Evelyn is the mother of ten kids and married to an alcoholic in Defiance, Ohio - her knack for writing prize-winning advertising jingles keeps their turbulent family financially afloat in this true story.
The Prize Winner Of Defiance Ohio movie trailer - starring Woody Harrelson, Julianne Moore, Laura Dern, Trevor Morgan, Jordan Todosey, Frank Chiesurin. Directed by Jane Anderson. Theatrical Release Date: 9/30/2005
The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio is based on the true story of housewife Evelyn Ryan, who helped support her family by winning entries in jingle-writing contests.
Evelyn's husband, Kelly, failed to support their family in part due to apparent alcoholism. He had dreamed of being a singer but lost his singing voice in a car accident, and was often cruel and abusive.
In the movie, Evelyn wins a large freezer, ice buckets, a washing machine, a trip to New York, and a shopping spree in her local grocery store. Kelly, who feels like his role as provider for the family is being threatened, criticizes Evelyn and sometimes damages the prizes she wins. Their children side with her. At one point, Kelly gets angry at his wife and knocks her over, causing her to bleed. Evelyn is able to talk him down after each incident and, temporarily at least, he treats her better.
Evelyn is largely isolated because of the hours she has to spend caring for the children and the lack of local intellectual equals. However, she is contacted by a group of other contest-entering midwestern housewives and befriends them.
Ultimately, Evelyn discovers that Kelly had secretly taken out a second mortgage on their house and never made payments on it, leaving the family subject to an almost-certain foreclosure. The children pray for their mother's miraculous victory in a contest sponsored by Dr Pepper. She wins and pays the mortgage on the house.
In the closing sequence, set years later, we learn that after Kelly died, Evelyn finds out that he has placed his pension checks in a bank account especially for her. The actual Ryan children are then shown as adults, including the actual Betsy Ryan and Terry 'Tuff' Ryan, the author of the book.
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Evelyn Ryan (Julianne Moore) was a woman of intelligence, talent, and pluck living in the small town of Defiance, OH, in the 1950s. Evelyn was married to Kelly Ryan (Woody Harrelson), a man who gave her ten children but not much else; Kelly had a severe drinking problem, struggled to hold on to a job, and tended to spend his money as soon as he earned it. It was seemingly up to Evelyn to support the family, but with ten kids to look after, taking a job outside the home hardly seemed practical. But the resourceful Evelyn discovered a way to bring some extra money into the household - at a time when a number of companies held contests to find new advertising jingles for their products, Evelyn had a genius for coming up with slogans and winning contests, and for the better part of a decade Evelyn kept food on the table and a roof over her head by dreaming up jingles, tag lines, and ad headlines and winning contests with her handiwork, often selling the merchandise she won to pay the bills.
In order to support her ten children, Evelyn Ryan (Moore) enters a commercial jingle-writing contest. Based on a true story.
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