Holes (film): Wikis


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Theatrical release poster
Directed by Andrew Davis
Produced by Andrew Davis
Lowell D. Blak
Teresa Tucker-Davies
Written by Screenplay/Novel:
Louis Sachar
Starring Shia LaBeouf
Jon Voight
Khleo Thomas
Tim Blake Nelson
Sigourney Weaver
Patricia Arquette
Dulé Hill
Henry Winkler
Nate Davis
Eartha Kitt
Music by Joel McNeely
Cinematography Stephen St. John
Editing by Thomas J. Nordberg
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
Release date(s) April 18, 2003 (2003-04-18)
Running time 117 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget US$20 million
Gross revenue $71,406,573

Holes is a 2003 film based on the novel of the same title by Louis Sachar, who also wrote the screenplay, with Shia LaBeouf as the lead role of Stanley Yelnats. The film was produced by Walden Media and released by Walt Disney Pictures.



Stanley Yelnats IV (Shia LaBeouf) is a good-hearted teenager born to a luckless family who have been cursed for years. The luckiest of the Yelnats ancestors, Stanley Yelnats I, lost his fortune when outlaw Kate Barlow (Patricia Arquette) steals his chest. The Yelnats blame their ancestor, Elya Yelnats, from Latvia, who was cursed after breaking a promise to Madame Zeroni (Eartha Kitt) to carry her up a mountain to a fortifying river in exchange for marrying Myra Menke.

One day, Stanley is arrested and tried for falsely stealing a pair of sneakers that Clyde "Sweetfeet" Livingston (Rick Fox), a famous Baseball player had donated to charity. Stanley decides to attend Camp Green Lake, a juvenile detention camp, instead of being incarcerated for his crime. He arrives to find that the "camp" is a dried-up lake run by Warden Walker (Sigourney Weaver), her assistant Mr. Sir (Jon Voight), and camp counselor Dr. Pendanski (Tim Blake Nelson). Each day, the detainees must dig a five-foot square hole in the desert to "build character", despite the danger of the sun, rattlesnakes, and yellow-spotted lizards, which can kill with a single bite. The inmates are told that if they find anything interesting, they may earn a day off. The inmates are known by their nicknames, and include Zero (who refuses to speak to anyone, but likes to dig holes), Armpit, Zig-Zag, Squid, X-Ray and Magnet. Stanley is slowly accepted into the group, especially after allowing X-Ray to take credit for his discovery of a lipstick tube with the initials "KB", and is given the name of "Caveman" after finding a fossil. He soon creates a friendship with Zero (Khleo Thomas), (later revealed to be Hector Zeroni) while teaching him to read. One day Stanley sees Magnet steal Mr. Sir's sunflower seeds and after Mr. Sir comes back Stanley takes blame for stealing it. Mr. Sir takes Stanley to the Warden who makes Nailpolish from Rattelesnake Venom and she hits Mr. Sir after he says Stanley is probably covering for Magnet, injuring him. In revenge and humilation, Mr. Sir denies Stanley any water.

In a parallel flashback story, the history of Camp Green Lake is revealed. The town was once a thriving lake town with plenty of water and life. Kate Barlow, a local school teacher, is accosted by rich landowner, Trout Walker, who proposes to her, but she rejects him. Kate is in love with the local onion seller Sam, an African American (Dulé Hill), who helps repair her schoolhouse in exchange for Kate's renowned spiced peaches. When Sam kisses Kate, the townspeople burn the school. Sam attempts to escape on his boat, the 'Mary Lou', but Trout kills Sam. In retaliation, Kate kills the local sheriff (Eric Pierpoint) and leaves a lipstick mark on his face, thereby beginning her career as an outlaw named "Kissin' Kate" who infamously kisses the men she kills.

After Dr. Pendanski insults Hector, he retaliates by hitting him with his shovel and runs away. After some deliberation, Stanley sets out to help him and finds him taking shelter under the remains of Sam's boat, the 'Mary Lou'. Zero, now stranded in the desert, offers him some "sploosh", old cans of Kate Barlow's spiced peaches which had been left on the boat. The sploosh helped Hector survive (even though it made him sick), and out of desperation Stanley heads over to a mountain, called "God's Thumb", remembering that Stanley Yelnats I had survived many days in the dryness by seeking refuge on the mountain. Meanwhile, Walker decides to presume Hector dead by deleting his files. Stanley carries Hector up the mountain where they find an apparently wild field of onions and a source of water, helping them regain strength for several days. Unknowingly, Stanley breaks the family curse because Hector happens to be a descendant of Madame Zeroni. When he carries Hector to the top of the mountain, sings to him, and lets him drink from the stream that runs uphill, he fulfils the promise made by Elya centuries earlier. Moments later, after Hector has woken up, he reveals he is the reason Stanley was sent to Camp Green Lake. He reveals that since he is homeless, he had been at the homeless shelter where many things, including Sweetfeet's shoes, had been donated. Because he did not know the shoes were famous, he took the shoes and walked off with them. He then heard sirens coming; thinking they were after him, he took off the shoes and tossed them over the bridge, thus leading to the incident which got Stanley sent to Camp Greenlake, as the shoes had fallen on Stanley's head, which was the beginning of the movie. Stanley thinks it is destiny that they met. Then a flashback comes to the screen: Kate Barlow, now older, is found in the middle of the now dried-up lake by one of her former students along with Trout Walker (whom the student has married). They order Kate to hand over the treasure, but she tells them that they "can dig for a hundred years, and you will never find it." Kate dies thanks to a yellow-spotted lizard.

Stanley's father, meanwhile, finally finds the solution to an odor-eliminating mixture that he has been trying all his life to create - the addition of peaches and onions. Stanley and Zero decide to go back to Camp Green Lake to investigate the hole in which Stanley had found the tube of lipstick, feeling lucky all of a sudden. They dig deeper into the hole and uncover a chest. Walker and Mr. Sir discover them and attempt to take the chest away from Stanley and Zero until they notice that yellow-spotted lizards have climbed onto the boys. When the group is discovered the next morning by the Attorney General and Stanley's lawyer, Walker attempts to explain that the chest was hers, at which point Stanley jumps out of the hole to confront her with Hector behind him. (They are still alive due to the fact that yellow-spotted lizards are averse to the onions they had been eating.) Hector reveals that "Stanley Yelnats" is written on the front of the chest. The lawyer finds out that there is no file of Hector and Mr. Sir's possession of a gun. Mr. Sir (revealed to be a criminal named Marion Sevillo), Walker, and Dr. Pendanski are arrested. As Stanley leaves, the rain falls on Camp Green Lake. The Yelnats family claim rightful ownership of the chest and the contents inside - banknotes, money, and other items, all of whose value has increased over time. Stanley decides that half the money should go to Hector. Later, Stanley's family gains this grandfather's riches from both the contents of the chest and his father's new odor-eliminating invention, Sploosh, and they help Hector find his mother by hiring private detectives. Camp Green Lake has been converted into a girl scout camp as well. An advertisement of Sploosh by Clyde closes the film.

Box office and critical reception

The movie made US$ 71 million at the box office against a $20 million budget, making the film a moderate financial success.[1]. The film garnered much critical praise, receiving a 77% Certified Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Differences Between the Book and the Film

Overall the film is extremely faithful to the novel. However there are a number of differences:

In the book... In the film...
Stanley is overweight He is of average weight
Stanley describes throughout the book how he was bullied at school. This concept only appears in the deleted scene with Derrek stealing Stanley's notebook.
Stanley is asked by Squid to tell his mother he is sorry. Armpit asks this.
When Kate Barlow is captured by Trout and Linda, she is asleep in her cabin. They proceed to torture her into telling them the location of the treasure. There is a long time before she is bitten. She is simply lying against Sam's overturned boat (Hallucinating about him) when Trout and Linda approach. She then tells them they will never find the treasure because the lake is so huge. About a minute after they approach, she is bitten.
The lizard biting Kate is accidental Kate deliberately provokes it into biting her
When Linda and Trout see the lizard that will soon bite Kate, Linda tries to hit it with the shovel and Trout shoots at it. Linda screams, "Look out!" and Trout shoots at it.
Trout gives Kate 10 seconds to tell him where the treasure is. He only gives her 5.
Kate and Sam kiss outside in the rain and Hattie Parker, the butcher's wife, sees them They kiss in Kate's schoolhouse and Trout rides by and sees them
When Kate shoots the sheriff, she is alone There are prisoners watching
Armpit gets into trouble for using the bathroom too much He gets into trouble because he attempted to pass off a stove knob as something he found to get a day off, and in a deleted scene, another character is poked with a pitchfork by the Warden for going to the bathroom too much.
Zero rids himself of the shoes by placing them on top of a parked car Zero throws them over the overpass.
Linda claims to have been married to Trout for 20 years, since Sam died She claims to have been married to him for only 13 years.
Pendanski is called Mr. Pendanski. He is called Dr. Pendanski. It is later revealed that he is not a doctor at all.
When the Warden asks Zero what H-A-T spells, he answers "chat" He does not answer
Stanley's father was trying to find a way to recycle old sneakers, and his discovery of the foot-odor cure was an accident - it is also unclear as to what the ingredients of it were Stanley's father is trying to find a foot-odor cure from the start, and accomplishes it using peaches and onions.
Zigzag accidentally smacks Stanley in the back of his head with a shovel. In a deleted scene, Squid does this.
When Mr. Sir is slapped by the Warden and her nailpolish it takes a moment before he screams in pain of the venom. In the film Mr. Sir screams in pain just when the Warden slaps him.
After digging his first hole, Stanley is found by Mr. Pendanski He is found by Mr. Sir, who saves Stanley from a yellow-spotted lizard.
Stanley gets out of his hole, which he is trapped in, by making toeholds in the side Although with difficulty, he simply climbs out of the hole.
After Zero smacks Mr. Pendanski with the shovel, Mr. Pendanski is described as having his eyes swollen almost completely shut This is not shown.
Stanley realizes there is water on Gods Thumb because he falls in a mud puddle ("You need water to make mud!") Stanley angrily swats bugs away from his face as he walk up the mountain, and then realizes there is water ("Wait a second, if there's bugs, that must mean there's... water")
When Mr Pendaski introduces Stanley to the kids, Squid tells him their nicknames. X-ray says this.
In the book Stanley takes 2 days to make a letter to his mom and lies that the camp was great. Stanley takes 1 day to do it and then after a few lies a tent-mate crumples it up and throws it away and Stanley takes it out.
Mr. Sir appears to be legitmate until the end; his real name is never revealed. At the end of the film, Mr. Sir is revealed to be a criminal; his real name is Marion Sevillo.
Stanley's grandfather, Stanley Yelnats II, is not mentioned. He is living with the Yelnats.



  1. ^ ""Holes" box-office figures". [publisher=Box Office Mojo]. 14 May 2009. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=holes.htm. Retrieved 14 May 2009. 

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