ... John McFarland
Elias McConnell ... Elias
Jordan Taylor Jordan Taylor ... Jordan
Carrie Finklea ... Carrie
Nicole George Nicole George ... Nicole
Brittany Mountain Brittany Mountain ... Brittany
Alicia Miles Alicia Miles ... Acadia
Kristen Hicks ... Michelle
Bennie Dixon Bennie Dixon ... Benny
Nathan Tyson ... Nathan
Timothy Bottoms ... Mr. McFarland
Matt Malloy ... Mr. Luce
Ellis Williams Ellis Williams ... GSA Teacher (as Ellis E. Williams)
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Storyline

A day in the lives of a group of average teenage high school students. The film follows every character and shows their daily routines. However two of the students plan to do something that the student body won't forget. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

An ordinary high school day. Except that it's not.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing violent content, language, brief sexuality and drug use - all involving teens | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

14 November 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Elefante See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$93,356, 26 October 2003

Gross USA:

$1,266,955

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$10,012,022
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite what many critics and analysts have suggested since its release, the final film was not intended to be a pseudo-documentary about the Columbine massacre. While there's no doubt that the film was inspired by the tragedy, director Gus Van Sant meant for the film to be more of a reflection on the nature of violence and the effects of indifference. There's also a rumor that Van Sant's original intent was to make a TV film based on factual accounts of Columbine, but this rumor has remained unfounded. The film's minimalist approach, improvisational style and use of non-actors has helped to fuel these rumors over the years. See more »

Goofs

When John runs from the school (past the dog) check out the concrete pathways. The first time they are pretty much dry. The second time it looks like it has just been raining - they are very wet. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mr. McFarland: What? Hey! Where are you going? Come here.
John McFarland: Oh, my God, Dad.
Mr. McFarland: Get in the car. You're gonna be late for school. Come on.
John McFarland: Mom's gonna kill you.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Dirties (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Tueren der Wahrnehmung
Written and Performed by Hildegard Westerkamp
See more »

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User Reviews

Wow...!

Elephant is one of those rare movies that really captures the essence of its subject. Van Sant made an incredible decision to cast high school students instead of 'real' actors because it adds, with a positive effect, to the overall feel of the film. This decision actually made the film even more shocking towards the climactic scenes. The movie, as realistic as it may seem, also had elements of fantasy. Some of it didn't seem quite real (by some of the students' reactions, or some of the dialogue), but that added to the effect of the film. It made it seem like what we're all thinking: "This could never happen to me." With those elements of fantasy, we picture this situation as something that will never actually happen to us, but it does, all over the place. It isn't something that we can ignore, or push aside. This is real. This is stuff, not just the shootings, but all of the conflicts, that we face each and every day. It's not a dream, it's reality. I also liked the decision for the name "Elephant". It kind of acted as a social commentary on the ways that we view the school system, and the lack of protection that people were putting on it; the lack of supervision, or the lack of caring for the people. It all seemed to come together, in one very important, and realistic, horrifying film. It shocked me at the end, even though you know what's going to happen, just watching it gave me the creeps because when you're watching the shooter, he actually seems like a person I know. Excellent film, must be watched by all! 4 out of 4.


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