The Passion of Darkly Noon

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The Passion of Darkly Noon
DVD cover for the film
Directed by Philip Ridley
Produced by Dominic Anciano
Written by Philip Ridley
Starring Brendan Fraser
Ashley Judd
Viggo Mortensen
Music by Nick Bicât
Cinematography John de Borman
Edited by Les Healey
Distributed by Seville Pictures
Release dates
  • 19 May 1995 (1995-05-19)
Running time
100 minutes
Country Belgium
United Kingdom
Language English

The Passion of Darkly Noon is a 1995 film written and directed by Philip Ridley, starring Brendan Fraser in the title role, and co-starring Ashley Judd and Viggo Mortensen.



Darkly Noon (Fraser) is a young man who has spent his entire life as a member of an ultraconservative Christian cult. After a violent altercation that results in the dissolution of the cult and the death of Darkly's parents, a disoriented Darkly wanders into a forest in the Appalachian region of North Carolina and is rescued from exhaustion by a coffin transporter named Jude (Loren Dean) and his friend Callie (Ashley Judd).

Callie nurses Darkly back to health, but Darkly is frustrated by the conflict between his religious past and his attraction to his new companion. Darkly's frustration intensifies when Clay (Viggo Mortensen), Callie's mute boyfriend who builds the coffins Jude sells, returns home after being away for a few days.

When Darkly encounters Clay's mother, Roxy (Grace Zabriskie), his internal conflicts grow even stronger. Roxy despises the relationship between Clay and Callie, and tells Darkly that Callie is a witch bent on destroying Roxy's family.

Finally, in the film's climax, Darkly's rage boils over. Having wrapped himself in barbed wire and armed with one of Clay's chisels, he bursts into Callie and Clay's house, intent on murdering the couple, whom he discovers having sex. After a scene of horrific destruction, Darkly is finally tamed by Callie's confession that she loves him. Unfortunately for Darkly, Jude arrives, rifle in hand, to rescue Callie and Clay. Jude shoots Darkly, who laments, "Who will love me now?" as he lies dying.

Title source[edit]

Darkly received his unusual name from a passage in the bible, (1 Corinthians 13), "Now we see through a glass, darkly...".

Critical reception[edit]

Entertainment Weekly called The Passion of Darkly Noon "an unintended comedy with a scorcher of an ending", citing poor acting, over-the-top dialogue and implausible plot twists.[1] Conversely, Fangoria magazine praised the film effusively, citing especially the performance of Brendan Fraser.[2]


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