Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Andrew Davis|
|Produced by||Andrew Davis
Lowell D. Blank
|Screenplay by||Louis Sachar|
by Louis Sachar
Tim Blake Nelson
|Music by||Joel McNeely|
|Cinematography||Stephen St. John|
|Editing by||Thomas J. Nordberg
Chicago Pacific Entertainment
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Pictures Distribution (US)|
|Running time||117 minutes|
Holes is a 2003 American comedy-drama adventure film based on the 1998 novel of the same title by Louis Sachar (who also wrote the screenplay), with Shia LaBeouf as the lead role of Stanley Yelnats IV and also starring Khleo Thomas, Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight, Tim Blake Nelson, Eartha Kitt, Patricia Arquette, Dulé Hill, Rick Fox, and Henry Winkler. The film was produced by Walden Media and distributed on many markets by Disney's distribution company Buena Vista.
Holes was Scott Plank's final film; he died October 24, 2002.
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (February 2014)|
Stanley Yelnats IV is a descendant of an unfortunate family that has been cursed for 100 years due to their ancestor Elya Yelnats, who didn't keep a promise to a fortuneteller, Madame Zeroni. One day, Stanley is falsely arrested for stealing a pair of sneakers that a famous baseball player named Clyde "Sweetfeet" Livingston had donated to a children's orphanage. At the courthouse, Stanley chooses to attend Camp Green Lake, a juvenile detention camp, for eighteen months which the judge agrees to. He arrives to find that the "camp" is a dried-up lake run by Louise Walker the Warden, her assistant Mr. Sir, and camp counselor Dr. Pendanski. Each day, the detainees must dig a five-foot round hole in the desert to "build character", despite the dangers of scorpions, rattlesnakes, and yellow-spotted lizards. The inmates are known by their nicknames. Stanley is slowly accepted into the group, especially after allowing X-Ray to take credit for his discovery of a gold (lipstick) tube, with the initials "KB" believed to mean "Kate Barlow". Stanley is given the nickname of "Caveman" because of his ability to find old objects. He soon befriends Hector "Zero" Zeroni and teaches him to read, and in return, Hector helps Stanley in digging up his holes.
In a flashback story, it is revealed that Camp Green Lake was once a thriving town, and had the largest lake in Texas, a century earlier. Miss Katherine Barlow, a local school teacher, rejects rich landowner Trout Walker in favor of local onion vendor Sam, a black man. When Trout caught Sam and Katherine kissing, the townspeople went on a riot and burned the school because he is black and she is white. Sam attempts to escape on his boat, but he is shot dead by Trout. Angry and heart-broken, Katherine shoots the local sheriff dead for allowing Sam's death, and kisses his face, thereby beginning her career as an outlaw named "Kissin' Kate Barlow" who infamously kisses every man she kills. Sam's death also causes a curse to fall upon the town area, drying the lake and causing rains to stop, leading to the town desertification and the ruin of the Walker family.
When Louise learns about Stanley and Hector's intentions, she forbids anyone from digging holes for anyone else, and forbids Stanley from teaching Hector to read. After Pendanski insults Hector, he retaliates by hitting Pendanski in the face with a shovel and runs away. Not caring about Hector, Louise orders his file erased from the computer. Stanley (after crashing Mr. Sir's truck in a hole) sets out to find Hector and eventually found him taking shelter under the remains of Sam's boat, the 'Mary Lou'. Out of desperation, Stanley and Hector spot a rock formation called "God's Thumb" in the distance, and walk towards it, remembering that his great-grandfather, Stanley Yelnats I, had survived the desert by seeking refuge on the mountain after Kate Barlow robbed him. Hector faints leaving Stanley to carry him up the mountain where they find Sam's field of onions and water, helping them regain strength for several days. Unknowingly, when Stanley carries Hector to the top of the mountain and sang to him and let him drink from the stream that runs uphill he 'breaks' the family curse because Hector is a descendant of Madame Zeroni, fulfilling the promise made by Elya Yelnats long ago. Meanwhile, with their family's luck restored, Stanley's father who is an inventor accidentally discovers how to eliminate shoe odor.
Moments later, after Hector has woken up, he reveals he is the reason why Stanley was sent to Camp Green Lake. Since he was a lost child, he had been at a homeless shelter and walked off with Clyde's donated shoes, not knowing they were famous. After being pursued by the police, he took off the shoes and tossed them over the bridge where they fall on Stanley's head, implicating him. Hector then explains that he was arrested the next day after stealing shoes from a Payless store. Stanley then believes the fact that they met is destiny.
In another flashback, an elder Kate Barlow sitting at the remains of Sam's boat in the middle of the now dried-up lake is found by Trout Walker, now poor, and his wife, Linda, a former student of Kate's. They demand Kate at gunpoint to hand over her treasure, but she tells them that "you, your children, and your children's children will dig for a hundred years, and you will never find it." Kate commits suicide by allowing a yellow-spotted lizard to bite her on her wrist and dies while laughing; Her last words are "Start diggin', Trout." An angered Trout and his descendants then start to dig up the lake.
Stanley and Hector finally decide to go back to Camp Green Lake to investigate the hole where Stanley had found Kate's lipstick tube and dug up a rusty old chest. Louise, Mr. Sir and Pendanski discover them and attempt to take the chest away from Stanley and Hector until they notice yellow-spotted lizards climbing all over the boys. However the lizards don't attack the boys due to the consumption of the onions, which repels them. This buys enough time for the Texas Attorney General and Stanley's lawyer Carla Morengo to arrive and secure Stanley's release. During the wait, Louise reveals herself to be Trout Walker's granddaughter. He made her spend her childhood digging holes before he died, and she started the camp for troubled boys to continue the search for Kate's buried loot.
When Ms. Morengo berates Louise for the delaying, Louise asserts that the boys stole the chest from her office. Angered, Stanley comes out of the hole, with the lizards leaving him, and calls Louise a liar. Hector reveals the fact that Stanley's name, "Stanley Yelnats", is written on the chest, a fact that shocks Louise. With this evidence, Ms. Morengo allows Stanley to take the chest home with him, despite Louise's objections. Stanley also convinces her to investigate Hector's file to secure Hector's release. However, Louise is forced to confess that she lost it, which incites the disgusted Attorney General into starting a federal investigation of Camp Green Lake. One of the Texas Rangers recognizes Mr. Sir as an ex-criminal named Marion Sevillo, whom he busted for carrying a weapon in violation of his parole. When Louise claimed that she had no knowledge of this, Mr. Sir also quotes that she never admitted that Pendanski is not an actual doctor. The Attorney General declares Camp Green Lake under his jurisdiction and has Louise, Mr. Sir, and Pendanski arrested on the charges of misprision of felony and perverting the course of justice, much to the other boys' delight. This allows Hector to leave with Stanley and Ms. Morengo. With Sam's spirit avenged, it finally rains, ending 100 years of drought.
The Yelnats family claims rightful ownership of the chest and gives half of the money to Hector, who in turn uses his share to hire private investigators to find his missing mother. Some months later, a bus carrying Hector's mother arrives. The Yelnats move to a new house and live in financial comfort and Hector's family became the Yelnats' next-door neighbors.
Following the arrest of Louise, Mr. Sir, and Pedanski, Camp Green Lake is shut down and is later converted into a Girl Scouts camp. Stanley assures the girls and the counselors that they won't have to worry about the yellow-spotted lizards as long as they consume lots of good onions. Stanley's father invents a new odor eliminator "Sploosh" based on peaches and onions, shown by Clyde and his wife on TV interview, with the Yelnats and the Zeroni family watching them, finding success at last.
In the post-credits, Hector appears re-enacting the "You and your family will be cursed" quote from Madame Zeroni and the screen cuts to black.
- Camp Green Lake
- Shia LaBeouf as Stanley "Caveman" Yelnats IV
- Khleo Thomas as Hector "Zero" Zeroni
- Sigourney Weaver as Warden Louise Walker, the head of Camp Green Lake and granddaughter of Trout Walker.
- Jon Voight as Mr. Sir, Warden Walker's assistant who is actually an ex-con named Marion Sevillo.
- Tim Blake Nelson as Dr. Pendanski (or "Mom" as Tent D calls him), the counselor at Camp Green Lake.
- Max Kasch as Ricky "Zigzag", a camper of Tent D.
- Brenden Jefferson as Rex "X-Ray", a camper of Tent D.
- Byron Cotton as Theodore "Armpit", a camper of Tent D.
- Jake M. Smith as Alan "Squid", a camper of Tent D.
- Miguel Castro as Jose "Magnet", a camper of Tent D.
- Noah Poletiek as Brian "Twitch", a camper of Tent D.
- Zane Holtz as Louis "Barf Bag", a camper of Tent D who was bitten by a rattlesnake at the beginning of the film.
- Bruce Dern as Elderly Trout Walker
- The past
- Patricia Arquette as Katherine "Kissin' Kate" Barlow, a teacher-turned-outlaw.
- Dulé Hill as Sam the Onion Man, an African-American onion vendor who was Katherine's love interest who got shot by Trout Walker
- Eartha Kitt as Madame Zeroni, a psychic/sorceress who puts a curse on the Yelnats line starting with Elya over a broken contract he made with her when deciding to immigrate to America. She is also the great-great-great-grandmother of Hector "Zero" Zeroni.
- Allan Kolman as Stanley Yelnats, Sr., the great-grandfather of Stanley Yelnats IV.
- Damien Luvara as Elya Yelnats, the great-great-grandfather of Stanley Yelnats IV.
- Scott Plank as Charles "Trout" Walker, a rich land owner who is the grandfather of Warden Louise Walker.
- Allison Smith as Linda Walker (née Miller), the wife of Trout Walker who was one of Katherine Barlow's students.
- Sanya Mateyas as Myra Menke
- Ravil Isyanov as Morris Menke
- Ken Davitian as Igor Barkov
- Eric Pierpoint as Sheriff
- Brian Peck as Townsman in Classroom
- Supporting characters
- Henry Winkler as Stanley Yelnats III, the father of Stanley Yelnats IV.
- Siobhan Fallon Hogan as Tiffany Yelnats, the mother of Stanley Yelnats IV.
- Nathan Davis as Stanley Yelnats, Jr., the grandfather of Stanley Yelnats IV.
- Rick Fox as Clyde "Sweet Feet" Livingston, a famous baseball player whose donated shoes were stolen by Zero.
- Nicole Pulliam as Mrs. Livingston, the wife of Clyde Livingston.
- Roma Maffia as Atty. Carla Morengo, an attorney that represents Stanley Yelnats IV.
- Shirley Butler as Mrs. Zeroni, the long-lost mother of Zero.
- Louis Sachar as Mr. Collingwood
- Denis Johnson as Rebound
- Shelley Malil as Nosy Landlord
- Ray Baker as Attorney General
- Rick Worthy as Male Police Officer
- Mary Jo Mecca as Female Police Officer
- Michael Cavanaugh as Judge
- Alex Daniels as Texas Ranger #1
- Tom Brainard as Texas Ranger #2
|Soundtrack album by Various|
|Released||April 15, 2003|
|Label||Walt Disney Records|
- "Dig It" - D-Tent Boys
- "Keep'n It Real" - Shaggy
- "Mighty Fine Blues" - Eels
- "Honey" - Moby
- "I'm Gonna Be A Wheel Someday" - Teresa James & The Rhythm Tramps
- "Just Like You" - Keb' Mo'
- "Everybody Pass Me By" - Pepe Deluxé
- "I Will Survive" - Stephanie Bentley
- "Shake 'Em On Down" - North Mississippi Allstars
- "Don't Give Up" - Eagle Eye Cherry
- "Happy Dayz" - Devin Thompson
- "Let's Make A Better World" - Dr. John
- "If Only" - Fiction Plane
- "Eyes Down" - Eels
- "Down To The Valley" - Little Axe
The film would move on to gross a domestic total of $67,406,173 and an additional $4 million in international revenue, totaling $71,406,573 at the box office against a $20 million budget, making the film a moderate financial success.
The film received generally positive reviews; it currently holds a 77% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes with the consensus: "Faithful to its literary source, this is imaginative, intelligent family entertainment." On Metacritic, which uses an average of critics' reviews, the film has a 71/100 rating, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Roger Ebert, of the Chicago Sun-Times, wrote "Davis has always been a director with a strong visual sense, and the look of "Holes" has a noble, dusty loneliness. We feel we are actually in a limitless desert. The cinematographer, Stephen St. John, thinks big, and frames his shots for an epic feel that adds weight to the story. I walked in expecting a movie for thirteensomethings, and walked out feeling challenged and satisfied. Curious, how much more grown up and sophisticated "Holes" is than "Anger Management."