The Master (2012) Poster

The Master (2012)

  • Rate: 7.8/10 total 12,602 votes 
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Date: 21 September 2012 (USA)
  • Runtime: 144 min
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The Master (2012)

The Master 2012tt1560747.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: The Master (2012)
  • Rate: 7.8/10 total 12,602 votes 
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Date: 21 September 2012 (USA)
  • Runtime: 144 min
  • Filming Location: Oakland, California, USA
  • Budget: $32,000,000(estimated)
  • Gross: $15,912,499(USA)(16 December 2012)
  • Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
  • Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams|See full cast and crew
  • Original Music By: Jonny Greenwood   
  • Soundtrack: On a Slow Boat to China
  • Sound Mix: Datasat | Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: Right Hand Man | Navy | Drifter | Charismatic Leader | Cause

Writing Credits By:

  • Paul Thomas Anderson (written by)

Known Trivia

  • Reese Witherspoon was considered to play Peggy during the production stage in 2010. Eventually, Amy Adams was cast.
  • The first Paul Thomas Anderson film for which Robert Elswit isn’t the cinematographer. He was unavailable, having already signed on to shoot The Bourne Legacy.
  • The first motion picture in 16 years to be filmed entirely on 65mm format using Panavision’s System 65 camera. This process can be projected into 70mm. The last full-length motion picture to be shot in 65/70mm was Kenneth Branagh’s 1996 adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.”
  • The primary influence for the film was John Huston’s 1946 Documentary: Let There Be Light. Director Paul Thomas Anderson has stated that he was taking material from the film “left, right, and center”. Producer JoAnne Sellar has also stated that they also used the film as a reference for production design and costume design.
  • Paul Thomas Anderson wanted a workprint to match the Avid cut, so he had his editors assemble the physical film daily to match the digital edit by hand. Anderson also bypassed the use of a Digital Intermediate instead color grading the film with a photochemical timer, which resulted in a higher film resolution due to less manipulation of the filmed image.
  • Jeremy Renner was originally going to play Freddy when the film was prepped to shoot years ago, but when financing fell through, and Joaquin Phoenix was available following his I’m Still Here project, the filmmakers were able to cast him.
  • The Rorschach “Ink Blot” cards in the hospital scene with the psychologist are real ones. However, he skips from card I to card IV which violates the very strict rules of Rorschach administration.

Goofs: Anachronisms: When Freddie is first seen visiting Doris' house, aluminum stick-on numbers are visible in the establishing shot, giving a street number. These numbers didn't' come onto the market until the 1960's- long after the time when the scene takes place.

Plot: A Naval veteran arrives home from war unsettled and uncertain of his future – until he is tantalized by The Cause and its charismatic leader. Full summary »  »

Story: Returning from Navy service in World War II, Freddie drifts through a series of PTSD-driven breakdowns. Finally he stumbles upon a cult which engages in exercises to clear the emotions. He becomes deeply involved with them, but does it change anything fundamental in his life?Written by Alan Young  


Synopsis: Alcoholic Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) is a World War II veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and struggling to adjust to a post-war society. He finds a job as a photographer at a local department store taking family portraits, but is eventually fired for assaulting a customer after drunkenly harassing him. Freddie then finds work on a cabbage farm, but one of his home-made alcoholic beverages poisons an elderly coworker due to its questionable contents. Freddie is chased off the farm by his employers and becomes a drifter.

One night, Freddie, while intoxicated, boards the yacht of Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman), the leader of a philosophical movement known as The Cause. Despite Freddie’s intrusion, Dodd allows Freddie to stay because he enjoys his drinks (revealed to be made with paint thinner), even going so far as to extend an invitation to Freddie to attend the marriage of Dodd’s daughter (Ambyr Childers). Dodd exposes Freddie to the exercise known as Processing, during which Freddie is subjected to heavy psychological questioning with the intent of conquering any past traumas Freddie may have. It is revealed that his father has died, his mother is institutionalized, he may have had an incestuous relationship with his aunt, and he abandoned the love of his life, a young girl named Doris (Madisen Beaty) who wrote to him while he was at war. Freddie takes a liking to The Cause, and Dodd sees something exceptional in Freddie. Together they begin to travel along the East Coast spreading the teachings of The Cause. However, Freddie’s violent and erratic behavior has not improved, nor has his alcoholism. At a dinner party in New York, a man questions Dodd’s methods and statements, and Freddie responds by assaulting him later in the night.

Other members of The Cause begin to worry about Freddie’s behavior, despite Dodd’s insisting that Freddie is an important part of the movement. While visiting in Philadelphia, Dodd’s wife Peggy (Amy Adams) tells Freddie that he must quit drinking if he wishes to stay, to which he agrees. However, he has no true intention of keeping his promise. Freddie criticizes Dodd’s son Val (Jesse Plemons) for disregarding his father’s teachings, but he responds by informing Freddie that his father is a fraud and all of his teachings are being improvised. Dodd is arrested for practicing medicine without proper qualifications, and Freddie is also arrested for assaulting police officers. When he is imprisoned, he responds by destroying parts of his jail cell and smashing his head on the top bunk bed. Dodd attempts to calm him down from the neighboring cell but Freddie erupts in a tirade, questions everything that Dodd has taught him and accuses him of being a fake. The two men trade insults until Dodd turns his back. They eventually reconcile upon their release, but members of The Cause have become more suspicious and fearful of Freddie, believing him to be insane or an undercover agent.

Freddie returns to the exercises performed by The Cause, but becomes increasingly angry and frustrated with his lack of results and repetition of the exercises. Eventually he passes the tests, with Dodd hugging him in approval. They travel to Phoenix, Arizona to release Dodd’s latest work, which he was initially hesitant to publish. When Dodd’s publisher criticizes the quality of the book and its teachings to Freddie, Freddie drags him outside and assaults him. Helen Sullivan (Laura Dern), a key member of The Cause, upon reading the book, questions Dodd for contradicting previously-established practices in the new book, and Dodd loses his temper publicly. During another exercise in which Freddie is supposed to ride a motorcycle at high speed through the desert towards an object in the distance, he instead abandons Dodd, rides the motorcycle out of the desert, and decides to leave The Cause. He attempts to rekindle his relationship with Doris, but learns from her mother that seven years have passed since he last saw her and that she is now happily married with children and is living in Alabama. Freddie leaves disappointed, but seems pleased that Doris has made a happy life for herself.

While sleeping in a movie theater, Freddie has a "vision" of Dodd, who calls him by telephone, having mysteriously located him. Dodd informs Freddie that he is now residing in England and that Freddie must travel and join him as soon as possible. Taking the dream literally, he travels across the Atlantic to reunite with Dodd. Upon Freddie’s arrival at Dodd’s school, Peggy concludes that Freddie has no intention of improving his life and should not be involved in The Cause at all. Dodd finally realizes that his wife is correct, and that Freddie must venture out to the world and take his own path. He gives Freddie an ultimatum: Stay with The Cause and devote himself to it for the rest of his life, or leave and never come back. Freddie decides to leave. After leaving, he meets a woman at a pub and has sex with her, while reciting the questions Dodd had first posed to him during their first session at sea. The film ends with the image of Freddie on the beach, lying in the sand, next to the sand sculpture of a woman he had earlier defiled.


FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Paul Thomas Anderson known as producer
  • Megan Ellison known as producer
  • Daniel Lupi known as producer
  • Ted Schipper known as executive producer
  • JoAnne Sellar known as producer
  • Adam Somner known as executive producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Joaquin Phoenix known as Freddie Quell
  • Price Carson known as V.A. Doctor
  • Mike Howard known as Rorschach Doctor
  • Sarah Shoshana David known as V.A. Nurse
  • Bruce Goodchild known as V.A. Doctor / Interview
  • Matt Hering known as V.A. Patient
  • Dan Anderson known as V.A. Patient
  • Andrew Koponen known as V.A. Patient
  • Jeffrey W. Jenkins known as V.A. Patient
  • Patrick Biggs known as V.A. Patient
  • Ryan Curtis known as V.A. Patient
  • Jay Laurence known as V.A. Patient
  • Abraxas Adams known as V.A. Patient
  • Tina Bruna known as Portrait Customer
  • Kevin Hudnell known as Portrait Customer
  • Hunter Craig known as Portrait Customer
  • Ryder Craig known as Portrait Customer
  • Rodion Salnikov known as Portrait Customer
  • Emily Gilliam known as Portrait Customer
  • Kody Klein known as Portrait Customer
  • Amy Ferguson known as Martha the Salesgirl
  • W. Earl Brown known as Fighting Businessman
  • Frank Bettag known as Frank
  • Ariel Felix known as Filipino Worker
  • Vladimir Velasco known as Filipino Worker
  • John Mark Reyes known as Filipino Worker
  • Brian Fong known as Filipino Worker
  • Diane Cortejo known as Young Filipino Woman
  • Leonida A. Bautista known as Nana
  • Myrna De Dios known as Angry Filipino Woman
  • Katie Boland known as Young Woman
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman known as Lancaster Dodd
  • Amy Adams known as Peggy Dodd
  • Jesse Plemons known as Val Dodd
  • Ambyr Childers known as Elizabeth Dodd
  • Rami Malek known as Clark
  • Lorelai Hoey known as Baby
  • Martin Dew known as Norman Conrad
  • Joshua Close known as Wayne Gregory
  • Jillian Bell known as Susan Gregory
  • Kevin J. Walsh known as Cliff Boyd
  • Lena Endre known as Mrs. Solstad
  • Madisen Beaty known as Doris Solstad
  • William O'Brien known as Hiring Hall (voice)
  • Kevin J. O'Connor known as Bill William
  • Patty McCormack known as Mildred Drummond
  • Mimi Cozzens known as Chi Chi Crawford
  • Zan Overall known as Bartender
  • Barbara Brownell known as Margaret O'Brien
  • Brady Rubin known as Michelle Mortimer
  • Jill Andre known as Beatrice Campbell
  • Brigitte Hagerman known as New York Party Girl
  • Charley Morgan known as New York Lawyer
  • Christopher Evan Welch known as John More
  • Laura Dern known as Helen Sullivan
  • Barlow Jacobs known as James Sullivan
  • Gigi Benson known as Dancer
  • Liz Clare known as Dancer
  • Fiona Dourif known as Dancer
  • Audrey Finer known as Dancer
  • Rose Fox known as Dancer
  • Baily Hopkins known as Dancer
  • Mari Kearney known as Dancer
  • Sarah Klaren known as Dancer
  • Ally Johnson known as Dancer
  • Brittany Kilcoyne McGregor known as Dancer
  • LaRain Ring known as Dancer
  • David Warshofsky known as Philadelphia Police
  • Kimberly Ables Jindra known as Processing Patient
  • Theo Crisell known as Dancer
  • Thomas Knickerbocker known as Judge Phoenix
  • Eban Schletter known as Band (Piano)
  • Scott Rodgers known as Band (Drum)
  • Melora Walters known as Band (Voice)
  • Emily Jordan known as British Receptionist
  • Amanda Caryn Jobbins known as British Receptionist
  • Olivia Rosemarie Barham known as Pub Customer
  • Napoleon Ryan known as Pub Customer
  • Jennifer Neala Page known as Winn Manchester
  • Conner Cousins known as Follower
  • Seth Donavan known as Veteran
  • Kay Ewing Donato known as Follower
  • Olesya Grushko known as Bikini Girl
  • Jim Gunter known as V.A. Patient
  • Talaria Haast known as Core Follower
  • Darrin Vanderpan known as Hiring Hall Worker
  • Leah Verrill known as Stripper
  • Christine Ames known as Fervent Follower – Phoenix (uncredited)
  • Robert Amico known as Farm Foreman (uncredited)
  • James Barbour known as Master's Cadet (uncredited)
  • Brian Bell known as Follower (uncredited)
  • Matt Bingham known as U.K. Student (uncredited)
  • Bill Blair known as Man At the Bar (uncredited)
  • Denis Boulankine known as NY Driver (uncredited)
  • Dan Brown known as Navy Buddy (uncredited)
  • Phillip Caires known as Sailor (uncredited)
  • Jonathan Carr known as Sailor (uncredited)
  • Cabran E. Chamberlain known as Ship Worker (uncredited)
  • Steve Chapman known as Sailor (uncredited)
  • Aaron B.W. Collins known as Hiring Hall Worker (uncredited)
  • Nick Corvello known as WWII US Navy Veteran (uncredited)
  • Zachary Culbertson known as Naval Patient (uncredited)
  • Thomas Dalby known as Dock Worker (uncredited)
  • Andy Dale known as Pub Patron (uncredited)
  • Aaron Farb known as (uncredited)
  • Sommer Fehmel known as Cause Volunteer (uncredited)
  • Jasmine Fletcher known as Follower (uncredited)
  • Joe Foley known as Phoenix Follower (uncredited)
  • Shannon Freyer known as Ellen (uncredited)
  • Martin Gagen known as Follower (uncredited)
  • Kerry Goodwin known as Phoenix Follower (uncredited)
  • David Alan Hodges known as Hall Hiree (uncredited)
  • Courtney Howard known as Phoenix Follower (uncredited)
  • Dale Richard Howard known as Court Observer (uncredited)
  • Brian Jagger known as New York Dock Greeter (uncredited)
  • Christina Jo'Leigh known as Capwell's Bridal Consultant (uncredited)
  • Keenan Johnston known as Bosun's Mate Johnson (uncredited)
  • Franklin Dennis Jones known as Judge (uncredited)
  • Veronika Kurshinskaya known as Dancer / Party Guest / Cause Volunteer (uncredited)
  • Terry Lane known as Hiring Hall Dispatcher (uncredited)
  • Mark Lavell known as Dockworker (uncredited)
  • Darren Le Gallo known as Master's Dinner Guest (uncredited)
  • Paul Loverde known as Follower (uncredited)
  • Josh Margulies known as Joey (uncredited)
  • Carl Marino known as NY Dock Worker (uncredited)
  • Dennis Mattai known as Phoenix Follower (uncredited)
  • John Mawson known as Phoenix Businessman (uncredited)
  • Ray Medved known as Dock Worker (uncredited)
  • Jesse Muick known as Dock Worker (uncredited)
  • Lourdes Nadres known as Filipino (uncredited)
  • Rene Napoli known as Shady the Bookie (uncredited)
  • Stephane Nicoli known as Cult Follower (uncredited)
  • Andrew Nitzke known as Soldier (uncredited)
  • Jefferson Nogueira known as Phoenix Follower (uncredited)
  • Brendan Norman known as Sailor (uncredited)
  • Montgomery Paulsen known as Dock Worker (uncredited)
  • Allen Pontes known as Boston Dock Worker (uncredited)
  • Heather Power known as Student (uncredited)
  • Mike Jerome Putnam known as Lead Department Store Guard (uncredited)
  • Jeff Rankin known as Dock Worker (uncredited)
  • Raul Reformina known as Farmer (uncredited)
  • Jonathan Retamoza-Davila known as US Army Veteran (uncredited)
  • Linda Revelli known as Follower (uncredited)
  • Alexandra Tejeda Rieloff known as Party Guest (uncredited)
  • Mark Roman known as Follower (uncredited)
  • Vanessa Ross known as USO Girl (uncredited)
  • Timothy D. Rossi known as Follower (uncredited)
  • Franklin Ruehl known as Follower (uncredited)
  • Dylan Saccoccio known as Lancaster Dodd Partisan (uncredited)
  • Andrew Schlessinger known as Andrew (uncredited)
  • Joseph R Scott known as Navy Corpsman (uncredited)
  • Joel Shock known as Master's Cadet (uncredited)
  • Matthew Skomo known as Navy XO (uncredited)
  • Adam C Smith known as Follower (uncredited)
  • Bradley E. Smith known as NY Dock Worker (uncredited)
  • Jesse Soares known as US Army Veteran (uncredited)
  • Arne Starr known as Core Follower (uncredited)
  • Kate Stewart known as Follower (uncredited)
  • Thomas W. Stewart known as Follower (uncredited)
  • Kellog Stover known as Follower (uncredited)
  • Michael A. Templeton known as Follower Dancing (uncredited)
  • John H. Tobin known as Follower (uncredited)
  • Najarra Townsend known as Model (uncredited)
  • Ian Trottier known as New Hire (uncredited)
  • Ken Venzke known as Boston Dock Worker (uncredited)
  • Bryan Westfall known as Follower (uncredited)
  • Steven Wiig known as Philadelphia Follower (uncredited)



Supporting Department

Makeup Department:

  • Aurora Bergere known as key makeup artist
  • Kate Biscoe known as makeup department head
  • Amanda Carroll known as makeup artist
  • Wesley Hodge known as hair stylist
  • Miia Kovero known as hair department head
  • Kris Ravetto known as additional makeup
  • Deborah Rutherford known as makeup artist
  • Don Rutherford known as makeup artist
  • Lynn Tully known as hair stylist
  • Gigi Williams known as assistant makeup department head
  • Nancie Marsalis known as additional makeup artist (uncredited)

Art Department:

  • Jory Alvarado known as drapery foreman
  • Scott M. Anderson known as set dresser
  • Nate Belove known as property master: Bay Area
  • James Burke known as greensman
  • Jason Byers known as stand-by painter: San Francisco
  • Ronald Cox known as propmaker gangboss
  • Laurence B. Davis known as propmaker
  • Ruth De Jong known as assistant art director
  • Tim Fassino known as set dresser
  • Justin Fisher known as set dresser
  • Penelope Franco known as set dresser: day player
  • Joey Genitempo known as stand-by painter
  • John P. Goldsmith known as set designer
  • Robert Grbavac known as painter
  • Michael A. Heath known as prop paperwork
  • Kenneth Heimer known as propmaker
  • Mike Helbig known as set dresser: Northern California
  • Brock Helfer known as set dresser
  • Craig Hoffmann known as property master: Hawaii
  • Bill Holmquist known as construction coordinator
  • Lawrence Hornbeck known as on-set dresser: Northern California
  • John Horning known as set dresser
  • Billy Iiams Jr. known as general foreman
  • Peter Jameson known as construction mill foreman
  • Jim Krase known as foreman
  • Jaime Lovell known as art department assistant
  • Garrett Lowe known as scenic artist
  • C.J. Maguire known as property master
  • Florencia Martin known as set dec buyer
  • Conner McKinley known as art department coordinator
  • John Micheletos known as leadman: Northern California
  • Rudy Reachi known as assistant property master
  • Tom Richardson known as lead scenic
  • Tom Richardson known as painter: San Francisco unit
  • Graham Robertson known as set dresser
  • Jill Rolie-December known as buyer
  • Bret Ross known as gangboss
  • Lee Ross known as lead scenic
  • Keith Sale known as leadman
  • Karen Teneyck known as graphic designer
  • Louis Visco known as set dresser: Northern California
  • Jesse D. Vogel known as painter
  • Jody Weisenfeld known as greens person
  • Jody Weisenfeld known as set buyer
  • Jody Weisenfeld known as set dresser
  • Doug E. Williams known as propmaker gangboss: San Francisco/Northern California (as Doug Williams)




Production Companies:

  • Weinstein Company, The (presents)
  • Ghoulardi Film Company
  • Annapurna Pictures

Other Companies:

  • Annapurna Pictures  funding
  • BT Industrial Supply  expendables
  • Casting Associates  extras casting
  • Chef Robért Catering  catering
  • DTC Grip & Electric  grip and lighting equipment
  • Direct Tools & Fasteners  expendables
  • Dolby Laboratories  sound mix
  • Nonesuch Records  soundtrack
  • Pivotal Post  Avid HD Editing Equipment Provided By


  • A-Film Distribution (2012) (Netherlands) (theatrical)
  • Diamond Films (2013) (Argentina) (theatrical)
  • E1 Films Canada (2012) (Canada) (theatrical)
  • Future Film (2013) (Finland) (theatrical)
  • Golden Village Pictures (2013) (Singapore) (theatrical)
  • Roadshow Film Distributors (2012) (Australia) (theatrical)
  • Senator Entertainment (2012) (Germany) (theatrical)
  • Weinstein Company, The (2012) (USA) (theatrical)
  • Alta Films (2012) (Spain) (all media)
  • Ascot Elite Entertainment Group (2012) (Switzerland) (all media)
  • Midget Entertainment (2012) (Denmark) (all media)
  • Tanweer Films (2013) (India) (all media)
  • Volga (2012) (Russia) (all media)



Other Stuff

Visual Effects by:

  • Jason Bond known as visual effects artist
  • Andy Foster known as visual effects producer: method studios
  • Dan Glass known as senior visual effects supervisor
  • Chelsea Kammeyer known as visual effects coordinator: Method Studios
  • Gregory D. Liegey known as visual effects supervisor: Method Studios
  • Masa Narita known as modeler: Method Studios
  • Den Serras known as roto/paint supervisor: Deluxe

Release Date:

  • Italy 1 September 2012 (Venice Film Festival)
  • Canada 7 September 2012 (Toronto International Film Festival)
  • USA 14 September 2012 (limited)
  • Canada 21 September 2012 (Toronto)
  • USA 21 September 2012
  • Canada 28 September 2012
  • Israel 4 October 2012
  • Germany 7 October 2012 (Todd-AO 70mm Film Festival, Karlsruhe)
  • Australia 25 October 2012 (Melbourne) (premiere)
  • Ireland 2 November 2012
  • Mexico 3 November 2012 (Morelia International Film Festival)
  • Australia 8 November 2012
  • Turkey 9 November 2012
  • Poland 14 November 2012 (Wroclaw American Film Festival)
  • Poland 16 November 2012
  • UK 16 November 2012
  • Sweden 17 November 2012 (Stockholm International Film Festival)
  • Greece 6 December 2012
  • Italy 3 January 2013
  • Spain 4 January 2013
  • France 9 January 2013
  • Iceland 11 January 2013
  • New Zealand 17 January 2013
  • Netherlands 23 January 2013 (International Film Festival Rotterdam)
  • Netherlands 24 January 2013
  • Singapore 24 January 2013
  • Brazil 25 January 2013
  • Denmark 31 January 2013
  • Sweden 1 February 2013
  • Portugal 7 February 2013
  • Argentina 14 February 2013
  • Russia 14 February 2013
  • Norway 15 February 2013
  • Chile 21 February 2013
  • Germany 21 February 2013
  • Hong Kong 21 February 2013
  • Taiwan 22 February 2013
  • Belgium 6 March 2013
  • Japan 22 March 2013

MPAA: Rated R for sexual content, graphic nudity and language



Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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Posted on January 8, 2012 by Malcolm in Uncategorized


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