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Foxcatcher 2014



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About the Foxcatcher 💬

  • Based on the shocking true story.

Based on true events, FOXCATCHER tells the dark and fascinating story of the unlikely and ultimately tragic relationship between an eccentric multi-millionaire and two champion wrestlers.

Olympic Gold Medal-winning wrestler Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) is struggling in obscurity and poverty in Wisconsin when he is invited by wealthy heir John du Pont (Steve Carell) to move on to his lavish estate to form a team and to train for the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Schultz seizes the opportunity, eager to step out of the shadow of his revered older brother Dave (Mark Ruffalo), a prominent wrestling coach and Gold Medal winner himself.

With his vast financial resources and state-of-the-art training facility at Foxcatcher Farm, du Pont appoints himself head coach of the team, eager to win the respect of his peers and the approval of his condemning mother (Vanessa Redgrave).

The dynamic between Schultz and du Pont deepens as Mark embraces his benefactor as a father figure. But du Pont's mercurial personality and psychological gameplay begin to weigh heavily on Mark's shaky self-esteem, undermining his abilities on the mat. When du Pont's favoritism shifts to brother Dave - who possesses the authority and confidence both he and Mark lack - the trio is propelled towards a tragedy no one could have foreseen.

FOXCATCHER is a rich and moving story of brotherly love, misguided loyalty, and the corruption and emotional bankruptcy that can accompany great power and wealth.

From Academy Award nominee Bennett Miller (Capote, Moneyball) comes a searing true-life account of three men grappling for their versions of the American Dream.


A vast dynasty of industrial enterprise and wealth, the du Pont family has one of the oldest and most prestigious legacies in American history.

  • The du Pont Family A History | Family Tree


Pierre du Pont, one of the family's oldest known relatives, became a confidante to King Louis XVI. Meanwhile, Pierre's son, Eleuthère Irénée du Pont, served as an apprentice to Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier, the father of modern chemistry.

October 1799

Eleuthère, Pierre and the rest of the DuPont family fled France for America during the French Revolution.

July 19, 1802

Making use of the training he had received in France, Êleuthère Irénée du Pont founded E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company (now known as DuPont) in Brandywine Creek, Wilmington, Delaware, to manufacture better gunpowder than was being made in the U.S. at that time. The company went on to provide gunpowder for: The Gold Rush, The Crimean War, the Union Army in the Civil War, as well as powder and explosives used by the Allied Armies during World War I. DuPont gradually purchased controlling interests in gunpowder factories throughout the U.S. and started manufacturing dynamite. The family also played a very large part in politics during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. They assisted in negotiations for the Louisiana Purchase.

In the 20th Century, DuPont shifted from gunpowder into consumer goods. In 1918, they bought General Motors, and focused on synthetic rubbers, textiles, and other chemicals, creating: Freon, Neoprene, Lucite, Teflon, Nylon, Mylar, Dacron, Orlon, Lycra, and Kevlar, among many other lucrative innovations. Later on, they entered the energy business and expanded into electronics and pharmaceuticals.

By 1942 there were believed to be 705 du Pont heirs and today there are over 2000 living members of the family. The ever-growing du Pont fortune is inestimable but is certainly in the trillions of dollars.

1802 - 1818

Under the name E.I. du Pont Nemours & Company, the du Pont family remained the largest black powder manufacturing firm in the world.


After a series of explosions killed 33 workers and injured Eleuthère Irénée's wife, Sophie Madeline Dalmas, their son, Alfred Victor du Pont, returned home to help reestablish the company.

October 31, 1834

Êleuthère Irénée du Pont, at age 63, died from a heart attack. After Êleuthère Irénée's death, his brother in law, James Antoine Bidermann, reorganized the company for the following three years before turning it over to Alfred Victor.

1837 - 1850

Alfred Victor du Pont led the Du Pont Company. During his time he tested and created guncotton for the Navy, developed an automatic barrel stave maker and substituted turbines for the water mills, making the mills more economical. In the 1840's Alfred was cautioned by his brothers and sisters to be more attentive to the company's records. In 1847 the distraction of another explosion and the Mexican War affected Alfred's attention towards the company, resulting in his resignation on January 1st, 1850.

Mid 1800's

Eleuthère's youngest son, Henry du Pont took reign over the mill following hard times and a lack of leadership. Henry achieved fiscal stability for the company using discipline and leadership skills.

Late 1800's

Under Henry's guidance, his nephew, Lammot du Pont took over the family business. The du Pont family capitalized on the huge demand for munitions during the Civil War and the railroad expansion in the American West with the help of Lammot's discoveries.


Lammot strengthened black powder by replacing Indian potassium with South American sodium nitrate, resulting in the creation of ''B'' blasting powder, also known as ''soda powder.'' With the elimination of the British controlled Indian nitrate in the new ''B'' powder, trade between American powder makers and Britain became unnecessary and the cost of powder for American powder makers decreased. This made ''B'' powder as popular as it was exceptional. The ''B'' powder remained superior throughout the Civil War and Reconstruction era until its decline in the 1870s when the Du Pont powder was trumped by a new and more powerful blasting powder. The market for black powder dwindled immensely upon the invention of smokeless powder in the 1890s, and became extinct in the 1970s.


The Du Pont Company expanded after acquiring the Wapwallopen blasting mill, which neighbored the Wilkesbarre, PA coal mines.


Lammot du Pont was elected president of the Gunpowder Trade Association, which controlled tariffs and manufacturing laws.


Lammot, together with the Laflin & Rand Company, launched the Repauno Chemical Company in the belief that dynamite would become more powerful and in demand than blasting powder. Soon after its establishment, Lammot became so invested in Repauno's growth, he resigned from DuPont.

By the 1920s Repauno became the most successful dynamite company and aided in many nationwide construction ventures, such as the development of railroads and highways. Repauno is responsible for the creation of trinitrotoluene (TNT) and terephthalate (DMT).


Lammot du Pont died at 53 in an explosion at Repauno, along with many other Repauno employees.

January 1, 1919

William du Pont, Jr. and Jean Liseter Austin were married in Rosemont, Pennsylvania. William Jr. was the second child and only son of William du Pont and Annie Zinn, and the great-grandson of DuPont founder E.I. du Pont; Jean was the daughter of William Liseter Austin, an executive of the Baldwin Locomotive Works. Because of the wealth of both families, their marriage celebration was called ''The Wedding of the Century'' in newspaper accounts. As a wedding gift, Jean's father gave the couple 600 acres of land in Delaware County, Pennsylvania.


William Jr.'s father built Liseter Hall, a three-story Georgian mansion on the property. It was a replica of President James Madison's Virginia home, Montpelier, where William Jr. had grown up. William Jr. and Jean developed Liseter Hall Farm, shaping it into one of the greatest Thoroughbred horse farms on the east coast, which included the first galloping track in the U.S. Jean was also known as the leading U.S. breeder of Welsh ponies.

Over seven decades, Jean du Pont won more than 32,000 ribbons, cups, trophies, and awards at horse, cattle and dog shows and equestrian competitions - enough to cover an entire room in Liseter Hall. She was the first person inducted into the American Horse Shows Association Hall of Fame.


The Du Pont Company invested in Remington Arms, a large producer of firearms and munitions.


Jean Liseter Austin became pregnant at age 41, giving birth to their youngest child, John Eleuthère du Pont on November 22nd, in Philadelphia. Preceding John, William, and Jean had: Jean Ellen, Evelyn, and Henry E.I. du Pont. John grew up at Liseter Hall.


Du Pont's parents divorced when he was two years old. His mother kept Liseter Hall Farm.


John graduated from Haverford School, an elite prep school in Haverford, Pennsylvania, where he was voted both ''laziest'' and ''most likely to succeed.''


John graduated from the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology.


John trained for the Olympic Pentathlon, a sport requiring skills in running, swimming, fencing, shooting and horseback riding. He hosted the 1967 National Modern Pentathlon Championship, which involved inviting and organizing the judges, constructing four fencing strips, a shooting range with moving targets, a fifty meter, six-lane indoor swimming pool, a 4000-meter running course and a 1200 meter riding course on his Foxcatcher Farms. He provided horses for the 29 competitors. John placed 14th and failed to make the 1968 Olympic team, but was named manager of the U.S. Team for the 1976 Summer Olympics.


John founded the Delaware Museum of Natural History to house his collection of 66,000 stuffed birds and two million seashells. He installed himself as Director. The museum published numerous books, written and co-written by du Pont, based on his expeditions to the Philippines and South Pacific, where he studied and identified species of birds. He is credited with the discovery of two dozen species of birds.


John completed his Doctorate in Natural Science from Villanova University, a Catholic University outside Philadelphia.


John paid $935,000 for one of the rarest stamps in the world, the British Guiana 1856 1c black on magenta.


At age 45, John married Gale Wenk, a therapist. The marriage was annulled 90 days later. Wenk claimed he accused her of being a spy, pointed guns at her head, choked her, and tried to push her out of a moving car.


John funded the John Eleuthère du Pont Pavilion, a fifteen million dollar basketball arena at Villanova University. After his conviction, his name was removed and the arena is now known as The Pavilion.

That year John endowed a wrestling program at Villanova. He and supervised it as a coach with Mark Schultz and Andre Metzger as his assistants.


John published a book of essays: Off the Mat: Building Winners in Life.

John became involved in USA Wrestling, contributing millions of dollars over the next nine years. For his beneficence, his name became part of the title for both the U.S. freestyle national championships and the freestyle world team trials and was also on the team's warm-up suits.


Andre Metzger filed a lawsuit claiming du Pont made unwanted sexual advances.

Villanova ended its relationship with John du Pont.


After her death, John turned the 440-acre Liseter Hall Farm into a $600,000, 14,000-square foot facility for wrestlers, pentathletes, and swimmers, who all competed under his sponsorship as Team Foxcatcher - named after his father's racing stable. The facility included an Olympic size swimming pool, weight and exercise room, a large wrestling room, video room, and a kitchen.


John was now the main benefactor of amateur wrestling in the United States, and USA Wrestling was essentially dependent on his wealth.

John competed at age 55 in the Veteran World Wrestling Championships in Cali, Columbia, followed by Toronto (1993), Rome (1994), and Sofia, Bulgaria (1995).


John exhibited increasingly disturbing behavior: at the World Wrestling Championship in Atlanta, he asked to be introduced as Dalai Lama; he complained about mechanical trees moving on his property; carried a handgun and sometimes fired at bushes; drove a tank around his estate; said the tooth marks made by horses in the barn were communiqués from Martians; complained of bugs crawling around his body; ordered the wrestlers to help chase ghosts out of the walls; twice drove a Lincoln into a pond (once with somebody aboard); pointed a loaded AK-47 at a wrestler's chest; chased off all the athletes at Foxcatcher who weren't wrestlers; and evicted all three African American wrestlers.

John felt that something was hiding inside the walls of his house, waiting to come out and kill him. He installed razor wire inside his walls for protection.



On January 26, 1996, John du Pont, then 56, shot Dave Schultz dead in the driveway of Schultz's home on du Pont's estate. Du Pont fired three shots with a .38 from the window of his Lincoln Town Car-the first in Shultz's elbow, the second in his chest and the last in his back.


After killing Dave Schultz, John (who was known to have an arsenal of weapons) barricaded himself inside his mansion and negotiated with the police for two days, telling them to call him ''His Holiness'' and asking for his lawyer over a hundred times. He was finally apprehended by a SWAT team after the police turned off his heat and told him he would be free to come out and check the generator. He was taken into custody without any shots being fired.


John grew his hair and beard long and unkempt, giving him the look of a homeless person. An expert witness for the defense described John as a paranoid schizophrenic who believed Schultz was part of an international conspiracy to kill him. John pleaded ''not guilty by reason of insanity.''



On February 25, 1997, a jury found him guilty of third-degree murder but mentally ill. John was sentenced to 13 to 30 years.



After John's conviction, Nancy Schultz filed a wrongful death lawsuit against him which resulted in a multi-million dollar settlement for the Schultzes' son and daughter.


John du Pont died in prison of acute aspiration pneumonia. He was 72 and had spent almost fifteen years behind bars.


The petition of probate for his will, filed in Delaware County, lists the minimum value of du Pont's estate at an estimated $1 million (which didn't include the $28.5 million proceeds from the sale of Foxcatcher, which was put in a trust). His will stipulated that 80% of his holdings beyond the trust be divided among former wrestler Valentin Jordanov Dimitrov and his family, who had visited him during his years in prison, with the other 20% bequeathed to the John E. du Pont Foundation, known as the Eurasian Pacific Wildlife Foundation. His expansive collections were distributed to organizations all over the world, including his wrestling-related materials, which went to FILA, the sport's international governing body, in Switzerland. He left nothing for his former wife, Gail Wenk du Pont.

In accordance with his will, John du Pont was buried in his red Foxcatcher wrestling singlet.

Foxcatcher Movie Details 🎥

Directed by

Bennett Miller

Writing Credits

Dan Futterman

Eric Max Frye


Steve Carell

Channing Tatum

Mark Ruffalo

Vanessa Redgrave

Sienna Miller

Jackson Frazer

Samara Lee

Anthony Michael Hall

Guy Boyd

Music by

Rob Simonsen

Cinematography by

Greig Fraser

Categories: Oscars, Oscar Academy Award Nominee, Golden Globes, Golden Globe Nominee, EEBAFTAs, BAFTA Award Nominee

Genres: Biography, Drama, Sport

Country: United States

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