Holes is a 2003 American comedy-drama film based on the 1998 novel of the same title by Louis Sachar (who also wrote the screenplay), with Shia LaBeouf as the lead role of Stanley Yelnats IV and also starring Khleo Thomas, Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight, Tim Blake Nelson, Eartha Kitt, Patricia Arquette, Dulé Hill, Rick Fox, and Henry Winkler. The film was produced by Walden Media and released by Walt Disney Pictures.
Holes was Scott Plank's final film; he died October 24, 2002.
Stanley Yelnats IV is a teenage boy with his hard-working but destitute family in Texas, that has been plagued with back luck for years. His great-grandfather, lost his fortune when an outlaw called Kissin' Kate Barlow stole his wealthy chest and left abandon in a desert. Stanley's father is a shoe scent inventor that leaves their apartment smelly and annoys the tenants. The Yelnatses blame their ancestor, Elya Yelnats, for cursing the family. Long ago in Latvia, Elya received a piglet from Egyptian fortune teller Madame Zeroni, in order to marry a woman Myra Menke, in exchange he must carry her up a mountain to gain strength by drinking from a stream, despite Madame's warning that Myra is not very bright or suitable. Elya raised the pig till it grew heavy size, but then he realized Myra's stupidity and walks away in disgust. He took Madame's advice to move to America to start a new life, however, he forgot about Madame's promise and is beset by her curse.
One day, Stanley is accused for stealing a pair of sneakers donated to a children's orphanage owned by famous baseball player Clyde "Sweet Feet" Livingston and is convicted. Stanley's family cannot afford an attorney to defend him. He decides to attend Camp Green Lake, a juvenile detention camp, in lieu of serving a jail sentence. Upon his arrival he finds the camp is situated on a dried-up lake. The camp is run by its warden, Louise Walker, her assistant Mr. Sir, and camp counsellor Dr. Kiowa Pendanski. Inmates spend each day digging holes in the lake to "build character." The inmates are told that they may earn a day off if they find anything interesting or rare. Stanley is slowly accepted into his tent group and is given the nickname "Caveman" by them, especially after allowing X-Ray to take credit for his discovery of a golden lipstick tube in his hole with the initials "KB" engraved on it. On orders from Louise, the group spend days enlarging the hole which X-Ray had dug that day, but they find nothing and resume digging individual holes. Stanley soon creates a friendship with Zero, whose real name is Hector Zeroni while teaching him to read as he is illiterate. After taking responsibility for fellow inmate Magnet stealing Mr. Sir's sunflower seeds, Stanley is taken to Louise for lecture. Seeing old newspaper articles and wanted posters in her household, Stanley suspects Louise's looking for something related to Kate Barlow.
In 1888, Green Lake was a thriving lakeside town. Katherine Barlow, a local school teacher, is accosted by rich landowner, Charles "Trout" Walker, who proposes to her; she rejects him. The local onion seller Sam, an African American, helps repair her schoolhouse in exchange for Kate's renowned spiced peaches. Kate and Sam fell in love. When Trout saw the two kissing, he incites the townspeople burn the school. In desperation, Kate seeks help of the local sheriff, who is drunk in preparation for Sam's public hanging. He demands a kiss, to her chagrin. Sam tries to escape on his boat, but Trout kills him. Distraught, Kate kills the sheriff in retaliation the following morning, leaving a lipstick imprint on his forehead, thereby beginning her career as an outlaw "Kissin' Kate" who infamously kisses the men she kills. Sam's murder cursed the lake to stop raining, leading the town to desertification and became uninhabitable. In 1908, an elderly Kate is resting beside Sam's boat in the middle of the now dried-up lake after burying her entire loot. Trout, now bankrupted, and his wife Linda, a former student of Kate's, approaches her to coerce into revealing the buried treasure's location, but Kate responds that they could "dig for a hundred years" and never find it. A yellow-spotted lizard bites Kate and as she dies, she taunts the Walkers to "start digging". Since then, the Walkers dig for the treasure but are unsuccessful.
Hector offers to help dig Stanley's holes in exchange for being taught how to read. As Pendanski insults Hector, he retaliates and hits him with a shovel and runs away. After some deliberation, Stanley sets out to find him by hijacking Mr. Sir's truck, although he accidentally drives it into a hole and immediately travels on foot. He finds Hector taking shelter under the remains of Sam's boat, the 'Mary Lou'. Out of desperation, Stanley and Hector head over to a thumb-shaped mountain, recalling how his great-grandfather had miraculously survived 16 days in the dryness by seeking refuge on "God's Thumb". Meanwhile, Louise covers up Hector ever being at the camp by deleting his files. When Stanley carries an ill Hector up the mountain, he unwittingly 'breaks' the family curse because Hector happens to be a descendant of Madame Zeroni, by singing a song Elya passed down, fulfilling the promise Elya made. They soon find Sam's old field of onions and stream helping them regain strength.
With their luck restored, Stanley's father inadvertently discovers that the cure for shoe odor is [Sam's ingredients] peaches and onions. With the new success they are able to hire a lawyer to bail Stanley out of Camp Green Lake. Moments later, after Hector has woken up, he confesses that he is the reason Stanley was sent to the camp. Since he is a missing child, Hector been at a homeless shelter where many things, including Sweet Feet's shoes, were donated. Because he did not know the shoes were famous, he took the shoes and walked off with them. As soon as he heard sirens coming; thinking they were after him, he took off the shoes and tossed them over the bridge, where they landed on Stanley's head. Stanley believes they were destined to meet.
Stanley and Hector decide to go back to Camp Green Lake to investigate the hole where Stanley had found the lipstick tube, feeling lucky all of a sudden. They dig deeper into the hole and uncover a chest. Louise, Mr. Sir, and Pendanski caught them and attempt to take the chest from them until yellow-spotted lizards suddenly climbed onto the boys, but the lizards do not attack them due to the onions they consumed that yellow-spotted lizards are averse to, preventing the trio from approaching the boys. Louise is revealed to be Trout's granddaughter, who set up the camp to have the inmates continue searching for the buried treasure. Morning comes, the Texas general and Stanley's lawyer, Ms. Morengo, arrives and discovers them. Louise lies that the chest is hers, at which point Stanley and Hector jump out of the hole, with the lizards leaving them, and confront Louise. Astounded, Hector points out that the name "Stanley Yelnats" is engraved on the chest - the exact chest that Kate had stolen from Stanley's great-grandfather years ago. Before Stanley leaves, he also asks for Hector's release, to which Louise is forced to confess that she lost Hector's file. Having the general to put the camp under authority investigation, one of the Texas rangers recognize Mr. Sir as an ex-criminal named Marion Sevillo to whom he seizes for possessing a gun violating his parole, when Louise responds that she had no knowledge of that, Mr. Sir also quote that she never admitted Pendanski is not an actual doctor. The trio is arrested for perverting the laws of justice. With Sam's spirit avenged, it finally rains on Camp Green Lake ending the years of drought, to the inmates' delight.
The Yelnatses claim rightful ownership of the chest that contains - jewels, deeds, and promissory notes. Stanley decides that half the fortune should go to Hector. Later, they help Hector find his missing mother by hiring private detectives. The Yelnatses and Zeroni family become next-door neighbors living in financial comfort, with Stanley father's new odor-eliminating invention being made successful as an advertisement of "Sploosh" (named by Hector) is endorsed by Sweet Feet and his wife. Camp Green Lake has been converted into a Girl Scout camp as well, and the girls don't have to worry about lizards as long as they eat plenty of onions. Closing the film, Stanley notes that the audience "will have to fill in the rest of the holes yourself."
In the post-credits, Hector appears re-enacting the "You and your family will be cursed" quote from Madame Zeroni and the screen cuts to black.