Newton Boys

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Product Overview

History is about to catch up with america's most successful bank robbers.


Studio Foxvideo
SKU 40111088
UPC 086162104282
UPC 14 00086162104282
Format DVD
Release Date 12/17/2002
Rating Rating
Theatrical Release
True Story
Editors Note
Note Texas filmmaker Richard Linklater's lighthearted Western tells the true story of the Newton brothers, who are regarded as the most successful bank robbers in the history of the United States. The time is the early 1920s and the place is Texas. When Willis Newton (Matthew McConaughey) returns from a four-year stint in prison, he quickly falls into a life of bank robbing. Excited by the prospects of stealing even more money, he recruits his three brothers--the charming Jess (Ethan Hawke), the sensitive Joe (Skeet Ulrich), and the brutish Dock (Vincent D'Onofrio)--and ace safecracker Brentwood Glasscock (Dwight Yoakam) to help him ravage the country's banks, as long as no one gets hurt. Along the way, Willis meets and falls in love with Louise Brown (Julianna Margulies), a single mother living in Omaha. Eventually, greed gets the better of the gang and they set their sights on a federal train that is transporting three million dollars in cash and bonds. Unfortunately, the heist goes awry and the boys are threatened with jail time. Linklater's film is an affable and sweet affair, with a goodnatured tone that greatly mimics the Newton brothers themselves. Linklater alumni McConaughey and Hawke headline the all-star cast, while music by the Bad Livers keeps the atmosphere breezy throughout.
Plot Summary
Summary A trio of down-and-out brothers growing up on a 1920s Texas farm decide to try their hands at bank robbery--just so long as no one gets hurt. Joined by a fourth brother newly out of prison and a demolition expert, they embark on robberies up and down the U.S., culminating in a risky money train heist. Part-western, part-gangster tale, THE NEWTON BOYS is based on a true story about the most successful bank robbers in American history.
Rolling Stone "...The film has an easygoing charm..." 04/16/1998 p.88-9
USA Today "...[The] production design is wonderfully evocative..." 03/27/1998 p.4E
Premiere "...[Linklater has a] consistent ability to give depth and definition to life in the margins..." 04/01/1998 p.30
Richard Linklater
Skeet Ulrich
Vincent D'Onofrio
Ethan Hawke
Matthew McConaughey
Cast & Crew
Skeet Ulrich - Actor
Vincent D'Onofrio - Actor
Ethan Hawke - Actor
Gail Conauer - Actor
Julianna Margulies - Actor
Matthew McConaughey - Actor
Claude Stanush - Based on Novel By
Richard Linklater - Director
Anne Walker-McBay - Producer
Richard Linklater - Screenplay
Technical Info
Original Release Date 1998
Catalog ID 4110428
UPC 00086162104282
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 122 minutes
Color Color
Original Language English
Available Subtitles English, Spanish
Available Audio Tracks English [CC], English, French Dubbed
Aspect Ratio
ReviewSource Box Office Magazine
Review Director Richard Linklater [(Dazed and Confused)], best known for slices of life about disaffected modern teens, has plenty of fun in his period piece heist film, complete with a silent-movie title sequence and old-fashioned wipes between scenes... The Newton Boys is a zesty throwback to films like The Sting and The Brinks Job; the bad guys are the good guys (since the banks are insured, [one Newton] figures that "we're just the little thieves stealing from the big thieves"). And this is a hunky group of Newtons indeed. McConaughey is a fine lovable rogue; Hawke hams it up annoyingly; and D'Onofrio and Ulrich do what they do well enough. They're all overshadowed, however, by a captivating performance by Dwight Yoakam as the boys' level-headed mentor in the art of safe-cracking. The Newton Boys doesn't add up to anything much; Linklater is too busy making us like the Newtons to give them much depth. But it's fun just the same, even if the film's finest moment is during its own closing credits: interview footage of two of the Newton brothers, shot when they were well into a respectable old age.
Reviewer Cathy Thompson-Georges
ReviewRating 0
ReviewSource The New York Times
Review The director of Slacker and Dazed and Confused has moved on to his first big-budget, elaborately costumed picture, and the immediate question is: Why? The answer becomes most apparent just when The Newton Boys, Richard Linklater's film about America's most unsung and fiscally successful band of Prohibition-era bank robbers, is over. At the end of this sometimes old-hat story about young guns, Linklater suddenly includes real glimpses of the real Newtons beside the closing credits. They lived to ripe old ages and, in the case of one brother, to a jovial appearance with Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show.... So The Newton Boys is a gentler genre piece than might be expected, with so much friendly roughhousing that you may wonder whether towel-snapping was big in the Old West. It's also the rare crime story that makes larceny look like awfully hard work, what with having to tote the nitroglycerine, painstakingly blow up safes and haul all the money home and so on... With Ethan Hawke, Matthew McConaughey, [Skeet Ulrich] and Vincent D'Onofrio cast as the other well-dressed, wide-eyed Newtons, the film has marquee value without being strictly a glamor turn. McConaughey overworks his high beams in playing yet another rascally flirt (with Julianna Margulies as the true love he meets at a cigar stand), but otherwise the film is often straightforward bordering on sedate. (Dwight Yoakam and Chloe Webb, as the group's nitroglycerine expert and his insinuating wife, seem to have wandered in from a kinkier, possibly more interesting movie...) If Linklater is not entirely at ease with action sequences (or with the obligatory having-fun montage once the brothers become successful), he still makes this (after Before Sunrise and Suburbia) another admirable directorial stretch. As the Newtons' story demonstrates, nobody slacks forever.
Reviewer Janet Maslin
ReviewRating 0
DVD, Widescreen, No Longer Produced
Product Attributes
Video Format DVD
National News Syndicate Action-packed... A cast to die for.
New York Daily News It's a blast to watch [these] four outlaw brothers explode on screen!

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