7.5/10
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289 user 128 critic

The Ice Storm (1997)

R | | Drama | 26 November 1997 (USA)
In suburban New Canaan, Connecticut, 1973, middle class families experimenting with casual sex and substance abuse find their lives beyond their control.

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Writers:

(novel),

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 5 wins & 30 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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George Clair
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William Cain ...
Ted Shackley
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Mrs. Gadd
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Storyline

In the weekend after thanksgiving 1973 the Hoods are skidding out of control. Benjamin Hood reels from drink to drink, trying not to think about his trouble at the office. His wife, Elena, is reading self help books and losing patience with her husband's lies. Their son, Paul, home for the holidays, escapes to the city to pursue an alluring rich girl from his prep school. And young, budding nymphomaniac, Wendy Hood roams the neighborhood, innocently exploring liquor cabinets and lingerie drawers of her friends' parents, looking for something new. Then an ice storm hits, the worst in a century. Things get bad... Written by Emory Herbertson <shrikes.fox@worldnet.att.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The American Dream was over. But the hangover was just beginning. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and drug use, including scenes involving children, and for language | See all certifications »

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 »
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Details

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Release Date:

26 November 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La tormenta de hielo  »

Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$75,183 (USA) (28 September 1997)

Gross:

$7,837,632 (USA) (8 February 1998)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The song that Paul and Wendy are listening to in her bedroom - "I Got a Name" by Jim Croce - was released on September 20, 1973, the very day that Jim Croce was killed in the crash of a small plane in Louisiana. See more »

Goofs

After her very fumbled sexual encounter in the car parked in the driveway, Elena, in windswept heavy rain, returns to the party house to help her husband who has been violently sick in the downstairs toilet. Though she carried an opened umbrella, her ankle length coat, fully visible onscreen, should have been absolutely soaked and there should have been other evidence of the heavy rain elsewhere on the coat. It was evidently completely dry. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Train Conductor: Good morning ladies and gentlemen. This train, originating from New York's Grand Central Station, is back in service. Next stop will be New Canaan, Connecticut. New Canaan, Connecticut next stop.
Paul Hood: [narration] In issue 141 of the Fantastic Four, published in November, 1973, Reed Richards had to use his anti-matter weapon on his own son, who Aannihilus has turn into the Human Atom Bomb. It was a typical predicament for the Fantastic Four, because they weren't like other superheroes. ...
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Soundtracks

Help Me Make it Through the Night
Written by Kris Kristofferson
Performed by Sammi Smith
Arrangement by Steve W. Mauldin
Produced by Bobby Bo Bo
[Used in Party Scene]
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User Reviews

Beautiful, intelligent and yet utterly disturbing
4 August 2004 | by (Norway) – See all my reviews

I am deeply touched. I can not believe it took me 7 years to get to see this movie. It goes straight into my top ten.

The movie is based on Rick Moody's 1994 novel about the life of two suburban families in New Canaan, Connecticut during the time of the Watergate scandal: A time of sexual liberation and of disintegration of existing social norms and of the nuclear family. The characters may stand as symbols of the kind of people that are created out of a society with decreasing social norms. They are ordinary people who live in material welfare, bored, unhappy, confused, scared of conflicts, and constantly seeking something else than they already have.

Instead of being examples to their children, the parents are constantly trying to run away from their own emotional confusion for instance by seeking casual sex and thereby hurting each other. In the meantime the children are left to their own upbringing, watching bad TV shows, emptying their parents' drinks, blowing up toys on the balcony, shoplifting, experimenting with sex and drugs. The communication between parents and children is terrible, or should I say non-existing. They all live in their separate worlds, all the time more disconnected, until a tragedy caused by a natural disaster finally calls them back to life and, hopefully, makes them look beyond themselves and see how valuable and fragile life is. May this provoke back the belief in what the family as a unit can do for each other if they stand together?

The movie is both uncomfortable and at the same time enormously satisfying to watch – perhaps because the theme is presented in such a human and recognizable manner. The dialogue is great and there are even very funny scenes at times. These people seem so real and so fragile, like you and me. It is as if we can see right through their souls and their pain.

The cast is brilliant (except for that irritating Katie Holmes with her cheap Hollywood teenage series look). I have never seen a movie plenty of child actors acted out as professionally and convincing as this one. Christina Ricci is the best and Elijah Wood is also excellent (much more enjoyable than in LOTR), making me wish they were young again so they could have more roles in movies like this.

The atmosphere caused by the weather gives a kind of somber mood stressed by the dimmed colors and the mystical music score.


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