234 user 170 critic

The Proposition (2005)

A lawman apprehends a notorious outlaw and gives him nine days to kill his older brother, or else they'll execute his younger brother.




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13 wins & 30 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Brian O'Leary
Jeremy Madrona ...
Asian Prostitute
Jae Mamuyac ...
Asian Prostitute
Mick Roughan ...
Mad Jack Bradshaw
Shane Watt ...
John Gordon
Patrick Hopkins
David Vallon ...
Tom Cox
Daniel Parker ...
Henry Clark


Rural Australia in the late nineteenth century: Capt. Stanley and his men capture two of the three Burns brothers, Charlie and Mike. Their gang is held responsible for attacking the Hopkins farm, raping pregnant Mrs. Hopkins and murdering the whole family. Arthur Burns, the eldest brother and the gang's mastermind, remains on the loose and has retreated to a mountain hideout. Capt. Stanley's proposition to Charlie is to gain pardon and - more importantly - save his beloved younger brother Mike from the gallows by finding and killing Arthur within nine days. Written by Armin Ortmann {armin@sfb288.math.tu-berlin.de}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Written by Nick Cave directed by John Hillcoat See more »


Crime | Drama | Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong grisly violence, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:





Release Date:

9 June 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Proposition  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$215,987 (Australia), 14 October 2005, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$62,723, 19 May 2006, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,900,725, 10 September 2006
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Originally, Director John Hillcoat approached Nick Cave about doing the soundtrack for a western, eventually he asked if Cave would write the screenplay as well. See more »


Although the story takes place in the 1880s, Jellon sings "Danny Boy" - which wasn't published until 1913. See more »


[first lines]
Captain Stanley: Do I need to introduce myself?
Charlie Burns: I know who you are.
Captain Stanley: Good. I know who you are.
See more »


Referenced in At the Movies: Episode #7.19 (2010) See more »


Peggy Gordon
Music Traditional
Words Traditional
See more »

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User Reviews

For pure realism, no Western can compare!
20 October 2006 | by See all my reviews

After watching this film, I would argue that no other Western has conveyed the loneliness or natural setting that this one has. Nor has any other Western shown its outlaws and lawmen in such an impartial or objective light as this one has. And considering the company of films this would include, 'The Unforgiven' being at the top, also 'The Outlaw Josey Wales', 'The Good, the bad, and the ugly', 'A Fistful of Dollars' and such, that is saying a lot.

Many people on this site talk about the violence. Well, they are right. It is VERY real. However, it is not glorified in any way. And that is the key.

The violence is justified. There is one common theme in all Western films: violence. America and Australia are unique in this way; although different, historically and culturally, they both had very violent settlements. This was mainly due to the vast geography, the climate, the harsh conditions, and the clashing of its inhabitants.

So violence was the result of this mix. But don't be put off by this. There is much more going on in this movie than just violence.Whether it is the loneliness - the raw, beautiful, unforgiving nature of the Outback, or the question of class, race, mortality or family, we as an audience are privy to what it was probably like in the mid to late 1800's Australia. We are shown various groups involved; the aboriginals, the Irish, and the English to name a few.

After watching this film, I simply want to know more. For that I give it a 10. Period.

In addition to that. The acting is sublime. The direction and the cinematography are tops. The musical score cannot be more suitable. And the writing is supreme.

Pound for pound, the best Western I've ever seen.

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