Out of the Furnace

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Not to be confused with Out of This Furnace.
Out of the Furnace
Out of the Furnace Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Scott Cooper
Produced by Jennifer Davisson Killoran
Leonardo DiCaprio
Ryan Kavanaugh
Ridley Scott
Michael Costigan
Written by Brad Ingelsby
Scott Cooper
Starring Christian Bale
Woody Harrelson
Casey Affleck
Forest Whitaker
Willem Dafoe
Zoë Saldana
Sam Shepard
Music by Dickon Hinchliffe
Cinematography Masanobu Takayanagi
Edited by David Rosenbloom
Distributed by Relativity Media
Release dates
  • December 6, 2013 (2013-12-06)
Running time
116 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $22 million[1]
Box office $15.4 million[2]

Out of the Furnace is a 2013 American thriller film, directed by Scott Cooper, from a screenplay written by Cooper and Brad Ingelsby. Produced by Ridley Scott and Leonardo DiCaprio, the film stars Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, Forest Whitaker, Willem Dafoe and Sam Shepard. The film received a limited release in Los Angeles and New York City on December 4, 2013, followed by a wide theatrical release on December 6.


After getting off work at a North Braddock, Pennsylvania steel mill, Russell Baze (Christian Bale) catches his brother Rodney (Casey Affleck) at a horse racing simulcast where Rodney had just bet on a losing horse. Rodney reveals John Petty (Willem Dafoe) loaned the money to him. Petty owns a bar and runs several illegal games. Russell offers to pay off some of Rodney's debt, promising to pay Petty the rest with his next paycheck. Driving home intoxicated, Russell hits another car, killing its occupants, including a little boy. He is incarcerated for vehicular manslaughter. While in prison he is informed that his father has died, and that his girlfriend Lena (Zoë Saldana) has left him for the small town police chief, Wesley Barnes (Forest Whitaker).

Upon his release from prison, Russell returns home and resumes his job at the mill. see| film shawshank redemption

The same day, Rodney is shown participating in a bare-knuckle fight, which he wins. Rodney was supposed to take a dive as a way to repay some of the gambling debt he owes Petty but wins the match as he enters a state of rage from his war experiences causing him to knock out the other fighter. The next morning, Russell finds Rodney's bloodied wrist tapes in the trash and confronts him about it. Russell wants him to work in the mill but Rodney, a four-tour Iraq veteran, is too proud and his war experiences have scarred him mentally.

Rodney tells Petty the "nickel and dime" fights will never give him enough money to pay Petty back. Rodney then insists that Petty call and organize a more lucrative fight in New Jersey. Petty reluctantly arranges a fight with Harlan DeGroat (Woody Harrelson), a sociopathic drug dealer from New Jersey to whom Petty owes a lot of money.

Russell wants Lena back but she is pregnant with Wesley's baby. Russell unsuccessfully feigns happiness to Lena, saying she will be a great mom, but both know that her pregnancy makes their getting back together an impossibility.

Rodney is told he must lose the fight. When DeGroat seeks assurances Rodney will lose, Petty promises he will. Rodney almost knocks out his opponent, but when hearing Petty pleading with him, Rodney helps the fighter get up and then proceeds to let the man pummel his face.

After the fight, Petty tells DeGroat that this fight made them even, reminding him that was their deal. DeGroat drops the subject. While driving back home, Petty and Rodney are ambushed by DeGroat and his men. DeGroat first shoots and kills Petty, and after having Rodney dragged into the woods, kills him as well. Unbeknownst to anyone, when reaching into his pocket for a rag that he gave to Rodney, Petty accidentally dialed his cell phone and it fell onto the car seat. The call connected to his bartender Dan's voice mail and provided proof that DeGroat was the killer.

That night, Russell finds a letter from Rodney, stating that this will be his last fight and that he wants to work with Russell at the mill. Wesley informs Russell about his brother's disappearance and Russell sets off to find him. Arriving in DeGroat's town, he is escorted out by the sheriff and informed that DeGroat has a large following and is not easily apprehendable.

Upon returning to the mill, Russell is visited by Wesley who confirms Rodney's death. Russell goes to Petty's office, finds a phone number for DeGroat and calls him without identifying himself, enticing him to come collect Petty's debt. At the bar, Russell sabotages DeGroat's van to prevent escape and confronts him. DeGroat is able to escape to a nearby shutdown mill where Russell shoots him in the thigh. Russell then follows DeGroat as he hobbles off and shoots him in the back. Russell informs DeGroat that he is Rodney's brother as Wesley approaches the mill. Wesley pleads for Russell to put down his gun but Russell proceeds to carefully aim his hunting rifle and shoots DeGroat in the head.

The film cuts to Russell sitting at home at the dining table, implying that he faced no criminal prosecution for what happened, and the film fades to black.




The film was produced by Relativity Media, Appian Way, Red Granite Pictures, and Scott Free Productions with Jeff Waxman, Tucker Tooley, Brooklyn Weaver, Riza Aziz, Joey McFarland, Joe Gatta, Danny Dimbort, and Christian Mercuri serving as executive producers.[3] Director Scott Cooper read an article about Braddock, Pennsylvania, a declining steel industry town outside of Pittsburgh, and the efforts to revitalize it, led by mayor John Fetterman. After visiting, Cooper was inspired to use the borough as the backdrop for a film.[4] Cooper developed the story from The Low Dweller, a spec script written by Brad Ingelsby that had actor Leonardo DiCaprio and director Ridley Scott attached.[5] The studio offered the script to Cooper, which he rewrote, drawing on his experience of growing up in Appalachia and losing a sibling at a young age.[6] DiCaprio and Scott stayed on as producers of the film.[5] The story has no relation to Out of This Furnace, a 1941 historical novel by Thomas Bell, set in Braddock.[7] The Hollywood Reporter reported the film's budget to be $22 million.[1]


Principal photography began in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area on April 13, 2012, and wrapped on June 1, 2012. The majority of filming took place in Braddock, with additional filming in nearby North Braddock, Imperial, and Rankin.[8] Cinematographer Masanobu Takayanagi shot the feature in the anamorphic format on Kodak 35 mm film.[9] Prison scenes were filmed in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia, at the former State Penitentiary in Moundsville.[3] Filming also took place in rural Beaver County, including a deer hunting scene in Raccoon Creek State Park, and a mill scene in Koppel.[10] Independence Township doubled for Bergen County, New Jersey.[11] The Carrie Furnace, an abandoned blast furnace near Braddock, served as the location for the film's finale.[4] Christian Bale wore a tattoo of Braddock's ZIP code, 15104, on his neck as a homage to the town's mayor John Fetterman, who has the same design on his arm.[12]


The musical score to Out of the Furnace was composed by Dickon Hinchliffe. Originally, it was announced that Alberto Iglesias had reached an agreement to compose the score for the film.[13] However, Hinchliffe later took over scoring duties.[14] Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder also recorded a new song for the film.[15] A soundtrack album featuring Hinchliffe's score was released digitally on December 3, 2013 by Relativity Music Group.[16]


The film premiered at the TCL Chinese Theatre on November 9, 2013 in Hollywood, California as part of the American Film Institute's AFI Fest.[17] It received a limited release in Los Angeles and New York City on December 4, 2013, followed by a wide theatrical release in the U.S. on December 6.[18] Director Scott Cooper won the award for best first or second film for Out of the Furnace at the 2013 Rome Film Festival.[19]

The Pearl Jam song "Release" is featured during the opening title and features in a newly recorded edition during the end credits.


Critical response[edit]

Out of the Furnace has received generally mixed reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an average approval rating of 53% based on 182 reviews, with an average rating of 5.9/10. The general consensus for the site says: "While it may not make the most of its incredible cast, Out of the Furnace is still so packed with talent that it's hard to turn away."[20] The film holds a score of 63 (indicating "generally favorable reviews") out of 100 on Metacritic, based on 40 critics.[21]

Box office[edit]

Out of the Furnace was the only new film to receive a wide release in the U.S. on December 6, 2013, and earned an estimated $1.8 million on its opening day.[22] The film took in an estimated $5.3 million over its opening weekend.[23] The Los Angeles Times and The Hollywood Reporter characterized it as a box office bomb.[1][24] The film came in third behind the animated Disney film Frozen, which brought in $31.6 million, and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which had $27 million in ticket sales that weekend. Relativity Media had pre-sold the film to foreign distributors for $16 million, which offset its costs.[24]


Town officials from Mahwah, New Jersey urged a boycott of the film due to negative depictions of the Ramapough Mountain Indians, an indigenous people living around the Ramapo Mountains[25] characterizing the film as a hate crime.[26] Relativity Media responded that the film "is not based on any one person or group" and is "entirely fictional".[27] Nine members of the group, eight of whom have the surname of the movie's lead character, DeGroat, filed suit against the makers and other involved parties, claiming that Out of the Furnace portrays a gang of "inbreds" living in the Ramapo Mountains who are "lawless, drug-addicted, impoverished and violent."[28] The lawsuit asserts that "The Defendants, and each of them, knew or should have known that their actions would place Plaintiffs, and/or any person so situated in a false light." The suit continues that "The connection between the ethnic slur of 'Jackson Whites', with the location of the Ramapo Mountains of New Jersey', with a Bergen County Police patrol car, with the surnames 'DeGroat' and 'Van Dunk', is too specific to the Ramapough plaintiffs to be chance, coincidence or happenstance, and implies an element of knowledge on the part of the Defendants, or some of them."[29]

On May 16, 2014, U.S. District Court Judge William Walls, sitting in Newark, New Jersey dismissed the lawsuit, saying that the film did not refer directly to any of the plaintiffs.[30]


  1. ^ a b c McClintock, Pamela (December 8, 2013). "Box Office: 'Frozen' Tops 'Catching Fire'; 'Out of the Furnace' DOA". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 8, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Out of the Furnace". Box Office Mojo. December 29, 2013. Retrieved March 3, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Wadas, Amy (April 13, 2012). "Moundsville Movie Great for Local Economy". WTRF. Retrieved April 16, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Corsaro, Louis A. (November 30, 2012). ""Out of the Furnace" shoot warm experience for Braddock". Pittsburgh Business Times. Retrieved July 12, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Fleming Jr., Mike (April 11, 2011). "‘Crazy Heart’s Scott Cooper Takes On ‘The Low Dweller’ For Relativity Media". Deadline.com. Retrieved November 30, 2013. 
  6. ^ Fleming Jr., Mike (November 20, 2013). "Fleming Q&As ‘Out Of The Furnace’ Helmer Scott Cooper". Deadline.com. Retrieved November 30, 2013. 
  7. ^ Corsaro, Louis A. (June 21, 2013). "Plot details emerge on 'Out of the Furnace'". Pittsburgh Business Times. Retrieved July 6, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Film Crews Prepare Braddock For 'Out Of The Furnace'". CBS Pittsburgh. April 13, 2012. Retrieved April 16, 2012. 
  9. ^ "ONFILM Interview: Masanobu Takayanagi". Kodak. October 15, 2013. Retrieved December 10, 2013. 
  10. ^ Tady, Scott (April 18, 2012). "Gun-toting Bale films in the area". Beaver County Times. Retrieved April 23, 2012. 
  11. ^ Tady, Scott (December 4, 2013). "Local sites appear in 'Out of the Furnace'". Beaver County Times. Retrieved December 4, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Academy Conversations: "Out of the Furnace"". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. November 17, 2013. Retrieved November 30, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Three-Time Oscar®-Nominee Alberto Iglesias to Compose Original Score for Scortt Cooper's Currently-titled Out of the Furnace". Relativity Media. June 5, 2012. Retrieved July 10, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Dickon Hinchliffe Scoring ‘Hateship, Loveship’". Film Music Reporter. June 5, 2013. Retrieved July 14, 2013. 
  15. ^ Zeitchik, Steven (January 31, 2013). "Eddie Vedder will contribute a song to Christian Bale's 'Furnace'". LA Times. Retrieved March 12, 2013. 
  16. ^ "‘Out of the Furnace’ Soundtrack Details". Film Music Reporter. November 17, 2013. Retrieved November 17, 2013. 
  17. ^ Vancheri, Barbara (November 10, 2013). "Red-carpet footage from Out of the Furnace world premiere". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved November 30, 2013. 
  18. ^ "‘Out Of The Furnace’ Headed To LA & NYC Two Days Before Wide Release". Deadline.com. November 21, 2013. Retrieved November 30, 2013. 
  19. ^ Lyman, Eric J. (November 16, 2013). "Rome Film Fest: Italian Docudrama 'TIR' Wins Top Prize". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 30, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Out of the Furnace (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 22, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Out of the Furnace". Metacritic. Retrieved December 13, 2013. 
  22. ^ Barton, Chris (December 7, 2013). "Box office: A chilly opening for 'Out of the Furnace'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 7, 2013. 
  23. ^ Stewart, Andrew (December 8, 2013). "Box Office: 'Frozen' Ices 'Fire' in Weekend Showdown; 'Furnace' Fails to Gain Any Heat". Variety. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  24. ^ a b Kaufman, Amy (December 8, 2013). "'Frozen' tops 'Catching Fire,' but 'Furnace' generates no heat". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 8, 2013. 
  25. ^ Duffy, Christie (December 4, 2013). "‘Out of the Furnace’ under fire in Mahwah". FiOS1. Retrieved December 5, 2013. 
  26. ^ Ivers, Dan (December 5, 2013). "Ramapough Indians, Mahwah officials decry depiction in new movie as 'hate crime'". NJ.com. Retrieved 2013-12-23. 
  27. ^ Incalcaterra, Laura (December 6, 2013). "Ramapough chief denounces Christian Bale movie as 'hate crime'". The Journal News. Retrieved December 7, 2013. 
  28. ^ Ma, Miles (December 23, 2013). "Members of Ramapough seek $50 million from makers of 'Out of the Furnace' A lawsuit says 'Out of the Furnace,' starring Christian Bale and Zoe Saldana, misrepresents members of the Ramapough Mountain Indians. (Relativity Media)". NJ.com. Retrieved 2013-12-23. 
  30. ^ The Star Ledger. May 16. 2014. pg. 17

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