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A History of Violence

The book A History of Violence was made into the movie A History of Violence.

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Book details for A History of Violence

A History of Violence was written by John Wagner. The book was published in 1997 by Vertigo. More information on the book is available on Amazon.com.

 

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It was just another quiet day at McKenna's Diner--until a couple of wanted killers walked in looking for trouble. Instead, they got bullets, and Tom McKenna got to be an instant media celebrity. That got him a lot of attention from some people he thought ... Read More
It was just another quiet day at McKenna's Diner--until a couple of wanted killers walked in looking for trouble. Instead, they got bullets, and Tom McKenna got to be an instant media celebrity. That got him a lot of attention from some people he thought he'd escaped long ago. The kind of people who never forget a face--even after twenty years...

Now Tom must confront a group of cold-blooded mobsters intent on settling the score. As much as he tries to deny it, he's a man with a history of violence--and with the lives of his family hanging in the balance, he'll do anything to make sure his secret past stays buried...forever.

Movie details for A History of Violence

The movie was released in 2005 and directed by David Cronenberg, who also directed Naked Lunch (1991) and Spider (2002). A History of Violence was produced by New Line Home Video. More information on the movie is available on Amazon.com.

Actors on this movie include Viggo Mortensen, Maria Bello, Ed Harris, William Hurt, Ashton Holmes, Peter MacNeill, Stephen McHattie, Greg Bryk, Kyle Schmid, Sumela Kay, Gerry Quigley, Deborah Drakeford, Heidi Hayes, Aidan Devine, Bill MacDonald, Michelle McCree, Ian Matthews, R.D. Reid, Morgan Kelly (II) and Martha Reilly.

 

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On the surface, David Cronenberg may seem an unlikely candidate to direct A History of Violence, but dig deeper and you'll see that he's the right man for the job. As an intellectual seeker of meaning and an avowed believer in Darwinian survival of the fi... Read More
On the surface, David Cronenberg may seem an unlikely candidate to direct A History of Violence, but dig deeper and you'll see that he's the right man for the job. As an intellectual seeker of meaning and an avowed believer in Darwinian survival of the fittest, Cronenberg knows that the story of mild-mannered small-town diner proprietor Tom Stall (Viggo Mortensen) is in fact a multilayered examination of inbred human behavior, beginning when Tom's skillful killing of two would-be robbers draws unwanted attention to his idyllic family life in rural Indiana. He's got a loving wife (Maria Bello) and young daughter (Heidi Hayes) who are about to learn things about Tom they hadn't suspected, and a teenage son (Ashton Holmes) who has inherited his father's most prominent survival trait, manifesting itself in ways he never expected. By the time Tom has come into contact with a scarred villain (Ed Harris) and connections that lead him to a half-crazy kingpin (William Hurt, in a spectacular cameo), Cronenberg has plumbed the dark depths of human nature so skillfully that A History of Violence stands well above the graphic novel that inspired it (indeed, Cronenberg was unaware of the source material behind Josh Olson's chilling adaptation). With hard-hitting violence that's as sudden as it is graphically authentic, this is A History of Violence that's worthy of serious study and widespread acclaim. --Jeff Shannon

On the DVD
On a single disc and with little fanfare, this DVD makes an excellent case for the best extras of the year. Dive into the one-hour-long documentary and learn more about moviemaking than on many a double-disc. The secret lies in director David Cronenberg's (and his usual crew) folksy casualness in showing off the craft, be it makeup (green screens were used), directing (Cronenberg doesn't storyboard), or art direction (the diner set). It also is very funny to hear about "fish Fridays" and how Maria Bello's Uncle Pete became an influence. Even the infamous sex-on-the-staircase scene is diagnosed with candor as stars Viggo Mortensen and Bello act as if there is no backstage camera. There's only one deleted scene, but it's uncommonly deconstructed on why it was filmed and why it was cut (it's a very Cronenbergian dream sequence). A short bit on Cannes is also a delight. So much is here that Cronenberg's smart commentary track is nearly superfluous. Isn't that a nice surprise? --Doug Thomas

More to Explore


The Graphic Novel


Other Graphic Novels that Inspired Movies


David Cronenberg Essentials


Why We Love Maria Bello


The work of Viggo Mortensen


The work of William Hurt

Stills from A History of Violence


Viggo Mortensoe as Tom Stall

Ashton Holmes as Jack Stall and Kyle Schmid as Bobby Jordan

William Hurt as Richie Cusack

Ed Harris as Carl Fogarty and Viggo Mortensen as Tom Stall

Maria Bello as Edie Stall

Director David Cronenberg