The Life of David Gale

February 21st, 2003


The Life of David Gale

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Still of Kate Winslet in The Life of David GaleStill of Kevin Spacey and Laura Linney in The Life of David GaleStill of Laura Linney in The Life of David GaleStill of Kate Winslet in The Life of David GaleKevin Spacey in The Life of David GaleAlan Parker in The Life of David Gale

A man against capital punishment is accused of murdering a fellow activist and is sent to death row.

Release Year: 2003

Rating: 7.3/10 (48,627 voted)

Critic's Score: 31/100

Director: Alan Parker

Stars: Kevin Spacey, Kate Winslet, Laura Linney

Dr. David Gale, an advocate of eliminating the death penalty, is accused of rape and murder. Once convicted, he ends up on death row in Texas himself, telling his story to a reporter through a series of flashbacks.

Kate Winslet - Bitsey Bloom
Cleo King - Barbara Kreuster
Constance Jones - Reporter A.J. Roberts
Kevin Spacey - David Gale
Laura Linney - Constance Harraway
Lee Ritchey - Joe Mullarkey
Gabriel Mann - Zack Stemmons
Matt Craven - Dusty Wright
Brandy Little - Motel Waitress
Cindy Waite - Margie
Jim Beaver - Duke Grover
Leon Rippy - Braxton Belyeu
Jesse De Luna - Supervising Guard
Vernon Grote - Door Guard
Rhona Mitra - Berlin

Taglines: The crime is clear. The truth is not.


Official Website: Universal |

Release Date: 21 February 2003

Filming Locations: Austin Studios - 1901 E. 51st Street, Austin, Texas, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $7,117,225 (USA) (23 February 2003) (2002 Screens)

Gross: $19,593,740 (USA) (30 March 2003)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

The scene where Gale is drunk in downtown Austin (6th street) was somewhat improvised and shot with two lights and a camera. "Most of those people aren't extras," Alan Parker said to an audience at the University of Washington.

Factual errors: Huntsville Texas is about four hours away from Austin Texas, yet Bitsy drives back and forth between the two several times during the film and is able to make her 3:00pm meeting time with David in the prison.

David Gale: We spend our whole life trying to stop death. Eating, inventing, loving, praying, fighting, killing. But what do we really know about death? Just that nobody comes back. Then there comes a point - a moment - in life when your mind outlives its desires, its obsessions, when your habits survive your dreams, and when your losses... Maybe death is a gift. You wonder. All I can tell you is that by this time tomorrow I'll be dead. I know when. I just cannot say why. You have 24 hours to find out.

User Review

I found this to be an excellently executed film in all respects with tight, compelling writing, superb acting, and an ending for which they should employ the old technique of not letting anyone in during the

Rating: 10/10

Don't be put off by one movie critic's assessment (morally dishonest, no stars) of this film - he just didn't "get it." This character driven murder mystery is one of the decade's best! Definitely four stars!

The layered conflicts drive the story forward like a Mack truck careening down the side of a mountain, making the movie seem much shorter than its 130 minutes. Kevin Spacey's compelling portrayal of David Gale, a brilliant, principled man with more than his share of human flaws and bad luck, is excellent and is surely Oscar material.

The story begins four days before Gale's execution in a Texas prison. Gale is finally breaking his years of silence by agreeing to tell his side of the story to news-magazine reporter, Bitsey Bloom. Skeptical that this Death Row inmate is out to convince her, and the world, of his innocence, Bitsey takes the assignment expecting it to be a typical, no-brainer.

Gale's story is told in a series of tightly choreographed flashback sequences, each building in character, motive and momentum toward an exciting and most unexpected conclusion.

The story also puts a very fine point on the debate over the death penalty and gives its audience something to talk & think about on the way home.

Not since "Presumed Innocent" have I been so deliciously unable to predict an ending! It is a pleasure to leave the theater feeling completely happy about having invested the price of my ticket in this movie! It is two hours very well spent.


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