Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Craig Zobel|
|Produced by||Craig Zobel
|Written by||Craig Zobel|
|Music by||Heather McIntosh|
|Editing by||Jane Rizzo|
|Distributed by||Magnolia Pictures|
|Running time||90 minutes|
Compliance is a 2012 American docudrama written and directed by Craig Zobel, and starring Ann Dowd, Dreama Walker, and Pat Healy. The plot focuses on a prank caller who pretends to be a police officer and convinces the manager of a fast-food restaurant that one of her employees committed a crime. It is based on the strip search prank call scam and more specifically inspired by the Bullitt County McDonald's case. Dowd's performance as Sandra was very positively received and won her the National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Sandra, a manager of a fast-food restaurant in the ChickWich chain, receives a phone call from an Officer Daniels claiming to be in contact with the regional manager about a reported alleged theft of money from a customer's purse by a restaurant employee that same day. Daniels claims that he is simultaneously searching the suspect's residence therefore he would remain on the phone while Sandra detains and searches the employee until the police can arrive. Sandra identifies Becky as the culprit based on the caller’s description.
Becky denies the theft and at the behest of the officer enters the restaurant office where the front counter closed circuit camera monitors as well as the camera for the office are located. Another employee is brought into the office. The officer then directs that Becky's clothing pockets and purse be searched for the cash. Nothing is found. Sandra is asked to then strip search advising the alternative would be Becky going to jail while her home is searched. During the absence of Sandra from the room Daniels fishes for information about her by which he can then use in his directing of the investigation at the restaurant.
The officer on the return of Sandra implies that searching of the home is based on suspicion that her brother is involved in drugs, Becky is possibly involved and the strip search is crucial. Eventually all of Becky's clothing is removed and nothing is found while she is given an apron to cover. Sandra is told to put the clothing into a bag and take it to her car for later inspection by the police since sometimes they have imperceptible pockets and traces of marijuana could be found on the clothing.
Sandra insists she must resume managing the restaurant as it is busy so Daniels directs that a male employee for "security reasons" stay. Kevin is brought in and after instructions from Daniels seriously questions the purpose leaving the room. Eventually Sandra's fiancé Van keeps watch and he also starts to question what is asked of him until Daniels pressures him with some implied action since he has had a few beers before coming to the restaurant. Becky removes the apron and perform jumping jacks nude before Van under the pretense that contraband may be concealed in her body. Becky protests the treatment and Daniels directs Van to spank her for being disrespectful then she performs oral sex on him. Van leaves with guilt and is replaced by the custodian Harold who becomes outraged and not fooled by the authority of Daniels to tell Sandra what has been asked of him. Sandra finally calls the regional manager to find that he has been home ill all day and has no idea about an investigation.
The police escort Becky off site and investigate the incident finding that a similar incident happened elsewhere. Eventually, Daniels is identified by closed circuit recordings and is apprehended while at work as a telemarketer; he is also a family man. Becky meets with an attorney to sort out the best route for a lawsuit. Sandra then is found to be unemployed and no longer seeing Van, and accompanied by her attorney when interviewed by a journalist is advised to not answer the questions put to her.
The film ends with a message stating over 70 similar incidents occurred in 30 U.S. states.
- Ann Dowd as Sandra
- Dreama Walker as Becky
- Pat Healy as Officer Daniels
- Bill Camp as Van
- Philip Ettinger as Kevin
- James McCaffrey as Detective Neals
- Ashlie Atkinson as Marti
Compliance premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival in January. The film received a limited release in the United States beginning August 17, 2012. It is released by Soda Pictures in the UK and Ireland on March 22, 2013
The film received generally positive reviews and Dowd's performance as the manipulated restaurant manager was met with critical acclaim, earning her the National Board of Review award for Best Supporting Actress. The film holds a 89% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
At the premiere at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, Compliance was met with controversy, as the audience's response included several walkouts and shouting matches during the film's question and answer session.
- "COMPLIANCE (15)". British Board of Film Classification. 2013-03-13. Retrieved 2013-03-13.
- Compliance at Box Office Mojo
- Buchanan, Jason. "Compliance". Allmovie. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved December 24, 2012.
- "Movie inspired by McDonald's strip-search hoax in Bullitt County prompts raves, walkouts". The Courier-Journal. August 17, 2012. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
- "2012 Sundance Film Festival Announces Films in Spotlight, Park City at Midnight, Next <=> and New Frontier". www.sundance.org. December 1, 2011. Retrieved June 28, 2012.
- "National Board Of Review Winners: 'Zero Dark Thirty,' Bradley Cooper, Jessica Chastain". Retrieved 12/05/2012.
- "Royal Entrances For Budding Stars". New York Times. May 4, 2012. Retrieved June 28, 2012.
- Compliance, on Rotten Tomatoes and 6.6 on IMDB.
- "Sundance 2012: Screaming, Anger at Tension-Filled 'Compliance' Premiere". The Hollywood Reporter. January 21, 2012. Retrieved June 28, 2012.