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The Homesman (2014)

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Three women who have been driven mad by pioneer life are to be transported across the country by covered wagon by the pious, independent-minded Mary Bee Cuddy, who in turn employs low-life drifter George Briggs to assist her.


Tommy Lee Jones


Tommy Lee Jones (screenplay), Kieran Fitzgerald (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
5 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tommy Lee Jones ... George Briggs
Hilary Swank ... Mary Bee Cuddy
Grace Gummer ... Arabella Sours
Miranda Otto ... Theoline Belknap
Sonja Richter ... Gro Svendsen
Jo Harvey Allen ... Mrs. Polhemus
Barry Corbin ... Buster Shaver
David Dencik ... Thor Svendsen
William Fichtner ... Vester Belknap
Evan Jones ... Bob Giffen
Caroline Lagerfelt ... Netti Svendsen
John Lithgow ... Reverend Alfred Dowd
Tim Blake Nelson ... Freighter
Jesse Plemons ... Garn Sours
James Spader ... Aloysius Duffy


Three women who have been driven mad by pioneer life are to be transported across the country by covered wagon by the pious, independent-minded Mary Bee Cuddy, who in turn employs low-life drifter George Briggs to assist her.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The untold story of The West.


Drama | Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, sexual content, some disturbing behavior and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official Facebook


USA | France


English | Danish

Release Date:

18 May 2014 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Deuda de honor See more »

Filming Locations:

New Mexico, USA See more »


Box Office


$16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$45,433, 16 November 2014

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Reunites Tommy Lee Jones, Tim Blake Nelson, and James Spader, they previously appeared in Lincoln (2012). See more »


Before coming to their final destination, the paint horse tied to the back of the wagon changes to the sorrel. See more »


[first lines]
Mary Bee Cuddy: [prodding plow horses] Come on, girls.
See more »


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


Take Thee This Token
Music by Marco Beltrami
Lyrics by Glendon Swarthout
Performed by Hilary Swank
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Moving and powerful Western , including strong drama along with impressive cinematography and emotive musical score
17 December 2015 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Riveting film about a spinster , a drifter and a peculiar promise , being slickly developed by actor-director Tommy Lee Jones . Starring Hilary Swank returns to the heights of a career that saw her win two Best Actress Oscars by the age of 30 . This is her most recent film , The Homesman in which she starred opposite Tommy Lee Jones , John Lithgow , Meryl Streep , James Spader , among others . Here Tommy Lee Jones's acting and direction are magnificent and remaining cast is pretty well , giving terrific performances . This above average film concerns about a pious , independent-minded woman called Mary Bee Cuddy (Hilary Swank) is assigned by the village priest (John Lightow) to carry three women (Miranda Otto , Sonja Richter , and Grace Gummer , Meryl's Streep daughter) who have been driven mad by pioneer life . They have to be transported across the country by a covered wagon . The two-fisted woman obstinately carries out the dangerous assignment and in turn employs low-life drifter George Briggs (Tommy Lee Jones) to assist her . She forces the drifter for to a journey across the plains to locate the risked destination . Both of whom are determined to find the paths , through the prairies plagued by savage Indians , until the easy civilization . This journey will bring forward the stark contrast between the values of two ways of life and the landscape transversed is both geographical and emotional .

This enjoyable film is a touching and violent Western drama with elevated cinematographic values . The movie realizes an awesome actors reunion , showing the different characters and explores their apprehension , ambitions , fears and circumstances . The two protagonists result to be a pair ¨Quixotes¨ who obstinately undertake a trip whose objective looks to fulfill a pledge by whatever means . The main character George Briggs , superbly played by Tommy Lee Jones, seems to be living resolutely in the past and while the brave spinster wishes to marry him and create a family . Support cast is frankly excellent such as Barry Corbin , William Fichtner , Evan Jones , Jesse Plemons , Grace Gummer , Miranda Otto , and Tim Blake Nelson-James Spader, this duo previously appeared in ¨Lincoln¨ along with Tommy Lee and Hailee Steinfeld's second western after her Oscar-nominated , breakout role in ¨True Grit¨ . And , of course , the great Meryl Streep in her third collaboration with Tommy Lee Jones following "A Prairie Home Companion" and "Hope Springs . Intelligent and thoughtful screenplay by Kieran Fitzgerald , Wesley Oliver and the same Tommy Lee Jones , based on the novel by Glendon Swarthout that was published in 1988 ; in fact , Paul Newman owned the rights for a time, and wanted to direct the film himself , after a number of scripts, he gave up . Sensitive and evocative musical score by Marco Beltrani (Red eye , The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada) . Special mention for glimmer and fascinating cinematography by Rodrigo Prieto he splendidly reflects the impressive outdoors from the filming locations : Lumpkin , Georgia , San Miguel County , Santa Fe , Oikay Owinger Pueblo , New Mexico . Much of the movie was shot on Tommy Lee Jones's own ranch .

The film is a nice co-production , being produced , among others , by the great producer and director , the French Luc Besson . The picture was compellingly directed by Tommy Lee Jones , being his theatrical directing debut ¨The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada¨ that won a deserved prize in Cannes , this film bears a remarkable resemblance to ¨The Homesman¨ , dealing equally with a dangerous journey plenty of contrasts , attacks and many other things . His only other directing credits were the TV movies ¨Good old boys¨ (1995) and ¨The Sunset Limited¨ (2011) with Samuel L Jackson and all of them starred by Tommy Lee Jones . ¨Homesman¨ rating : Better than average , though overlong and slow-moving . Well worth watching , it's a must see for Tommy Lee Jones enthusiasts

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