Larceny, lust and lethal behavior. In icebound Wichita, Kansas, it's Christmas Eve, and this year Charlie Arglist just might have something to celebrate. Charlie, an attorney for the sleazy businesses of Wichita, and his unsavory associate, the steely Vic Cavanaugh have just successfully embezzled $2 million from Kansas City boss Bill Guerrard. But the real prize for Charlie is the stunning Renata, who runs the Sweet Cage strip club. Charlie hopes to slip out of town with Renata. But as daylight fades and an ice storm whirls, everyone from Charlie's drinking buddy Pete Van Heuten to the local police begin to wonder just what exactly is in Charlie's Christmas stocking - and the 12 hours of Christmas Eve are filled with surprises.Written by
The name of Lindsay Porter's character 'Gladys' means 'Slippery Ice' in Dutch (glad ijs). Therefore it directly refers to the Dutch expression "Zich op glad ijs begeven" ("Being on slippery ice") which is applied when one finds oneself beyond known conditions and anything might happen. See more »
In an early bar scene, Charlie (John Cusack) greets Vic Cavanaugh (Billy Bob Thornton) by using the full name Victor. However later in the story, when Charlie pulls into Vic's driveway, the name on the mailbox is 'Vincent' Cavanaugh. See more »
No no no. Shut-up you toothless old whore!
[fight breaks out]
Ah shit, Mom I gotta go.
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Blue Christmas for Cusack and Thornton in Seriocomic Noir Thriller
THE ICE HARVEST (TIH), another quirky triumph from Focus Features, should really be sold as a thriller with darkly comedic undertones a la FARGO rather than a comedy with thriller elements a la GROSSE POINTE BLANK (even though John Cusack looks remarkably like he did in GPB here). It's a subtle but crucial difference, and a successful change in tone for director Harold Ramis. The suspenseful yet surreally funny Kansas-set story of nervous Mob lawyer John Cusack teaming up with laid-back yet ruthless Billy Bob Thornton to steal over $2 million from Cusack's boss Randy Quaid, only to find themselves stuck in Wichita by an ice storm and all manner of goof-ups and goofballs, with a hit man on their tail to-boot, TIH tells its twisted tale as if my fave thriller author Jim Thompson (THE GRIFTERS, THE GETAWAY, POP. 1280, among others) wrote it in a jovial mood -- though I suspect that in a jovial mood, Thompson would have been more likely to smirk than belly-laugh. Set on Christmas Eve, TIH starts with the best unexpected holiday-themed credits since 1947's LADY IN THE LAKE and only gets more gleefully malevolent from there. You know our antiheroes are literally in for a blue Christmas, thanks to Alar Kivilo's sleek azure-tinged photography. Cusack and Thornton make such a good team that I'm now eager to rent their previous collaboration, PUSHING TIN, even though I've heard mixed reviews of that, too. Oliver Platt has been touted as TIH's scene-stealer in the role of Cusack's friend who stole his wife and, having lived to regret it, spends the whole film getting drunk and hilariously obnoxious. Platt's a hoot, all right, but Thornton has the slyest lines; his explanation of how his wife ends up killed by the hit man is evilly funny, all the more so for Thornton's matter-of-fact delivery. Connie Nielsen also deserves kudos for stealing her own scenes more subtly and sensuously as the sexy owner of The Sweet Cage, one of many strip joints in town that Cusack frequents (I came away from the movie thinking strip joints must be a cottage industry in Wichita). Nielsen looks like a Petty Girl or Varga Girl come to life, fresh from the pages of a vintage Esquire issue. If you want a wicked little tongue-in-cheek noir as an antidote to the season's holiday cheer, TIH may well be your cup of hemlock. (When TIH comes out on DVD, rent it along with BAD SANTA, FARGO, and/or GROSSE POINTE BLANK and have yourself a merry little day of eccentric movie mayhem!)
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