Elizabethtown (film): Wikis


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Promotional poster for Elizabethtown
Directed by Cameron Crowe
Produced by Cameron Crowe,
Tom Cruise,
Paula Wagner
Written by Cameron Crowe
Starring Orlando Bloom
Kirsten Dunst
Susan Sarandon
Alec Baldwin
Music by Nancy Wilson
Editing by David Moritz
Studio Cruise/Wagner
Vinyl Films
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date(s) October 14, 2005
Running time 123 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $45,000,000
Gross revenue $52,034,889

Elizabethtown is a 2005 American film written and directed by Cameron Crowe starring Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst. Alec Baldwin has a small role as a CEO of an athletic shoe company and Susan Sarandon appears as a grieving widow.



Drew Baylor is the designer of the Späsmodica shoe, a world-famously hyped but flawed new product that his boss informs him will lose $972 million and is "a disaster of mythic proportions, [...] a folktale told to others that makes other people feel more alive because it didn't happen to them".

After he is fired, Drew's beautiful girlfriend Ellen breaks up with him. Drew goes to his apartment, defeated, and attempts to commit suicide (by modifying an exercise bike and attaching a kitchen knife with duct tape so he would be stabbed to death when activating the bike). However, his sister Heather phones at just that moment to tell Drew that their father has just died and he needs to go to Elizabethtown, Kentucky, to bring the body back home.

At the airport, Drew's sister and mother tell him they wish to cremate his father's body. On a nearly empty plane, a quick-witted flight attendant, Claire, gives him a free seat in First Class. He declines but she insists because she doesn't want to have to walk all the way back to Coach just for him.

Claire knows Kentucky well and draws him a map to Elizabethtown. She also jots her phone number on the map. When he arrives in Elizabethtown, a boy leads him to the funeral home, where Drew's cousin is waiting for him.

Various members of his family greet him as the "California boy", although his family had only lived in California for 18 months before moving to Oregon. After viewing his father's body, Drew meets with relatives near the burial plot where they would like the body buried. Drew insists on honoring his mother's wish for a cremation.

Drew attempts to call home but receives no answer. He remembers that Claire gave him her number. They talk for most of the night and meet in the early morning. They begin to spend time together, including visiting the mortuary where Drew's father is.

While visiting relatives to explain the choice of cremation, Drew sees a photo of his father near a flame from his Aunt Dora's stove. Feeling guilty, he runs to the mortuary to stop the cremation but arrives too late and is given an urn containing his father's ashes. Drew returns to the hotel to find Claire there. They talk about their feelings and conclude they are not right for each other. However, they kiss and end up sleeping together.

Drew tells her his plan to finish his business in Kentucky and then return home to commit suicide. They decide to meet up one last time at Drew's father's memorial.

Drew's mother and sister arrive in Kentucky for the service. After various acquaintances speak in memory of Drew's father, his mother Hollie talks about him and does a tap-dance to his favorite song. Drew's cousin, along with his band "Ruckus" (consisting of members of Kentucky band My Morning Jacket), begin to play the classic Lynyrd Skynyrd song "Free Bird." A stage prop, a large paper dove, catches on fire, setting off alarms and causing emergency water sprinklers to go off, while everyone flees.

Drew decides to drive back to Oregon rather than fly. Claire once again gives Drew a map, this time an elaborate one with instructions and CDs, guiding him "home." There are notes of places along the way he should visit. At each one, he spreads some of his father's ashes.

During the trip, Drew comes to terms with his father and begins to talk to him, stating that they should have taken this trip together years ago. Finally, the directions come to a point where he is given two choices -- to continue home or to finish the journey Claire laid out for him. Drew chooses to use her route.

He is instructed to go to the "Second Largest Farmer's Market in The World." There is a note telling him to "look for the girl with a red hat." After looking desperately for a few minutes, he finds Claire.



Jane Fonda was cast in Susan Sarandon's role, but had to bow out. Ashton Kutcher, Seann William Scott, Colin Hanks, Chris Evans, and James Franco all auditioned for Orlando Bloom's part. Kutcher was actually hired to play Drew, but director Cameron Crowe decided during filming that the chemistry between him and Dunst wasn't right and Kutcher left the project. Jessica Biel auditioned for the female lead, but was given a smaller role as Drew's girlfriend.

There is a character named Ben who is mentioned as a love interest of Claire. In the original cut of the film, Ben is revealed to be Claire's brother.

Recognizable settings for scenes shot in Louisville, Kentucky include the Brown Hotel and Cave Hill Cemetery. Although the exterior, lobby, and corridors of the Brown Hotel are seen, a passable replica of the Brown Hotel's Crystal Ball Room was re-created on a soundstage. However, while Orlando Bloom is supposedly traveling to "Elizabethtown" by car, he is going the incorrect direction on the road. He is also pictured going through the Cherokee Park tunnel, which happens to be on I-64. Elizabethtown is on I-65, about 60 miles in the other direction

Although the title of the movie is Elizabethtown, most of the small town scenes were actually filmed in Versailles, Kentucky. A few scenes were filmed in LaGrange, Kentucky. Scenes portraying distinctive landmarks were filmed in Elizabethtown itself. Other local scenes were filmed in Otter Creek Park in Meade County, near Brandenburg. Filming also took place in Scottsbluff, Nebraska[1] and Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

In the original cut of the film, an epilogue reveals that the shoe designed by Drew turns out to be a hit, as it whistles with every step. This was cut from the release version of the film to prevent the ending seeming overly-drawn out.[2]

Joni Mitchell's painting Hyde Park appears in this film. Previously, one of her paintings had appeared in Crowe's Vanilla Sky.


Critical reception

Elizabethtown currently has a 27% "Rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[3]

Box office

Elizabethtown was commercially released on October 14, 2005 in the United States. It was distributed to 2,517 theaters, and grossed $4,050,915 on its opening day. At the end of its opening weekend, the film had grossed $10,618,711, making it the third biggest opening for that weekend. Overall, the film grossed $52,034,889 worldwide within its release of 68 days.[4]


The film features dozens of contemporary rock songs, and Kentucky natives My Morning Jacket portray a fictional rock group named Ruckus who reunite during the film.


External links

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