Back to Cold Mountain

Back to Cold Mountain ( Cold Mountain ) is an American film directed by Anthony Minghella released in 2003 ; it is from the book of the same title written by Charles Frazier in 1997. Located during the American Civil War , it tells the story of Ada who settles on a farm with his father, and Inman, a simple worker who undertakes under the flags alongside the Confederates . The day before leaving for Inman’s front, the two young people fall passionately in love.


When North Carolina seceded on May 20, 1861, the young men of the small town of Cold Mountain rushed to enlist in the Confederate army. Among them is WP Inman (Jude Law), a carpenter who fell in love with Ada (Nicole Kidman), a pastor’s daughter. Their nascent idyll is abruptly interrupted by the Civil War.

Three years later, Inman is in the trenches of Petersburg , Virginia, during the Battle of the Crater . Union soldiers dug a tunnel under the Confederate fortifications and exploded more than 300 barrels of gunpowder to weaken the enemy position before the assault. As the attack begins, Oakley (Lucas Black) an acquaintance of Inman who also comes from Cold Mountain, is impaled by a bayonet. Inman evacuates her to a field hospital. Later that day, Oakley died in the hospital, watched over by Inman and Stobrod Thewes (Brendan Gleeson).

The next night, Inman and his friend Cherokee Swimmer (Jay Tavare) are ordered to flush out the surviving Union soldiers trapped behind their lines. During the raid, a flurry of friendly fire kills Swimmer and seriously injures Inman. He is sent to a hospital where he receives a letter from Ada in which she begs him to stop the fight and return to her. Inman heals and, as the defeat of the Confederates seems more and more inescapable, he decides to desert and return to Cold Mountain.

Upon his escape, he meets Reverend Veasey (Philip Seymour Hoffman), who is about to drown his young slave whom he has made pregnant. Inman stops Veasey and abandons him tied up to be judged by the justice of his city. Exiled from his parish, Veasey later joined Inman in his flight. They help a young man named Junior (Giovanni Ribisi) to cut a cow and he invites them to dine with his family at home. After the highly alcoholic meal, Junior leaves his house to pick up his traps and leaves the two men with the women of his house. They seduce Veasey and try to debauch Inman. But this is only a maneuver and Junior returns home with Confederate soldiers: Inman and Veasey are both arrested and taken away with other deserters. Afterwards, during a skirmish with Union cavalry, Veasey is killed and Inman left for dead. An old woman living as a hermit in the woods (Eileen Atkins) helps and cares for her.

Inman later meets a young widow, Sara (Natalie Portman), who raises only her baby, Ethan, and invites him to spend the night in his cabin. The next morning, scouts from the Union arrive and ask for food. Sara orders Inman to flee, but he hides a few steps from the house. The leader, Nym (Richard Brake), and his lieutenant assault Sara and leave her baby outside in the cold, but the third soldier (Cillian Murphy) covers the baby. While Nym tries to rape Sara, Inman kills him and his lieutenant and forces the young soldier to undress and flee, but Sara furiously kills him.

Meanwhile, Ada, a young girl from the city freshly installed in the countryside with her father pastor, also knows many vicissitudes. As soon as the war began, the Reverend died leaving his daughter helpless and unable to operate a farm. It survives thanks to the generosity of its neighbors and, all the able-bodied men having gone to war, the daughter of one of them, Ruby Thewes, settles with Ada. Accustomed to farming, Ruby gets the farm up and running while Ada writes to Inman asking her to come and find her. The two young women become friends and bond with the Swangers who live nearby; it is by looking in their well that Ada has the vision of Inman returning to Cold Mountain, in the snow, surrounded by crows.

The state militia’s local is led by the brutal Teague who covets Ada and whose eagerness to chase the deserters is increased tenfold by his eagerness to reclaim their land. They shoot down Mr. Swanger and torture his wife to force their two sons out of hiding. When they show up to rescue their mother, they kill them. Stobrod Thewes, Ruby’s father, arrives at Cold Mountain after deserting. He is accompanied by Pangle, a simple banjo player, and Georgia who plays the mandolin and likes Ruby a lot. The three men are discovered by Teague to whom Pangle involuntarily reveals that they are deserters. The militia kill him and Stobrod while Georgia runs away and joins Ada and Ruby. All three decide to leave the farm to take refuge in the forest where they live.

For his part, Inman arrived at Cold Mountain where, exhausted and hungry, Ada does not recognize him and misses him down. The lovers, finally together, spend the night together but the small group is quickly discovered by Teague and his band. During the ensuing ambush, Inman kills all the attackers except Bosie, who is entrenched in the mountain. During the final confrontation, the two men injure each other fatally. Ada finds Inman in the snow encircled by the crows, as she had seen in her vision. He dies in his arms.

A few years later, Ada and Ruby celebrate Easter. Ruby is married to Georgia with whom she has two children. Ada also has a daughter, Grace, the fruit of her only night of love with Inman.

Technical sheet

  • Title: Back to Cold Moutain
  • Original title: Cold Mountain
  • Director: Anthony Minghella
  • Scenario: Anthony Minghella
  • Photography: John Seale
  • Music: Gabriel Yared
  • Producer: Albert Berger , William Horberg , Sydney Pollack and Ron Yerxa
  • Filming location: Romania and North Carolina
  • Distribution:
    • United States : Miramax Films
    • France : TFM Distribution
  • Country of origin: United States
  • Language: English
  • Budget: 83 million $
  • Format: Colors – 2.35: 1
  • Genre: historical drama
  • Duration: 148 minutes
  • Release dates:
    • ( United States )
    • ( France )


  • Nicole Kidman (VF: Danièle Douet , VQ: Anne Bédard ) : Ada Monroe
  • Jude Law (VF: Dimitri Rataud , VQ: Martin Watier ) : Inman
  • Renée Zellweger (VF: Odile Cohen , VQ: Julie Burroughs) : Ruby Thewes
  • Natalie Portman (VF: Marie Donnio , VQ: Marika Lhoumeau) : Sara
  • Brendan Gleeson (VF: Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu , VQ: François L’Ecuyer ) : Stobrod Thewes
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman (VF: Loïc Houdré , VQ: Denis Mercier ) : Veasey
  • Giovanni Ribisi : Junior
  • Donald Sutherland (VF: Georges Claisse ) : Reverend Monroe
  • Ray Winstone (VF: Jean-Claude Leguay , VQ: Jean-Marie Moncelet ) : Teague
  • Kathy Baker (VF: Françoise Vallon , VQ: Claudine Chatel ) : Sally Swanger
  • Jack White (VF: Axel Kiener ) : Georgia
  • James Gammon : Esco Swanger
  • Ethan Suplee : Pangle
  • Melora Walters : Lila
  • Lucas Black : Oakley
  • Emily Deschanel : me Mona Morgan
  • Cillian Murphy : Bardolph
  • Jay Tavare (VF: Emmanuel Gradi) : Swimmer
  • Charlie Hunnam : Bosie
Source and captionFrench version (VF) on the site of AlterEgo (the dubbing company 1 )


  • 2003 Oscars (awarded in 2004)
    • Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role to Renée Zellweger
    • 7 nominations
  • Golden Globe 2004
    • Best Supporting Actress Award to Renée Zellweger
    • 8 appointments

Notes and references

  1. ↑ “VF dubbing sheet of the film”  [ archive ] on , accessed May 25, 2013

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