The Caveman's Valentine

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The Caveman's Valentine
Cavemans valentine.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Kasi Lemmons
Produced by Michael Shamberg
Danny DeVito
Scott Frank
Elie Samaha
Stacey Sher
Andrew Stevens
Screenplay by George Dawes Green
Based on The Caveman's Valentine
by George Dawes Green
Starring Samuel L. Jackson
Colm Feore
Aunjanue Ellis
Music by Terence Blanchard
Cinematography Amelia Vincent
Edited by Terilyn A. Shropshire
Distributed by Universal Focus
Release date
  • January 19, 2001 (2001-01-19)
Running time
105 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $13.5 million[1]
Box office $687,194[1]

The Caveman's Valentine is a 2001 American mystery-drama film directed by Kasi Lemmons and starring Samuel L. Jackson based on George Dawes Green's 1994 novel of the same name.[2] The film was released by Universal Focus, a subsidiary of Universal Studios and Focus Features.


A former family man and pianist studying at Juilliard music school, Romulus Ledbetter (Samuel L. Jackson), now suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and lives in a cave in Inwood Park, New York. He believes that a man named Cornelius Gould Stuyvesant is controlling the world with rays from the top of the Chrysler Building, and that his mind is inhabited by moth-like seraphs. On Valentine’s Day, he discovers the frozen body of a young man, Scotty Gates (Sean MacMahon), left in a tree outside his cave. The police, including Romulus's daughter Lulu (Aunjanue Ellis), dismiss the man's death as an accident. However, a homeless ex-lover of Scotty tells Romulus that he was murdered by the famous photographer David Leppenraub (Colm Feore). Determined to discover the truth behind Scotty’s death and prove his worth to his daughter, Romulus manages to get an invitation through a former friend to perform one of his compositions at Leppenraub’s farm. What unfolds thereafter is a twisted tale of mystery, deception, and a man's struggle against his own mind.



Box office

Domestic summary:[1]

  • Budget: $13.5 million
  • Opening Weekend: $112,041 (16 theaters)
  • Widest release: 59 theaters
  •  % of total gross: 16.3%
  • Close date: June 14, 2001 (15 weeks in release)
  • Total U.S. gross: $687,194
    • Worldwide gross: $687,194

Critical reception

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 45% based on 84 reviews, with an average score of 5.17/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "The Caveman's Valentine has an intriguing premise, but the film falls flat under the weight of its ambition."[3] On Metacritic, which uses an average of critics' reviews, the film has 44 out of 100, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[4]


In 2002, Tamara Tunie was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c The Caveman's Valentine at Box Office Mojo
  2. ^ George Dawes Green (1994). The Caveman's Valentine (1st ed.). Warner Books. ISBN 9780759521742.
  3. ^ The Caveman's Valentine at Rotten Tomatoes
  4. ^ The Caveman's Valentine at Metacritic

External links

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