A History of Violence (2005)

R   |    |  Drama, Thriller

A History of Violence (2005) Poster

A mild-mannered man becomes a local hero through an act of violence, which sets off repercussions that will shake his family to its very core.


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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

31 August 2005 | okami_ito
| Great Cast, great timing.
I really liked this one. The story is told straight almost skinned to the bone. The characters are all over the top but believable and most of all the mis-en-scene of the violence featured here is brilliant. Though there are some funny lines here and there and some characters seem to be borrowed from the early Coen-Brothers oeuvre the killings are pretty realistic and grim and nothing to cheer at. A lot of dead bodies are shown in a very banal way so that the movies sometimes looks like a documentary about murder. Another great thing about AHOV is, that it's narrative is 90% about the life of average people and the rest is some kind of a perverted action-flick in every gory detail.

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Did You Know?


The first four minutes and 28 seconds of the movie at the seedy roadside hotel is a single, uninterrupted take without a single cut until Billy enters the motel office.


William Orser: So we keep headin' east?
Leland Jones: Yeah, that's the idea.
William Orser: Stay out of the big cities?
Leland Jones: Uh-huh.
William Orser: I think I'm tired.
Leland Jones: Yeah. Me, too.


In the beginning of the movie when Tom is going to the diner, he crosses in front of what looks to be the Middlebrook courthouse. It is supposed to be early in the morning, but the clock on the courthouse is showing 1:15.

Alternate Versions

There are some minute differences between the US and the International version when it comes to some of the violent scenes:

  • Fogarty's thug, who gets his nose smashed into his skull has more blood spurt out in the International version in the shot where he is dying on the ground.
  • When Joey stomps on Richie's thug's throat, he spits blood (instead of it 'welling up') and the sound effect of the neck breaking is louder. Both shots last the same length of time and use the same take, the amount of blood was simply toned down digitally for the MPAA. Most video versions outside the U.S. use the 'international version' but the shots appear in the supplements on the U.S. DVD (In the featurette titled 'Violence's History', Cronenberg shows the U.S. and international cut scenes side by side and explains the reason why there wasn't a standard 'unrated' version in the U.S. was because the changes were so small).


Life of a Fool
Written by
Paul Burch
Performed by Paul Burch
Courtesy of Bloodshot Records


Plot Summary

Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Drama | Thriller

Box Office


$32,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$364,000 25 September 2005

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:


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