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The Claim (2000)

Cast: Peter Mullan, Wes Bentley, Milla Jovovich, more...
Director: Michael Winterbottom
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: MGM
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Costume Drama/Period Piece, British Drama, UK
Running Time: 120 min.
Languages: English, Spanish
Subtitles: Spanish, French
    see additional details...

One man's small empire threatens to collapse under the weight of his greed and deceit in this drama that transplants the story of Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge to 19th century America. In 1867, Dillon (Peter Mullan) is an Irish immigrant who settled in California during the Gold Rush of '49 and has done quite well for himself. Dillon owns nearly every business of consequence in the town of Kingdom Come; if someone wants to dig for gold, rent a room, open a bank account, or even order a drink, they have to go to Dillon to do it. One of the few profitable enterprises in town that he doesn't own is the brothel, which is operated by Lucia (Milla Jovovich), Dillon's lover. Circumstances change somewhat when Dalglish - a surveyor with the Central Pacific Railroad - turns up and expresses his plans to implement a railroad in the area. Dillon, sensing a great opportunity afoot, travels well out of his way to ensure that the line is run through Kingdom Come, to enhance the town's commercial prospects. Also arriving in town the same time as Dalglish are two women, the beautiful but ailing Elena (Nastassja Kinski) and her lovely teenage daughter Hope (Sarah Polley); their presence is deeply troubling for Dillon, for they are the keys to a dark secret Dillon has kept from the people of Kingdom Come. The Claim is Michael Winterbottom's second adaptation of the works of Thomas Hardy; his 1996 feature Jude was adapted from Hardy's final novel, Jude the Obscure. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Mayor of Casterbridge in the West by Texan99 September 5, 2010 - 3:00 PM PDT
Absolutely loved this movie. A first-rate resetting in the Old West of the already wonderful Mayor of Casterbridge story. I'd watch it again if only for the stunning song performed by Milla Jovovich in some foreign language or another -- a song completely unlike anything you've ever heard in a Western. As in all Hardy stories, the characters are just looking for a way to turn any happiness they may find in their lives into a bleak hell, but there's not much self-pity here. Wes Bentley was hard to resist. The movie reminded me a great deal of McCabe and Mrs. Miller, a favorite of mine.

great film.. to understand filming. by psychodrama311 June 16, 2003 - 9:29 AM PDT
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
this film uses more method then i could handle the first tyme around.. i had found it boring.. and long winded.. the second tyme around.. i started seeing the nuance's of the scenes.. the characters movements towards and away from each other. the quiet scenes of the location swallowing not surrounding them. the third tyme.. i found the dialogue to be more of background music during most of the scenes. bit's and part's of it..adding to the plotline's.. so now.. i've found it to be a great film.. simply put. it's show's us wannabe filmmakers that if you want to make films. dialogue doesn't always have to be the focus. i am thoroughly a fan of mr winterbottom now..

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.96)
47 Votes
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