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The Proposition Details


An outlaw is goaded into taking on justice at its most brutal in this hard-edged Western set in rural Australia in the 1880s. Charlie Burns (Guy Pearce) is a criminal living in the outback. He and his two brothers, Arthur (Danny Huston) and Mikey (Richard Wilson), are on the run from the law for rape and murder. Arthur is a violent and dangerous sociopath with a much longer rap sheet than his siblings and a reputation for hiding out in villages so lawless the police are afraid to visit them, while Mikey is a much younger and more impressionable chap.The authorities capture Charlie and Mikey after a bloody shootout, and the brothers are handed over to Capt. Stanley (Ray Winstone), a British lawman sent to Australia to help bring order to the colonies. Stanley proposes a deal to Charlie, explaining that it's Arthur he really wants, and that he's willing to spare the childlike and terrified Mikey if Charlie can find Arthur and murder him. Charlie, realizing that this is his only hope to save his simpleton younger brother (who is scheduled to be hanged on Christmas Day), agrees and sets out to find and execute his other brother, who he believes has gone too far into the world of crime. As Charlie scours the backwaters of Australia, he encounters Jellon Lamb (John Hurt), an educated yet thoroughly menacing bounty hunter. In time, Charlie finds his brother, but isn't certain if he can carry out his mission. Meanwhile, Stanley struggles to bring a European sense of civility to the rough and tumble land he now calls home, while his wife Martha (Emily Watson) becomes the focus of the lustful appetites of the men in town. The Proposition was written by rock star and novelist Nick Cave; he previously collaborated with director John Hillcoat on the film John Hillcoat. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

  • Release date:May 5, 2006


Awarded by
Toronto Film Critics Association Danny Huston Best Supporting Actor 2006 Nominee
San Diego Film Critics Association Ray Winstone Best Supporting Actor 2006 Winner
London Film Critics Association Emily Watson Best Supporting British Actress 2006 Nominee


Guy Pearce
as Charlie Burns
Ray Winstone
as Captain Stanley
Emily Watson
as Martha Stanley
Danny Huston
as Arthur Burns
John Hurt
as Jellon Lamb
David Wenham
as Eden Fletcher
Noah Taylor
as Brian O'Leary
David Gulpilil
as Jacko
Leah Purcell
as Queenie
Richard Wilson
as Mike Burns
Tom E. Lewis
as Two Bob
Oliver Ackland
as Patrick Hopkins


John Hillcoat
Cat Villiers
Chiara Menage
Jackie O'Sullivan
Nick Cave
Benoit Delhomme
Nick Cave
Composer (Music Score)
Marita Mussett
Art Director
Bill Booth
Art Director
Norman Humphrey
Executive Producer
Sara Giles
Executive Producer
Chris Auty
Executive Producer
Michael Hamlyn
Executive Producer
Michael Henry
Executive Producer
James Atherton
Executive Producer
Robert Jones
Executive Producer
Margot Wilson
Costume Designer
Craig Walmsley
Sound/Sound Designer
Darren Mallett
First Assistant Director
Nikki Barrett
Gary Davy