An American Crime (2007)

R   |    |  Biography, Crime, Drama


An American Crime (2007) Poster

The true story of suburban housewife Gertrude Baniszewski, who kept a teenage girl locked in the basement of her Indiana home during the 1960s.


7.3/10
32,137


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  • Catherine Keener and Elliot Page in An American Crime (2007)
  • Elliot Page in An American Crime (2007)
  • Ari Graynor at an event for An American Crime (2007)
  • Elliot Page at an event for An American Crime (2007)
  • Elliot Page and Evan Peters in An American Crime (2007)
  • Catherine Keener in An American Crime (2007)

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Cast & Crew

Top Billed Cast



Director:

Tommy O'Haver

Writers:

Tommy O'Haver, Irene Turner

Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


11 May 2008 | dalefried
9
| Wallowing Down With the Sickness
What a tragedy that I will never have an opportunity to see this film in a theatre. The cast alone that includes the currently very popular Ellen Page should have merited something better than Saturday night Showtime.

Because of this, the impact will be blunted, however even in its limited presentation, the film was stunning and will easily end up among my favorites for the year. The quiet contemplation of the mood and the selection of a hideous story from post-Beaver Cleaver trivial innocence, pre-late 1960s tumult creates a moment so far outside our expectations of this nonsense daily on 24/7 news channels that its impact nails you full frontal.

I particularly like some of the discussions of this film that complain that it was not graphic enough and because of this, didn't hit people 'in the gut.' This alone warrants a short meditation.

To paraphrase one of the best commentaries I've read on this thing, there is an inner sadist in all of us. America's history of violence and tolerance of violence just gives license to bring it out more often and intensely. And despite our strong sense of individuality and our braggadocio about freedom, we have this very strange conformist streak. The confluence of these two conflicted tendencies can lead to bad places.

This film meditates subtly and, yes, beautifully on all of this. By eschewing potential excesses that some complaining viewers apparently desired, the story puts us in a disturbing place where we might not suspend disbelief and acknowledge the raw emotions as something potentially alive within.

I believe it is this troubling recognition of possibility that branded this film in various ways keeping it from ever being seen in a theatre. By exposing it first on pay TV, the unwashed masses might easily mistake it for a poorly done version of sensational MSNBC serial killer crap. Stuff like this is pleasurable to many because it lets them wallow 'down with the sickness' while pretending they are above it.

There is a wonderful moment in the story when the almost involuntarily sadistic mother utters 'there are things in life we have to do whether we like them or not.' I can't help but think this was borrowed from the sadistic father figure in the original 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre,' a film that many wanted this to be so as to give them some form of absolution from their own demons 'An American Crime' exposes.

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,306,875

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