The Pledge (2001)(DVD) Directed by Sean Penn, starring Jack Nicholson, with Robin Wright Penn, Benicio del Toro, Mickey Rourke, Sam Shepard, Patricia Clarkson, Vanessa Redgrave, Helen Mirren, Harry Dean Stanton, Aaron Eckhart and others. The Pledge, on the surface a good crime drama, is, in fact, an excellent portrayal of one man’s descent into obsession and marginalization. That man, Jerry Black, is played by a superb Jack Nicholson, full of finesse, and few of his iconic grimaces and is captivating. The cast, clearly, is a who’s who of wonderful, accomplished actors, and Sean Penn’s directing is strong, evocative, and inspired. Benicio del Toro, though almost unrecognizable, as a retarded Native American, is magnificent, as are, in small, but pivotal roles, Mickey Rourke, Sam Shepard, Patricia Clarkson, Vanessa Redgrave, and Helen Mirren. Robin Wright Penn as a down-and-out, single-mother, rural barmaid is exceptionally good. The Pledge is not an easy film, it must be admitted, with its focus on serial child murder, and a number of gruesome scenes. Nevertheless, it is an excellent, atypical, powerful and engrossing film and, honestly, a must-see. (PR) (See below for filmographies)
See our posts on As Good As It Gets, with Jack Nicholson, What Just Happened, with Sean Penn and Robin Wright Penn, State of Play, with Robin Wright Penn and Helen Mirren, Whatever Works, with Patricia Clarkson, The Game, with Sean Penn and Straight Time, with Harry Dean Stanton.
We recommend that you buy your DVDs and Blu-ray Disks. Have a great personal film library.. Here are links to amazon.com:
Sean Penn: As director: The Indian Runner (1991), The Crossing Guard (1995), Into the Wild (2007); as actor: I Am Sam (2001), Mystic River (2003), 21 Grams (2003), Milk (2008).
Jack Nicholson: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), Prizzi’s Honor (1985), A Few Good Men (1992), As Good as It Gets (1997), The Bucket List (2007), and many other excellent films.
Robin Wright Penn: Forrest Gump (1994), A Home at the End of the World (2004), What Just Happened (2008), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011, in post production)
Benicio del Toro: The Usual Suspects (1995), Traffic (2000), Snatch (2000), 21 Grams (2003), Che (2008)
Mickey Rourke: 9½ Weeks (1986), Buffalo ’66 (1998), Sin City (2005), The Wrestler (2008)
Sam Shepard: The Right Stuff (1983), The Pelican Brief (1993), Don’t Come Knocking (2005), The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)
Patricia Clarkson: Pieces of April (2003), Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005), Whatever Works (2009), Shutter Island (2010)
Vanessa Redgrave: Isadora (1968), Julia (1977), Howards End (1992), Atonement (2007)
Helen Mirren: The Mosquito Coast (1986), Gosford Park (2001), State of Play (2009)
Harry Dean Stanton: Straight Time (1978), Paris, Texas (1984), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), Inland Empire (2006)
Aaron Eckhart: Erin Brockovich (2000), The Black Dahlia (2006), The Dark Knight (2008)
top image: Wikipedia