Appointment In Samarra is a 2019 American computer animated Drama film written and directed by Lars von Trier based on John O'Hara's Appointment In Samarra

Directed by Lars von Trier
Produced by Meta Louise Foldager

Louise Vesth

Screenplay by Lars von Tier
Based On John O'Hara's Appointment In Samarra (1934)

Chad Michael Murray

Krysten Ritter

Julie Dietze

Stana Katic

Jim Sturgess

Dominic Cooper

Gary Ross

Dennis Quaid

Joan Allen

Kim Cattrall

Music by Manuel Alberto Claro
Cinematography Manuel Alberto Claro
Editing by Molly Melene Stansgaard
Studio Imagine Entertainment
Distributed by Universal Pictures (USA)

DreamWorks (non-USA)

Release date(s) December 2, 2019
Running time 134 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $60 million
Box office $313,542,341

1934 classic controversial drama novel of the same name.

The film stars Chad Michael Murray, Krysten Ritter, Julia Dietze, Stana Katic, Jim Sturgess, Dominic Cooper, Gary Ross, Dennis Quaid, Joan Allen and Kim Cattrall.

It changes certain aspects of the story and characters of John O'Hara's original classic novel and even weaves in completely new characters who prior did not appear in the original book.

The story of the original book took place in the era of 1934 where as the film's timeline is set within the era period of 1997.


Julian English is a man on the run. Or more to say on the drive for in Baghdad he encounters a woman (Krysten Ritter) he believes to be death trying to get to him.

He escapes the city via his 1934 Cadillac LaSalle and heads onward for the city of Samarra which he believes is the location to which Death will never discover him in.

The movie's story then jumps back and forth through the protagonist Julian's life as we discover the Caucasian Male hails from the United States from the fictional city of Gibbsville, Pennsylvania where he was part of a gentleman's club linked to the Gibbsville Mafia.

He possesses a wife named Caroline English (Julia Dietze) who possesses severe OCD and frequently has severe arguments with her always travelling husband Julian.

The story then comes back to the correct timeline after jumping back into Julian's history and we find him transgress through three days of self-destruction up until he ultimately commits suicide and his younger brother Daniel English's (Jim Sturgess) conversation with Death at the beginning is heard revealing she was collecting a soul from Baghdad and had been surprised to come across Julian as she was to have an appointment with him in Samarra within the next three days.

We are introduced to the drug cartel Mafia from Gibbsville who are taking care of a business transaction in Samarra and the evil Boss Hanada Mitcomble (Dominic Cooper) whose fiance Michelle (Stana Katic) engages in an affair with Julian in his cadillac which leads to him being marked by the Mafia.

He renders a Highball into his Catholic Minister friend Harry Reilly's (Gary Ross) face which leads him to be blackened by all the common civilians of Gibbsville back home after encountering Minister Reilly at a Church Retreat Sanctuary in Samarra.

Eventually Caroline comes to Samarra to confront Julian and the two end up in a bad argument.

She leaves and Julian believes Caroline to have left him completely.

His younger brother Daniel who was with him in Baghdad in the beginning and who had the conversation with Death comes to Samarra and ultimately ends up in critical condition at the Samarra State Hospital after a drunken broken down Julian driving him crashes his cadillac laSalle.

His parents Walter (Dennis Quaid) and Rhonda English (Kim Cattrall) come to Samarra after hearing of Daniel and Julian's accident to visit Daniel in hospital.

There they engage in an argument with Julian and Walter in a state or rage strikes Julian twice then reciting afterwards "He is no longer a son of his, and he will never see him, Daniel or his mother again."

He then in the final hours of the last night of his life meets a local Samarra stationed Society Reporter named Helena Douglas (Joan Allen) who he seduces and eases his pain revealing she was once an alcoholic in her early 20's and when was impregnated by a jerk guy named Gary Able who used to psychically abuse her.

She had checked herself into a hotel in Gibbsville, Pennsylvania at one point after he left her and drunk herself almost to death.

The result of doing so ultimately killed her child.

Julian departs on the hour of 10 whilest Helena is asleep and tracks down the man Gary Able (Stephen Dillane) who beats to a pulp and ultimately kills.

After doing so he encounters his wife Caroline's cousin Froggy Ogden (Gary Cole) who escorts him out of the roadhouse where the killing just took place and where the manager and bartender are now calling the police.

Froggy takes Julian by surprise and beats him to the ground stating that he never liked him and believes he is nowhere near good enough for Caroline.

He says and now you have killed someone and she will be done with you.

Upon hearing this Julian rises to his feet and strikes Froggy.

He stabs Froggy with his broken Highball glass from the bar and then runs all the way to the Samarra impound where his damaged Cadillac LaSalle resides following being in the Samarra Police Garage.

He steals the car and drives it back to the hotel where Helena is.

Helena is still deep asleep.

Julian sits down at a table and begins to write out a number of letters, addressing them to different people.

He then afterwards throws one down upon the sleeping Helena and takes the rest outside to the Samarra Mail Box outside.

He comes back to the room and then the scene comes to Helena awakening that morning to discover Julian to have hung himself with his suit tie.

She stumbles and breaks into a small bedside table where then sees a letter fall from her to the ground.

The panicking, crying Helena seizes the letter and opens it to read the suicide letter from Julian to her saying thanks for being the last bit of warmth in his life and he hopes that things will get better from then on for her as he has called into the Gibbsville Alcoholics Anonymous Support Group enrolling her stating in the letter it's time she stopped running like has been doing and went back home and made things right, the right way.

The other letters we see come to the following people and say the following:

Caroline receives a letter at her mother's house in Gibbsville which states he will always love her and that she should no longer run after men and for love let it come to her that she will produce a family with a loving man who will treat her right the way he failed to do.

Two letters to his parents at the Samarra State Hospital and his younger brother Daniel who are all leaving the Hospital ready for a flight back to Gibbsville.

The letters to his parents state his apology and undying love for them and the same reads for his brother.

His brother then looks up as a crow flies overhead.

We then see the police and paramedics come to the Samarra Hotel where Helena is and collect Julian's body whilest examining the scene.

Helena is willed at the end of her letter the smashed up terrible looking Cadillac LaSalle which was once his most prized item.

The police however state that there is no Cadillac LaSalle in the vicinity and we come to the female Death character driving away in the smashed up Cadillac smiling.

The scene ends with brother Daniel English remembering back to Baghdad and the conversation with Death in which she told him she was to have an appointment with him Samarra in the next three days.

She ends the sentence with "Depending Upon His Choices."


  • Chad Michael Murray as Julian English
  • Krysten Ritter as Death
  • Julia Deitze as Caroline English
  • Stana Katic as Michelle Hermore
  • Jim Sturgess as Daniel English
  • Dominic Cooper as Boss Hanada Mitcolmbe
  • Gary Ross as Froggy Ogden
  • Dennis Quaid as Walter English
  • Kim Cattrall as Rhonda English
  • Joan Allen as Helena Douglas
  • Stephen Dillane as Gary Able
  • Robby Benson as Gary's friend Chuck Dorvin
  • Rita Wilson as Woman In Bar
  • Imelda Staunton as Dr. Harris
  • Richard Kind as Officer Derek
  • Cherry Jones as Alcoholics Anonymous Sophie Gorman
  • Kevin McNally as Officer Lional
  • Chloe Webb as Officer Rosen
  • Wendy Crewson as Gang Woman
  • Kar Wai Wong as Officer Lakes
  • Kevin Dunn as Officer Pewter
  • Juliet Stevenson as Officer Lancey
  • Vladimir Kulich as Drug Man Dave
  • Jim Piddock as Drug Man Doyle
  • Stephanie Zimbalist as Drug Woman Diane
  • Blanche Baker as Michelle's friend Keira
  • Delta Burke as Impound Woman Carlita Ponch


  1. She's So Fine- Flash Cadillac
  2. Sincerely- The Moonglows
  3. Step By Step- The Crests
  4. I Wonder Why- Dion & The Belmonts
  5. Runaround Sue- Dion & The Belmonts
  6. Only the Lonely- Roy Orbinson
  7. Drive Away- The Sundance Kids

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