The Proposition (1998) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Proposition (1998)

The Proposition




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

This drama chronicles the efforts of a 1930s upper-class Boston couple to have a child. Lawyer and FDR advisor Arthur is sterile, but his wife Eleanor wants a child. They hire Harvard student Roger to impregnate Eleanor, but he becomes infatuated with her. Infuriated, Arthur threatens to kill Roger.more
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Drama, Romance
Directed By:
Written By: Rick Ramage
In Theaters:
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment


Kenneth Branagh
as Father Michael McKin...
William Hurt
as Arthur Barret
Madeleine Stowe
as Eleanor Barret
Neil Patrick Harris
as Roger Martin
Blythe Danner
as Syril Danning
Robert Loggia
as Hannibal Thurman
Josef Sommer
as Father Dryer
Bronia Wheeler
as Sister Mary Frances
Ken Cheeseman
as Wayne Fenton
Jim Chiros
as Timothy
Dee Neslon
as Susan Vicar
Pamela Hart
as Skip Taylor
Dossy Peabody
as Hannibal's Secretary
Thomas Downey
as Torrey Harrington
Tom Kemp
as Arthur's Chauffeur
Fr. Frank Toste
as Father Frank Timothy
David Byrd
as Dr. Jenkins
Lawrence Bull
as Butler Captain
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Proposition

Critic Reviews for The Proposition

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (5)

Full Review… | March 27, 1998
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

September 24, 2005
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | December 6, 2005
Film Threat

Audience Reviews for The Proposition

A great movie!

Leo L

Super Reviewer


Well, this wasn't the western I thought it was... This melodrama does not hold any attention for the viewer. The constant, one tone music is annoying. The acting, the voice overs, none of it is engaging. Neil Patrick Harris is unintentionally hilarious and serves as the film's only reason to watch it.


Here's the entire story of the movie, because this description is much more entertaining that their execution.
William Hurt and his wife want a baby, so they hire NPH to knock her up. He does, but falls in love with her. He dies mysteriously and then the wife finds his body in a graveyard and falls into an unfilled grave, smooshing the baby. Kenneth Branagh plays a priest who decides to play detective to see if Hurt killed NPH, but in the investigation has a torrid affair with the wife. She gives birth and dies. Kenneth learns something about faith. The end.

Robert Iwataki

This is a fantastic and overlooked film with deeply moral themes. People either love it or hate it; few point out that there are so many moral themes in its "Mad Men"-style, telegraph-like dialogue, the running time could not do it justice. This should be remade--with its original director--as a mini-series or even a complete series. It is that good.

Hilary Palencar

The Proposition Quotes

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