6.0/10
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32 user 26 critic

White Sands (1992)

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A small southwestern town Sheriff finds a body in the desert with a suitcase and five hundred thousand dollars. He impersonates the man and stumbles into an F.B.I. investigation.

Director:

Roger Donaldson

Writer:

Daniel Pyne
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Willem Dafoe ... Ray Dolezal
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio ... Lane Bodine
Mickey Rourke ... Gorman Lennox
Samuel L. Jackson ... Greg Meeker (as Sam Jackson)
M. Emmet Walsh ... Bert Gibson
James Rebhorn ... Flynn
Maura Tierney ... Noreen
Beth Grant ... Roz
Alexander Nicksay Alexander Nicksay ... Ben
Fredrick Lopez Fredrick Lopez ... Delmar Blackwater
Miguel Sandoval ... Ruiz
John Lafayette ... Demott
Ken Thorley ... Kleinman
Jack Kehler ... Casanov
Royce D. Applegate ... Peterson
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Storyline

A small southwestern town Sheriff finds a body in the desert with a suitcase and five hundred thousand dollars. He impersonates the man and stumbles into an F.B.I. investigation. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The most dangerous way to solve a murder... Become the victim.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, language, and a scene of sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 April 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Arenas blancas See more »

Filming Locations:

Estancia, New Mexico, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,151,629, 26 April 1992

Gross USA:

$9,011,574

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$9,011,574
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film cast includes four Oscar nominees: Mickey Rourke, Samuel L. Jackson, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and Willem Dafoe. See more »

Goofs

The tree branch Ray uses to beat up the FBI agent is clearly made of rubber. See more »

Quotes

Lane Bodine: I've never met anyone like you... you're honest, even when you lie.
See more »

Connections

References The Andy Griffith Show (1960) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Of course you have to suspend your disbelief...
7 November 2009 | by choatelodgeSee all my reviews

In order for a movie to hold our attention by presenting interesting and exciting events that exceed what might happen in our normally more mundane lives, we have to suspend our natural critical view that, 'things wouldn't happen that way in real life...'. 'It's a movie', so we cut it some slack and accept things that on the whole, might be somewhat unlikely.

Right at the outset White Sands demands a great deal from our reserves of suspended disbelief, and this is because a small hick town sheriff, who turns out to be a very thorough and exacting crime scene detective, responds to the discovery in his jurisdiction, of an apparent suicide victim who has a briefcase containing a huge amount of money, by becoming the sole self-appointed investigator. Then he discovers a lead, and with no backup what-so-ever he decides to take the whole briefcase full of money and set out in a convertible '65 Corvette no less, on a quest to find information about the deceased through pretending to be that person!

As our good sheriff drives off and away from his beautiful wife, in his oddly chosen very valuable classic convertible sports car, all alone and with half a million bucks in unknown and unsecured evidence in a briefcase on the seat beside him, we know that he has no idea whom he might meet. What will such people think of this money-stuffed briefcase packing shill of the victim whom for all our sheriff knows, might know is in fact dead? We may well be excused for thinking, 'That wouldn't happen that way in real life'.

Do ya think?

With a lesser actor in the lead role we might be inclined to see if it isn't too late to get out of our seats and go back to the ticket booth and make a scene about a refund, or to make a phone call and see if the video store is still open, but it's Willem Dafoe and he does pretty darned well with the material.

If our next thought, seeing this lone man set off on his quest with his unsecured briefcase of money, is something along the lines of, 'This can't be good...' then we are treated to the fulfilment of our forebodings. It does become much better though. If we forgive the movie's presumption to this point then we are treated to a somewhat less demanding remainder. To say any more would be to do a job of telling that the movie actually does much better than I can.

There are several big names in the cast and they do a commendable job. The plot thickens, the characters develop and the viewer is never required to strain credulity to the degree demanded by that setup scenario. It's a generally satisfactory movie and if not in the league of the giants, you shouldn't regret viewing it.

Present ratings are rather harsh for this drama but for my part I'd think it warrants a solid 7.


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