Synopsis: Jake Van Dorn is a businessman from the American heartland who shares strong Calvinist convictions with most of his countrymen. His teenage daughter is missing from her church youth convention trip to California and Van Dorn hires a private investigator to find her. The result of the investigation is his daughter is spotted in a cheap X-rated movie. Van Dorn decides to bring her back personally and during the quest he becomes familiar with the pornographic underworld.
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Director(s): Paul Schrader
Production: Sony Pictures Entertainment
  4 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
108 min



Credits are played over Currier and Ives-like winter scenes

from life in Grand Rapids. It's Christmas morning.

-- Two well-bundled youths shovel out a suburban driveway

while their father scrapes ice off the family car.

-- Youths pelter a passing car with snowballs. Others, more

daring companions, grab onto the car's rear bumper and hitch

a free ride across the icy roads and past a sign which reads

"Grand Rapids City Limits."

-- Christmas decorations hang from the lamp posts on Monroe


-- Children, dressed in bright parkas, and breathing steam,

compare their Christmas presents: sleds, skis and a toboggan.

In the b.g., other children speed down Richmond Park Hill.

-- A woman's distant voice sings an old hymn:

"Precious memories, unseen angels,

Sent from somewhere to my soul,

How they linger ever near me,

And the sacred past unfolds.

Precious memories, how they linger,

How they ever flood my soul,

In the stillness of the midnight,

Precious sacred scenes unfold.

Precious father, loving mother,

Fly across the lonely years,

And old home scenes of my childhood

In fond memories appear."



Four generations of the Van Dorn family have gathered at the

family home.

A long kitchen leads to the dining area, then to the spacious

living room.

The house is perhaps one hundred years old; deeply varnished

woodwork and patterned yellow wallpaper section off the walls.

Apart from several recent tasteless acquisitions (an E-Z Boy

lounge chair to replace the old Queen Anne which broke two

Easters ago), the house remains furnished in the style of

the previous century. The old dining room table, which

Grandfather Van Dorn built because he was too cheap to buy

one, has now become a priceless antique.

The rooms are littered with religious calendars, Bibles and

plaster-of-Paris plaques bearing such sentiments as "As For

Me and My House, We Will Serve the Lord." The oak buffet is

laden with similar religious knickknacks and chintz. Framed,

tinted photographs of the family patriarchs are

indiscriminately mixed with newer snapshots of proud fathers

and high school graduates.

The house radiates a sense of continuity. Generations come

and go; the family remains. All of life's "old home scenes"

have been played out here: births, deaths, romances,

blasphemies, betrayals. And now the air is again alive with

the sounds of playing children, busy housewives and bickering


The kitchen is crowded with mothers, daughters and aunts.

Each has brought a special dish. ANNE DE JONG (nee Van Dorn),

thirty-five, supervises the final preparations. One aunt

shows another snapshots of her new grandchild.

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Paul Schrader

Paul Joseph Schrader is an American screenwriter, film director, and film critic. Schrader wrote or co-wrote screenplays for four Martin Scorsese films: Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ and Bringing Out the Dead. more…

All Paul Schrader scripts | Paul Schrader Scripts

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Submitted by aviv on November 03, 2016

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