The Merry Gentleman (2008)

The Merry Gentleman 2008tt0967945.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: The Merry Gentleman (2008)
  • Rate: 6.6/10 total 1,502 votes 
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Date: 4 December 2009 (Ireland)
  • Runtime: USA:110 min (Sundance Film Festival)
  • Filming Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA
  • Budget: $5,000,000(estimated)
  • Gross: $346,286(USA)(26 July 2009)
  • Director: Michael Keaton
  • Stars: Michael Keaton, Kelly Macdonald and Tom Bastounes
  • Original Music By: Jonathan Sadoff  (as Jon Sadoff) Ed Shearmur   
  • Soundtrack: Jingle Jangle Christmas
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: Detective | Hitman | Party | Abusive Husband | Abusive Relationship

Writing Credits By:

    (in alphabetical order)

  • Ron Lazzeretti  writer

Known Trivia

  • Kate says she and Frank are like peas in a pod. Michael Keaton said something similar in Beetlejuice.
  • Michael Keaton’s directorial debut.
  • Scriptwriter Ron Lazzeretti was also supposed to direct the film. But at the last minute, Lazzaretti suffered a ruptured appendix, and Michael Keaton offered to direct instead, rather then watch the film get cancelled. Keaton had long expressed an interest in directing, and this film seemed the perfect opportunity.
  • Filmed in 26 days.
  • Tom Bastounes also doubles as one of the film’s producers.
  • Unlike the other characters, Frank never asks Kate how she got a black eye.

Goofs: Continuity: In the hospital room on Christmas Day, Frank Logan is holding the cup of water in the medium shot, but in the long shots, it is setting on the table.

Plot: A woman leaves an abusive relationship to begin a new life in a new city, where she forms an unlikely… See more »  »

Story: A woman leaves an abusive relationship to begin a new life in a new city, where she forms an unlikely and ironic relationship with a suicidal hit man (unbeknownst to her). Enter a worn, alcoholic detective to form the third party in a very unusual triangle as this story begins to unfold.Written by Marisa_Gabriella  


Synopsis: A delicacy of tone transforms Michael Keatons The Merry Gentleman from what might have been a pedestrian tale into a beautifully romantic fable. Directed, photographed, and performed with a precision and style that mark a distinctive directorial debut, the film begins with a woman who leaves an abusive relationship to begin a new life in a new city, where she forms an unlikely and ironic relationship with a suicidal hit man (unbeknownst to her). Enter a worn, alcoholic detective to form the third party in a very unusual triangle, and this dark, soulful, sometimes-funny story begins to unfold.

Walking a line between the conventional and the idiosyncratic, Keaton creates a highly original yarn that has a quiet, sometimes-even-meditative quality, and frames a more-straightforward story about a womans accidental involvement in a murder investigation. Wonderfully composed and enacted, The Merry Gentleman features Keaton in the lead role opposite a gifted leading lady, Kelly Macdonald, who is at once enigmatic and iconographic in her portrayal of a woman trying to find her way in a cold world. The cop, played by Tom Bastounes, is a disheveled embodiment of male cluelessness and relentless pursuit. Together they are lonely figures in an urban landscape, one that exemplifies the isolation and need for personal relationships that we all carry with us.

Lonely guy Frank Logan (Michael Keaton) meets cute with his addled neighbor, Kate (Kelly MacDonald), under a fallen Christmas tree, and these two bruised souls gradually begin to approach something like redemption under each other’s caring eye. Of course they have their problems: Frank is actually a suicidal hitman and he’s being stalked by an alcoholic cop (Tom Bastounes) with romantic designs on Kate, who he suspects saw Frank commit the murder he’s investigating. Frank begins to plan another hit, but just when, why, or who maybe not even he knows. It’s a remarkably promising directorial debut for Keaton (BATMAN, BEETLEJUICE) who shows a generosity and wisdom in letting the amazing Macdonald (Josh Brolin’s wife in NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN) keep her Scottish accent and voice most of the dialogue in the film. A captivating screen presence, MacDonald gamely embodies an array of conflicting but complementary tics and emotions, which–like Frank’s–are caught between the need to conceal the truth and the just-as-pressing need to express it. Bobby Cannavale (THE TEN) is good in his big scene as Kate’s abusive cop-husband, and the ending is almost as surprising as the breadth of artistry Keaton shows behind the camera, making it a surprise sleeper all the way. [D-Man2010]

{tab=FullCast & Crew}

Produced By:

  • Tom Bastounes known as executive producer
  • Paul J. Duggan known as executive producer
  • Steven A. Jones known as producer
  • Christina Varotsis known as co-producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Michael Keaton known as Frank Logan
  • Kelly Macdonald known as Kate Frazier
  • Tom Bastounes known as Dave Murcheson
  • Mike Bradecich known as Jerry
  • Debbi Burns known as Office Worker at Christmas Party
  • Maritza Cabrera known as Restaurant Patron
  • Bobby Cannavale known as Michael
  • Esther Claire known as Restaurant Patron
  • William Dick known as Mr. Weiss
  • Jay Disney known as Drunken Businessman
  • Mike Falevits known as Guy at Party #1
  • Sean Fortunato known as Ted
  • Shaun Gayle known as Doctor
  • Lori Ann Gerdisch known as Female Co-Worker
  • Steven H. Hansen known as MOB Businessman
  • Gerald O. Heller known as Restaurant patron
  • Darlene Hunt known as Diane
  • Bill Ibrahim known as Restaraunt Patron
  • Randall Jones known as Customer
  • Bob Kolbey known as Office Party Guest
  • Joseph Mazurk known as Background lawyer
  • Doug McDade known as Sleeping Man
  • Greg Mills known as Steve
  • Aleh Neliubin known as Yoga Guru
  • Larry Neumann Jr. known as Lester
  • Toni-Marie Spera known as Customer at Restaurant
  • John Thurner known as Restaurant Patron
  • Guy Van Swearingen known as Billy Goldman
  • David Dino Wells Jr. known as Passerby
  • Lisa Wolf known as Office Worker
  • Anthony Brawner known as Restaurant Patron (uncredited)
  • Kelli Clevenger known as Restaurant Patron (uncredited)
  • Julia Copeland known as Nurse / Subway Patron (uncredited)
  • Fred Dial known as Gas Station Customer (uncredited)
  • Tony Domino known as Other Guy at Party in Santa Hat (uncredited)
  • Ruth Gamble known as (uncredited)
  • Gary Gow known as Detective (uncredited)
  • Tim Krueger known as Physician (uncredited)
  • Bill Merker known as Driver (uncredited)
  • Letitia D. Murray known as Stewardess (uncredited)
  • Kevin Pitcairn known as Man in Office (uncredited)
  • Gary Sedlock known as Restaurant Patron / Man on the Street (uncredited)
  • Diana Shield known as Restaurant Patron (uncredited)
  • Michael White known as Detective (uncredited)
  • Mike White known as Detective (uncredited)

..{tab=Supporting Department}Makeup Department:

  • Pamela Milone-McLaughlin known as department head hair stylist
  • Jamie Sue Weiss known as makeup department head

Art Department:

  • Jason Breitzman known as graphic designer
  • Danny Cavada known as art intern
  • Stephanie Class known as art intern
  • Frank Coronado known as storyboard artist
  • Jeff Creath known as assistant props
  • Dean DeMatteis known as props
  • John Donahue known as on-set dresser
  • Sara Nudelman known as art coordinator
  • Troy Osman known as construction coordinator
  • Larry Szymanowski known as scenic artist
  • Merje Veski known as property master


Production Companies:

  • Jackson Income Fund
  • Merry Gentleman
  • South Water Pictures

Other Companies:

  • Fletcher Chicago  additional camera equipment
  • American Roadshow Motion Picture And Television Catering  catering
  • Atmosphere Casting of Chicago  extras casting
  • Chapman/Leonard Studio Equipment  dollies


  • Samuel Goldwyn Films (2009) (USA) (theatrical)
  • Atlantic Film (2010) (Finland) (DVD)
  • Eagle Films (2008) (non-USA) (all media) (Middle East)
  • Genius Entertainment (2009) (USA) (DVD)
  • Genius Entertainment (2010) (USA) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Gravitas Ventures (2009) (USA) (video) (VOD)
  • Universal Home Entertainment (2010) (UK) (DVD)
  • Universal Pictures Benelux (2010) (Netherlands) (DVD)
  • Universal Pictures Home Entertainment (2010) (Germany) (DVD)

..{tab=Other Stuff}Visual Effects by:

  • Michael Matusek known as digital intermediate colorist
  • James O'Malley known as visual effects supervisor
  • Joseph S. O'Malley known as visual effects assistant
  • Elliot Rudmann known as digital intermediate assistant: digital cleanup
  • Boris Seagraves known as digital intermediate engineer
  • Eduardo Souza known as digital compositor

Release Date:

  • USA 18 January 2008 (Sundance Film Festival)
  • Germany 5 February 2009 (European Film Market)
  • USA 28 March 2009 (Philadelphia International Film Festival)
  • USA 5 April 2009 (Phoenix Film Festival)
  • USA 5 April 2009 (Florida Film Festival)
  • USA 26 April 2009 (Newport Beach International Film Festival)
  • USA 1 May 2009 (limited)
  • USA 28 May 2009 (Seattle International Film Festival)
  • Hungary 4 September 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • Ireland 4 December 2009
  • UK 4 December 2009
  • Germany 1 April 2010 (DVD premiere)
  • Netherlands 20 April 2010 (DVD premiere)
  • France 25 May 2010 (DVD premiere)
  • Japan 26 May 2010 (DVD premiere)
  • Finland 15 September 2010 (DVD premiere)

MPAA: Rated R for language and some violence


Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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