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Cast: Jaime King (Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, “Heart of Dixie”, Pearl Harbor, Sin City), John Hawkes (Academy Award nominee, Golden Globe nominee, Two-time Independent Spirit Award Winner; Winter's Bone, The Sessions, Lincoln), T.J. Thyne (Bones, How the Grinch Stole Christmas), Jason Lewis (Mr. Brooks, Sex and the City)
Murder. With all the picturesque glamour of the 1940s, The Pardon recounts the unlikely true story of Toni Jo Henry (Jaime King), a woman tried three times and executed in Louisiana, 1942.
Surviving a legacy of childhood abuse, which lands her in the art deco brothels of the time, Toni Jo briefly discovers love and happiness when she marries the dashing boxer Cowboy Henry (Jason Lewis). Cowboy is soon after sent to prison, leaving the bereft Toni Jo to embark on an ill-fated mission with Cowboy's sometime partner Arkie (John Hawkes). A grisly murder and a series of sensational trials, where she pleads her innocence, instantly makes the beautiful Toni Jo into a celebrity. Facing conviction after conviction, will she find true redemption in the face of the crimes for which she is accused?
"The Pardon” tells the true story of Toni Jo Henry. Born Anne-Beatrice, she was only six years old when her mother passed away. Her father could not handle the responsibilities so he turned to drinking and became very abusive. At around 12 years old Anne decided to run away from home. It wasn't long before she changed her name to Toni Jo and got into prostitution and drugs.
She ended up working in a brothel where she met Claude “Cowboy” Henry, this is when her life began to change for the better. Cowboy helped her get off the drugs and the two got married but when Cowboy gets arrested for a murder that occurred years before Toni Jo is again left broken. When she meets Arkie Burks, an old partner of Cowboy's her life changes forever. Arkie convinces Toni Jo to help steal a car and rob a bank in order to get up the money to free Cowboy. But when they kill Joseph P. Calloway after taking him and his car hostage Toni Jo is the one blamed for pulling the trigger even though she insists Arkie did the killing.
The cards are stacked against her when she is given Norman Anderson and Clement Moss, two tax attorneys to defend her. And on top of that she gets a judge and jury that like Calloway enough to make sure she gets the death penalty. After the trail and numerous appeals Toni Jo was executed in 1942.
The Pardon" is an engaging crime drama that keeps you glued to the screen the entire time. One of the first things you will notice is how terrific the cinematography is. This a beautiful film to look at and the film makers did a great job recreating the time. The second thing that strikes you is the amazing cast. Everyone in the film did a fantastic job but a few of the actors really stood out. Jaime King shines in the performance of her career. She does a fantastic job playing Toni Jo and she totally lights up the screen. Other notable performances came from Jason Lewis as Cowboy and the always brilliant John Hawkes as Arkie. "The Pardon" is a true crime story that I had never heard of before watching the film but I immediately found it engaging, intoxicating and memorable. The film is playing is in theaters now, you can find out when and where you can see it by visiting HERE.
Monterey Media always seems to find terrific films to release and "The Pardon" is another gem just waiting to be discovered so be sure not to miss it.
Released by Monterey Media
**** Out Of *****