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Down in the Valley (2005)

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Set in the present-day San Fernando Valley, the project revolves around a delusional man who believes he's a cowboy and the relationship that he starts with a rebellious young woman.

Director:

David Jacobson

Writer:

David Jacobson
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Edward Norton ... Harlan
Evan Rachel Wood ... Tobe
David Morse ... Wade
Rory Culkin ... Lonnie
Bruce Dern ... Charlie
John Diehl ... Steve
Geoffrey Lewis ... Sheridan
Elizabeth Peña ... Gale
Kat Dennings ... April
Hunter Parrish ... Kris
Aviva Baumann ... Sherri (as Aviva)
Aaron Fors ... Jeremy
Heather Ashleigh ... Shell
Jennifer Echols ... Rita
Cesar Flores Cesar Flores ... Hispanic Kid (as Cesar D. Flores)
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Storyline

Tobe is about 16, living with her dad and younger brother in LA's San Fernando Valley. She invites a gas station attendant named Harlan to come to the beach with her and her friends. He's from South Dakota, wears a cowboy hat, talks country, and has been a ranch hand. They have a great time, his simple expressions seem like wisdom, he's attentive and polite, and even though he's more than twice her age, she wants to spend time with him. When her father objects, she rebels. Harlan, meanwhile, thinks she's his soul mate, and he starts making plans to get her away from her father. Worlds are set to collide, but which ones? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sometimes it's hard to find your way... See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, sexual content, language and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 December 2005 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

O Vale Proibido See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$22,806, 7 May 2006

Gross USA:

$568,932

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$855,009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The $8 million budget was financed by a wealthy producer-financier, Sam Nazarian of Element Films. See more »

Goofs

When Lonnie shows Harlan his father's military medals, the second-highest gallantry award of both the Navy (the Navy Cross) and the Army (the Distinguished Service Cross) can be seen. It would be almost impossible for a member of either service branch to win the equivalent medal from the other service. See more »

Quotes

Harlan: I've tried living down in the valley again, really tried this time. Walked up and down it looking for one open face, but most people I've meet hardly seem like human beings to me anymore.
See more »

Connections

References Taxi Driver (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

Fly Sparrow Fly
Written and Performed by Peter Salett
See more »

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User Reviews

 
failed to live up to expectations
22 July 2006 | by jrosenf1See all my reviews

Like many other posters have stated, I wanted to like this film; it seemed to have a lot going for it (great cast, interesting plot, terrific visuals). So I dug in and stayed through to the end, hoping it would at least come to a satisfying conclusion. Well it didn't. For one thing, it was about 30 minutes too long- from the opening scenes when Tobe (Wood) meets Harlan (Norton) you know two things are guaranteed: they are going to fall in love, and something tragic is going to happen. Problem is, the director throws in so much unnecessary filler (trippy scenes at a club, repetitive family squabbles) that the focus of the story gets off track.

At its heart this film is a character study/slice of life piece. Tobe, a teenage girl rebelling from her overbearing, violent but caring father Wade (David Morse) and Harlan, a wannabe cowboy with childhood abandonment issues who lives in a delusional world, hook up at a gas station; she is immediately smitten with his "aw shucks" attitude and his focus on her. Harlan tries to ingratiate himself into her family life, attempting to smooth things over with dad and befriending her younger brother Lonnie (Rory Culkin in another mesmerizing turn), who has no male role model in his life (he is adopted, and neglected, by Wade). You know things are going to turn sour when these twisted lives intertwine, especially when we see that Harlan likes to act out old Westerns in his room, using real six shooters. Throw in the fact that Tobe's dad is a corrections officer, veteran, and avid gun collector, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that this crush is going to end badly. But when the tragic events finally do unfold, it's not in the manner I expected, nor hoped; plus the finale drags on to the point where I was praying for it to end already (not a good one to watch after midnight).

This one had so much potential, and there WAS a lot to like about the film: the performances were stellar across the board, the cinematography depicted beautiful images of the new San Fernando Valley where it collides with the Old West, and the ideas were ambitious and commendable. But with some editing and a tighter script, this intriguing little indie could have really been a keeper.


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