7.4/10
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244 user 172 critic

The Proposition (2005)

A lawman apprehends a notorious outlaw and gives him nine days to kill his older brother, or else they'll execute his younger brother.

Director:

John Hillcoat

Writer:

Nick Cave (screenplay)

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13 wins & 30 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Wilson ... Mike Burns
Noah Taylor ... Brian O'Leary
Jeremy Madrona Jeremy Madrona ... Asian Prostitute
Jae Mamuyac Jae Mamuyac ... Asian Prostitute
Guy Pearce ... Charlie Burns
Mick Roughan Mick Roughan ... Mad Jack Bradshaw
Shane Watt Shane Watt ... John Gordon
Ray Winstone ... Captain Stanley
Robert Morgan ... Sergeant Lawrence
David Gulpilil ... Jacko
Bryan Probets ... Officer Dunn
Oliver Ackland ... Patrick Hopkins
Danny Huston ... Arthur Burns
David Vallon David Vallon ... Tom Cox
Daniel Parker Daniel Parker ... Henry Clark
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Storyline

Rural Australia in the late nineteenth century: Captain Stanley (Ray Winstone) and his men capture two of the three Burns brothers, Charlie (Guy Pearce) and Mike (Richard Wilson). Their gang is held responsible for attacking the Hopkins farm, raping pregnant Mrs. Hopkins and murdering the whole family. Arthur Burns (Danny Huston), the eldest brother and the gang's mastermind, remains on the loose and has retreated to a mountain hideout. Captain Stanley's proposition to Charlie is to gain pardon and, more importantly, save his beloved younger brother Mike from the gallows by finding and killing Arthur within nine days. Written by Armin Ortmann {armin@sfb288.math.tu-berlin.de}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Three Brothers one must live one must die one must decide See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong grisly violence, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Bodega Films [France]

Country:

Australia | UK

Language:

English | Aboriginal

Release Date:

9 June 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Proposition See more »

Filming Locations:

Queensland, Australia See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$215,987 (Australia), 14 October 2005, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$62,723, 19 May 2006, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,900,725, 10 September 2006
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

The wardrobe was handmade to be as authentic as possible, and even the buttons were all handmade for this movie. See more »

Goofs

Jellon Lamb claims early in the movie that Charles Darwin had claimed in "On the origin of species by means of natural selection" that man shares common ancestors with apes. This claim was not made by Darwin in "On the origin of species", but in "On the descent of man". See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Captain Stanley: Do I need to introduce myself?
Charlie Burns: I know who you are.
Captain Stanley: Good. I know who you are.
See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Modern Westerns (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

The Twelve Days of Christmas
(uncredited)
Music and Words Traditional, arranged by Frederic Austin
Sung a cappella by Gary Waddell and Iain Gardiner with modified lyrics
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A very bloody Western too hard to swallow…
25 November 2007 | by Nazi_Fighter_DavidSee all my reviews

Set on an arid desert and sun-baked continent, during the late 1800's British settlement days, Pearce stars as Charlie Burns, one of three brothers that make up the notorious criminal Arthur Burns…

At the opening credits Charlie and his younger brother the 14-year-old Mikey are captured after a bloody shoot out with regional Captain Stanley in the aftermath of a brutal rape and murder… The decent captain is after their eldest brother Arthur described as 'the beast,' and is prepared to do just about anything to get him...

Thus Stanley lays out Charlie an unholy bargain: While Mikey stays in his custody, in jail, Charlie must find, kill or return Arthur or his teenaged brother will be hung on Christmas Day… He has nine days to do so…

Charlie eventually finds his brother but is left with one choice… He must decide if he can live with his decision to either kill Arthur or let Mikey be executed…

John Hillcoat's characters not only strike us with their emotions of grief and pain, or their passion of hate but they are presented in their real states that sway down hopelessness, denial, pity and firm belief…

Pearce combines a touch of kindness to Charlie's character, but it's a touch that keeps out of the way any love… It's, in essence, only enough to add a decisive influence on his personality that makes him unpredictable…

Danny Huston is magnificent as Arthur Burns… His deeply intelligence and totally brutal character is captured in a very good sense…

Richard Wilson, Mikey is given little to do beyond being frightened and horrorized…

Winstone is amazing in the role of the army officer who wants to civilize the place… We feel how his nerves are about to break… He imprisons his wife Martha for safety and protection caring at the same time about her delicate sensibilities…

Emily Watson is absolutely stunning as the fragile woman whose gentleness captures convincingly the character of Emily, the innocent wife who cares about her husband, her house and her perfect "garden" but her way of life is so far away from the reality of her surroundings…

John Hurt gives an interesting performance as the deranged bounty hunter…

"The Proposition" is too violent, too dirty, too bloody, and too barbaric to be forgotten so easily…


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