Holy Matrimony (1994 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Leonard Nimoy|
|Produced by||William Stuart
|Written by||David Weisberg
|Music by||Bruce Broughton|
|Edited by||Peter E. Berger|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Pictures|
Holy Matrimony is a 1994 comedy film directed by Leonard Nimoy and starring Patricia Arquette and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in his feature film debut. The film tells the story of a beautiful thief, hiding in a small, isolated religious community, who marries a young boy in order to retrieve a hidden fortune. It was the final feature film directed by Nimoy.
A young couple, Havana & Peter (Patricia Arquette & Tate Donovan), rob a county fair of its daily receipts and escape to Canada to hide out in the Hutterite community where Peter was raised. While there, they get married to satisfy the conservative elders in the community. Peter hides their loot in a secret hiding place, but then is killed in a car wreck. His much younger brother Zeke (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is called upon to replace his brother and marry Havana in a levirate marriage. Zeke already hates Havana because he believes that she influences his elder brother's behavior. She begins looking through everything that was Peter's, and Zeke rightly deduces that Peter hid something from her. He finds the money, along with a newspaper article that mentions Peter as the prime suspect in the robbery. Zeke initially uses the cash to trick his bride into doing housework. Later he shows it to the elders, who deem that it should be returned to its rightful owners. Zeke and Havana (who claims innocence of the source of the money) are sent on a quest back to the US to return the money. During this quest, the two eventually forget their initial animosity and grow protective of each other. When Havana kisses him goodbye, Zeke promises to return and give her a real kiss when he is older.
Holy Matrimony received negative reviews from critics and was a box office failure, grossing just a little over $715,000 in its limited release.
The authors Rod Janzen and Max Stanton stated in their book The Hutterites in North America: "The film [...] provides a very inaccurate portrait of Hutterites". For example, levirate marriage does not exist among Hutterites. People have to dress in a moderate way, when they are at a Hutterite colony. It's only possible for baptized members of the Hutterite community to marry at a colony.
- Patricia Arquette as Betsy "Havana" Ickens
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Ezekiel "Zeke" Jacobson
- Armin Mueller-Stahl as Wilhelm Jacobson
- Tate Donovan as Peter Jacobson
- John Schuck as Markowski
- Lois Smith as Orna Jacobson
- Courtney B. Vance as Cooper
- Jeffrey Nordling as Link
- Richard Riehle as Greeson
- Mary Pat Gleason as Female Officer
- Alaine Byrne as Bar Woman
- Dan Cossolini as Bartender
- Lori Alan as Cleopatra
- Jess Schwidde as Samuel
- Franz Novak as Teacher
- Rod Janzen, Max Stanton: "The Hutterites in North America" Baltimore 2010, page 276