Intolerable Cruelty

Intolerable Cruelty

Infobox Film
name = Intolerable Cruelty

caption = Theatrical poster
director = Joel Coen
Ethan Coen (uncredited)
producer = Ethan Coen
Joel Coen (uncredited)
writer = Ethan Coen
Joel Coen
Robert Ramsay
Matthew Stone
John Romano
starring = George Clooney
Catherine Zeta-Jones
Billy Bob Thornton
Cedric The Entertainer
Geoffrey Rush
music = Carter Burwell
cinematography = Roger Deakins
editing = Roderick Jaynes
distributor = Universal Pictures
released = flagicon|United States October 10, 2003
runtime = 100 min.
country = United States
language = English
budget = $60,000,000
amg_id = 1:282916
imdb_id = 0138524

"Intolerable Cruelty" is a 2003 dark comedy/romance directed by Joel and Ethan Coen and starring George Clooney, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Cedric the Entertainer, and Billy Bob Thornton. It was released by Universal Pictures.


Donovan Donaly (Geoffrey Rush), a soap opera producer, comes home to find his wife, Bonnie (Stacey Travis), having an affair with a pool cleaner named Ollie (Jack Kyle). He brandishes a gun to shoot Ollie, but his wife stabs him in the rear with his own pointy Lifetime Achievement Award trophy. Ollie and Bonnie run away while Donovan shoots at them from a balcony, later taking pictures of his wounded behind as proof that his wife attacked him first.

Miles Massey (George Clooney) is the U.S.'s top divorce attorney, creator of the "Massey Pre-Nup", a pre-nuptial agreement which has never been successfully challenged -- meaning that no party to it can benefit financially in the event of a divorce. He becomes Bonnie's lawyer, assuring her he will win the divorce case and leave Donovan with nothing. During a trial hearing, he confides to his associate Wrigley (Paul Adelstein) that he is in the middle of a mid-life crisis, and is feeling bored with life. He compares himself with Attila the Hun, Ivan the Terrible, and Henry VIII, all of whom destroyed all their opponents. Miles has done everything, seen everything, bought everything; he is seeking the ultimate challenge.

Meanwhile, Rex Rexroth (Edward Herrmann) is having a role play session with a blonde temptress in a cheap motel when a private investigator named Gus Petch (Cedric The Entertainer) bursts into the room with a video camera and records everything. He brings the video to Rex's wife, Marylin Rexroth (Catherine Zeta-Jones), who remains very calm and reveals that the video is her ticket to wealth and independence. Rex tries to talk to Marylin, but she sends her rottweilers to chase him off their property. Rex seeks counsel from Miles Massey, who assures him that, despite the video, he will win the divorce case. Marylin consults with her girlfriends, wealthy fellow serial divorcées, including Sarah Sorkin (Julia Duffy). She warns Marylin to beware of Miles Massey.

After Marylin and her lawyer, Freddy Bender (Richard Jenkins), fail to agree with Miles, Rex, and Wrigley on a divorce settlement, Miles asks Marylin to dinner where he decides that Marylin is the challenge he's been looking for. He hires Gus Petch to take pictures of her diary. Later, in divorce court, Miles exposes Marylin's calculating life by presenting a witness named The Baron Von Espy (Jonathan Hadary) who testifies that she asked him several years ago to find her a rich husband who could be easily manipulated. Because she winds up with nothing from the divorce, she swears revenge on Miles. She contacts Donovan Donaly, who is now living on the street, to help her. Herb Myerson (Tom Aldredge), Miles's boss, congratulates and praises him lavishly for his fine work.

Soon after, Marylin shows up at Miles's office with her new fiancé, an oil millionaire named Howard D. Doyle (Billy Bob Thornton). She signs the "Massey Pre-Nup" and invites Miles to their wedding. During the ceremony, Howard rips up the pre-nup and eats it in a flamboyant demonstration of his love. But not long after the wedding, Marylin divorces Howard and takes his money, making her a very rich woman.

Months pass. Marylin bumps into Miles at a convention of divorce attorneys in Las Vegas. They discover that they both are lonely people despite their wealth; she reveals that her best friend Sarah Sorkin has died from an peptic ulcer. Miles is besotted with Marylin and marries her on the spur of the moment. Happy and content in their new marriage, they need no pre-nup. Miles has become a changed man and decides to abandon divorce suits in favor of pro-bono work in East Los Angeles. However, while celebrating this decision, Miles discovers that Howard D. Doyle is in fact an actor from one of Donaly's soap operas, and not really an oil millionaire. Marylin has no money of her own. Even her friend Sarah Sorkin is still alive. Marylin has thoroughly tricked Miles and now his wealth is exposed to Marilyn's asset stripping.

Miles' boss is most displeased with this turn of events and demands that something be done about it because she has humiliated their law firm. The boss then hires a hitman named Wheezy Joe (Irwin Keyes) to kill her, but before the plan is completed, Miles learns that Marylin's ex-husband Rex Rexroth has died of a heart attack, bequeathing her millions. Miles now stands to "benefit" from a divorce, so he rushes out to stop the assassination. Meanwhile, Marylin, after arriving at the couple's new house, discovers Joe and easily perceives that he was sent to kill her. She offers to pay Joe double to instead kill Miles and his boss. When Wheezy Joe meets Miles again, Miles sprays him in the face with Mace, causing him to mistake his gun for his Albuterol inhaler, with comically tragic results. At the end, Miles and Marylin meet at a divorce attorney's office to hammer out a deal. Miles is still in love with Marylin and shows his trust in her by retroactively signing a pre-nuptial agreement. Marylin destroys it, and they kiss and reconcile. Marylin tells Miles that she suggested to Donovan Donaly a TV show about divorce à la America's Funniest Videos starring Gus Petch. The show is a success, and everyone lives happily ever after.


*George Clooney as Miles Massey
*Catherine Zeta-Jones as Marylin
*Geoffrey Rush as Donovan Donaly
*Cedric the Entertainer as Gus Petch
*Edward Herrmann as Rex Rexroth
*Paul Adelstein as Wrigley
*Richard Jenkins as Freddy Bender
*Billy Bob Thornton as Howard D. Doyle
*Julia Duffy as Sarah Sorkin
*Jonathan Hadary as Heinz, the Baron Krauss von Espy
*Tom Aldredge as Herb Myerson
*Stacey Travis as Bonnie Donaly
*Isabell O'Connor as Judge Marva Munson
*Irwin Keyes as Wheezy Joe
*Colin Linden as Father Scot
*Kiersten Warren as Claire O'Mara


Infobox Album
Name = Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Intolerable Cruelty
Type = Soundtrack
Artist = Carter Burwell and various artists

Cover size = 0
Released = October 7, 2003
Recorded =
Genre = Film score
pop, blues
Length = 50:50
Label = Hip-O
Producer =
Reviews = * Allmusic Rating|3.5|5 [ link]
* [ Movie Music UK] Rating|4|5
* [ SoundtrackNet] Rating|3.5|5
Chronology = Coen Brothers film soundtracks
Last album = "The Man Who Wasn't There"
This album = "Intolerable Cruelty" (2003)
Next album = "The Ladykillers" (2004)

"Intolerable Cruelty" is scored by Carter Burwell, in his tenth collaboration with the Coen Brothers.

The soundtrack album features a variety pop songs and cues from Burwell's score.

"The Boxer", first by Simon and Garfunkel and then by Colin Linden, opens and closes the album. A Canadian blues musician, Linden had previously participated in "Down from the Mountain", a live performance of music from the Coens' "O Brother, Where Art Thou?", and he performs several songs in the film.

Other songs include "Suspicious Minds" by Elvis Presley, "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien" by Édith Piaf and "Glory of Love" by Big Bill Broonzy.

Track listing

Tracks by Carter Burwell unless otherwise noted.
#"The Boxer" (Simon and Garfunkel) – 5:09
#"Intolerable Mambo – 1:41
#"Suspicious Minds" (Elvis Presley) – 4:33
#"Hanky Panky Choo Choo" – 2:07
#"Don't Cry Out Loud" (Melissa Manchester) – 3:48
#"Feels So Good" (Chuck Mangione) – 9:42
#"You Fascinate Me" – 1:40
#"April Come She Will" (written by Paul Simon, performed by Colin Linden) – 0:59
#"Heather 2 Honeymoon" – 1:39
#"If I Only Knew" (Tom Jones) – 4:18
#"Love Is Good" – 3:26
#"Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien" (Édith Piaf) – 2:21
#"No More Working" – 3:01
#"Fully Exposed" – 1:46
#"Glory of Love" (Big Bill Broonzy) – 2:20
#"The Boxer" (Colin Linden) – 2:20

External links

* [ Official Site]
* [ Intolerable Cruelty review by Cosmopolis]
* [ Movie stills]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Intolerable Cruelty — [[Archivo:Archivo:Intolerable cruelty.jpg|200px]] La portada del Film. Título Crueldad intolerable (España) El amor cuesta caro (Latinoamérica) Ficha técnica Dirección Joel e Ethan Coen …   Wikipedia Español

  • Intolerable Cruelty — Intolérable Cruauté Intolérable Cruauté est un film américain réalisé par Joel Coen et sorti en 2003. C est le 10e film des Frères Coen. Sommaire 1 Synopsis 2 Fiche technique 3 Distribution …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Intolerable Cruelty — Filmdaten Deutscher Titel: Ein (un)möglicher Härtefall Originaltitel: Intolerable Cruelty Produktionsland: USA Erscheinungsjahr: 2003 Länge: 96 Minuten Originalsprache: Englisch …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Intolérable Cruauté — Données clés Titre original Intolerable Cruelty Réalisation Joel Coen Ethan Coen (non crédité) Scénario Joel et Ethan Coen Matthew Stone Robert Ramsey d après une histoire de John Romano Matthew Stone Robert Ramsey S …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Intolerable cruaute — Intolérable Cruauté Intolérable Cruauté est un film américain réalisé par Joel Coen et sorti en 2003. C est le 10e film des Frères Coen. Sommaire 1 Synopsis 2 Fiche technique 3 Distribution …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Intolérable cruauté — est un film américain réalisé par Joel Coen et sorti en 2003. C est le 10e film des Frères Coen. Sommaire 1 Synopsis 2 Fiche technique 3 Distribution …   Wikipédia en Français

  • intolerable — I adjective impossible, insufferable, insupportable, unbearable, unendurable associated concepts: intolerable cruelty, intolerable severity II index deplorable, insufferable, loathsome …   Law dictionary

  • intolerable severity — As a characterization of cruelty constituting a ground for divorce:–extreme cruelty. Mathewson v Mathewson, 81 Vt 173, 69 A 646 …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • intolerable indignity — An indignity amounting to a species of mental cruelty, thereby constituting a ground of divorce under some statutes. Wirthman v Wirthman, 225 Mo App 692, 39 SW2d 404 …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • mental cruelty — n: conduct by one spouse that renders the other s life miserable and unendurable and that is a ground for divorce Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996. mental cruelty …   Law dictionary

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