Silent Tongue

Last updated
Silent Tongue
Silent Tongue.jpg
Directed by Sam Shepard
Written bySam Shepard
Music by Patrick O'Hearn
Distributed by Trimark Pictures
Release date
  • February 1, 1994 (1994-02-01)
Running time
102 minutes
CountryUnited States
United Kingdom
Box office$61,274

Silent Tongue is a 1994 American Western horror film written and directed by Sam Shepard. It was filmed in the spring of 1992, but not released until 1994. It was filmed near Roswell, New Mexico and features Richard Harris, Sheila Tousey, Alan Bates, Dermot Mulroney and River Phoenix.



The film is about a young man named Talbot Roe (Phoenix), who's gone insane over the death of his wife. Talbot's father, Prescott Roe (Harris) feels his son's pain and wants to find him a new wife. He goes back to the place where he bought Talbot's first wife, from Eamon McCree (Bates). He finds the dead wife's sister (Tousey), who is a champion horse rider and Mr. McCree's daughter, which makes her only half-Indian. Roe asks McCree if he could have his last daughter for his son, but McCree refuses. Then, Roe kidnaps her and tries to get her to help him, and she takes the deal for gold and four horses. But Talbot isn't taking any chances for her—he's too afraid that she'll try to take his wife's corpse from him. And for the last few nights, he sees the ghost of his dead wife, who wants him to destroy her corpse, but he won't.


Delay in release

The film was the last to be released featuring a performance by River Phoenix, who died on October 31, 1993 from a drug overdose. The film's release was delayed, and Phoenix continued to work on The Thing Called Love (the film he had just completed at the time of his death), which was released before Silent Tongue.


On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 38% based on 16 reviews, with a weighted average rating of 4.9/10. [1] Peter Travers from Rolling Stone awarded the film 4/4 stars, calling it "a demanding chunk of Shepard frontier poetry that shuns pretty-boy posturing". [2]

See also

Related Research Articles

<i>About Schmidt</i>

About Schmidt is a 2002 American comedy-drama film co-written and directed by Alexander Payne and starring Jack Nicholson in the title role. The film also stars Hope Davis, Dermot Mulroney and Kathy Bates. It is very loosely based on the 1996 novel of the same title by Louis Begley. About Schmidt was theatrically released on December 13, 2002 by New Line Cinema. The film was both a commercial and a critical success and it earned $105,834,556 on a $30 million budget. About Schmidt was released on DVD and VHS formats. It was released on Blu-ray for the first time on February 3, 2015.

<i>Mystic River</i> (film) 2003 American drama film directed by Clint Eastwood

Mystic River is a 2003 American neo-noir mystery crime drama film directed and scored by Clint Eastwood, and starring Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Laurence Fishburne, Marcia Gay Harden, and Laura Linney. The screenplay, written by Brian Helgeland, was based on the 2001 novel of the same name by Dennis Lehane. It is the first film in which Eastwood was credited as composer of the score.

Catherine Keener American actress

Catherine Ann Keener is an American actress. Keener has portrayed disgruntled and melancholic yet sympathetic women in independent films, as well as supporting roles in studio films. She has been twice nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Being John Malkovich (1999) and for her portrayal of author Harper Lee in Capote (2005).

<i>The Wedding Date</i> 2005 romantic comedy directed by Clare Kilner

The Wedding Date is a 2005 American romantic comedy film directed by Clare Kilner and starring Debra Messing, Dermot Mulroney, and Amy Adams. Based on the 2002 novel Asking for Trouble by Elizabeth Young, the film is about a single woman who hires a male escort to pose as her boyfriend at her sister's wedding in order to dupe her ex-fiancé, who dumped her a few years prior. The release was successful, achieving $47 million worldwide at the box office against a budget of $15 million, despite being panned by critics.

<i>The Family Stone</i>

The Family Stone is a 2005 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Thomas Bezucha. Produced by Michael London and distributed by 20th Century Fox, it stars an ensemble cast, including Diane Keaton, Craig T. Nelson, Dermot Mulroney, Sarah Jessica Parker, Luke Wilson, Claire Danes, Rachel McAdams, and Tyrone Giordano.

Dermot Mulroney American actor

Dermot Mulroney is an American actor, voice artist, and musician. He is best known for his roles in romantic comedy, western, and drama films. Appearing on screen since the mid-1980s, he is known for his work in films such as Young Guns (1988), Staying Together (1989), Where the Day Takes You (1992), Point of No Return (1993), Angels in the Outfield (1994), My Best Friend's Wedding (1997), About Schmidt (2002), The Wedding Date (2005), August: Osage County (2013), Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015), and the HBO films The Last Outlaw (1993) and Long Gone (1987). Mulroney played the main antagonist Francis Gibson in NBC's Crisis, Dr. Walter Wallace in Pure Genius, Sean Pierce in Showtime's Shameless and Bobby Sheridan in USA's The Purge.

<i>Lovely & Amazing</i> 2001 film by Nicole Holofcener

Lovely and Amazing is a 2001 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Nicole Holofcener.

<i>Copycat</i> (film)

Copycat is a 1995 American psychological thriller directed by Jon Amiel and starring Weaver, Holly Hunter and Dermot Mulroney. The score was composed by Christopher Young.

<i>Investigating Sex</i> 2001 film by Alan Rudolph

Investigating Sex is a 2001 comedy-drama film written and directed by Alan Rudolph, and stars Neve Campbell, Til Schweiger, Nick Nolte and Dermot Mulroney, and based on the book Recherches sur la sexualité by Jose Pierre.

<i>The Thing Called Love</i>

The Thing Called Love is a 1993 American comedy-drama film directed by Peter Bogdanovich and starring Samantha Mathis as Miranda Presley, a young musician who tries to make it big in Nashville. River Phoenix, Dermot Mulroney and Sandra Bullock also star. While the film involves a love triangle and various complications in Miranda's route to success, it provides a sweetened glimpse at the lives of aspiring songwriters in Nashville. Its tagline is: "Stand by your dream".

<i>Goodbye Lover</i> 1998 film by Roland Joffé

Goodbye Lover is a 1998 neo-noir comedy film about a murder plot surrounding an alcoholic advertising agency worker and his adulterous wife. The film was directed by Roland Joffé, and stars Patricia Arquette, Dermot Mulroney, Don Johnson, Ellen DeGeneres and Mary-Louise Parker. The original script was written by Ron Peer; subsequent drafts were written by Robert Pucci, then Buck Henry.

<i>Flash of Genius</i> (film)

Flash of Genius is a 2008 American biographical drama film directed by Marc Abraham. Philip Railsback wrote the screenplay based on a 1993 New Yorker article by John Seabrook. The story focuses on Robert Kearns and his legal battle against the Ford Motor Company after they developed an intermittent windshield wiper based on ideas the inventor had patented. The film's title comes from the phrase "flash of genius", which is patent law terminology that was in effect from 1941 to 1952, although Kearns's patent was filed in 1964; it held that the inventive act must come into the mind of an inventor as a kind of epiphany, and not as the result of tinkering.

<i>Griffin & Phoenix</i> (2006 film)

Griffin & Phoenix is a 2006 American romance film produced by Gold Circle Films, starring Dermot Mulroney and Amanda Peet. It is a remake of the 1976 film Griffin and Phoenix. Since 2007, the film remake has been shown periodically on the Lifetime Movie Network.

<i>Staying Together</i> (film) 1989 film by Lee Grant

Staying Together is a 1989 American comedy-drama film directed by Lee Grant and produced by Joseph Feury and Milton Justice. The film stars Sean Astin, Stockard Channing, Melinda Dillon, Levon Helm, Dermot Mulroney, Tim Quill, and Daphne Zuniga. Grant's daughter, Dinah Manoff makes a brief appearance. Channing and Manoff previously appeared together in Grease, released 11 years earlier. This is the last film directed by Lee Grant. Staying Together was released in the United States on November 10, 1989, and released in Japan on October 1, 1990.

<i>Stoker</i> (film) 2013 film by Park Chan-wook

Stoker is a 2013 psychological thriller film written by Wentworth Miller, under the pen-name Ted Foulke, and directed by South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook, in his English-language debut. It stars Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode, and Nicole Kidman, and was released on 1 March 2013. The film is dedicated to producer Tony Scott, who died after production.

<i>August: Osage County</i> (film) 2013 American drama film directed by John Wells

August: Osage County is a 2013 American tragicomedy film directed by John Wells. It was written by Tracy Letts and based on his Pulitzer Prize-winning eponymous 2007 play. It is produced by George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Jean Doumanian, and Steve Traxler.

<i>Careful What You Wish For</i> (film)

Careful What You Wish For is a 2015 American erotic thriller film directed by Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum, and starring Nick Jonas, Isabel Lucas, Graham Rogers, and Dermot Mulroney. The film was released on June 10, 2016, by Starz Digital. Its plot is heavily inspired by the 1981 movie Body Heat.

<i>Sleepless</i> (2017 film) 2017 film by Baran bo Odar

Sleepless is a 2017 American crime drama film directed by Baran bo Odar, and written by Andrea Berloff. The film stars Jamie Foxx as a Las Vegas police officer who faces off against mobsters to rescue his kidnapped son, T. Michelle Monaghan, Dermot Mulroney, David Harbour, Tip "T.I." Harris, Gabrielle Union and Scoot McNairy also star.

<i>The Family Tree</i> (2011 film)

The Family Tree is a 2011 American comedy-drama film directed by Vivi Friedman and written by Mark Lisson. The film stars Dermot Mulroney, Hope Davis, Chi McBride, Max Thieriot, Britt Robertson, Selma Blair, and Christina Hendricks. It was given a limited release in the United States by Entertainment One on August 26, 2011.

<i>I Still See You</i> (film)

I Still See You is a 2018 American supernatural mystery thriller film, directed by Scott Speer, from a screenplay by Jason Fuchs. It is based upon the novel Break My Heart 1000 Times, by Daniel Waters. It stars Bella Thorne, Richard Harmon and Dermot Mulroney.


  1. "Silent Tongue (1994) - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Flixer. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  2. Travers, Peter. "Silent Tongue - Rolling Stone". Rolling Peter Travers. Retrieved 15 June 2018.