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The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (Sous-titres français)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Tommy Lee Jones, Barry Pepper, Dwight Yoakam, January Jones, Julio Cedillo
  • Directors: Tommy Lee Jones
  • Writers: Guillermo Arriaga
  • Producers: Tommy Lee Jones, Eric A. Williams, Luc Besson, Michael Fitzgerald, Pierre-Ange Le Pogam
  • Format: NTSC, Subtitled, Color, Full Screen, Widescreen, Closed-captioned, Dolby
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Canadian Home Video Rating : Parental Guidance (PG)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: June 6 2006
  • Run Time: 121 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000F8O2QU
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #35,441 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description


One of the most acclaimed films of 2005, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada marks the assured and worldly-wise directorial debut of veteran actor Tommy Lee Jones. While the majority of critics and Oscar®-voters heaped praise upon the "gay cowboy" breakthrough of Brokeback Mountain, Jones delivered this equally resonant, elegiac study of male friendship in a Western setting, crafting a flawless parable of borderline existence on the border of Texas and Mexico. It is there, amidst some of the most beautifully bleak landscapes in recent American film, that Jones and screenwriter Guillermo Arriga (Amores Perros, 21 Grams) set their existential quest for meaning, focusing on the honor-bound commitment of Texas ranch foreman Pete (played by Jones with a heavy heart and deep moral conviction) to return the body of illegal Mexican immigrant ranch-hand Melquiades Estrada (played in flashback scenes by Julio Cedillo) to his preferred resting place in the Mexican wilderness. Estrada had been accidentally shot by Mike (Barry Pepper), a newly-arrived U.S. border patrolman, and Pete forces Mike to participate in his cross-country ritual of duty--a voyage of revenge and redemption that will change both men forever, and bring some semblance of meaning to the senseless death of Pete's good friend. In triumphant collaboration with cinematographer Chris Menges, Jones carefully instills his superior cast (including Dwight Yoakam, January Jones, and Melissa Leo) with the slow, desperate rhythms of lives on the border (of Texas and Mexico, and life and death), prompting many critics to draw praiseworthy comparisons to Sam Peckinpah's thematically similar 1974 drama Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia and the exquisite absurdities of Luis Bunuel. Whatever your own reaction might be, Three Burials is not a film to view or respond to lightly; there's humor and more than a bit of madness to this great, inquisitive film, but Jones is looking deeply into the soul of humankind, and he dares you to draw your own conclusions about the journey Pete and Mike have taken. --Jeff Shannon

Product Description
Oscar® winner Tommy Lee Jones (Best Supporting Actor, The Fugitive, 1993) directs and stars in this poetic and striking modern-day Western. Peter Perkins (Jones) is a veteran cowboy who embodies the values of the old west, living in a small Texas town bordering the U.S. and Mexico. He hires Melquiades Estrada as a ranch hand and quickly befriends the man. But when Estrada is gunned down under mysterious circumstances, Perkins takes justice into his own hands and kidnaps a trigger-happy border patrolman (Barry Pepper - Saving Private Ryan), forcing Perkins to unearth Estrada's body and accompany Perkins on horseback on the long and treacherous journey through the frontier mountains and back roads of Mexico to bring his friend's body home.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on July 2 2006
Format: DVD
I suspected that "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada" had to be a pretty good story to not only get Tommy Lee Jones to work behind the camera as a director for the first time, but also to get him to once again play a cowboy taking the corpse of his friend home. What this 2006 film has in common with "Lonesome Dove" is not the transportation of a dead friend to his rightful final resting place, but rather the way the act defines both the man and the friendship. The important difference is that this time the character Jones plays takes another living soul along on the journey south.

Jones plays Pete Perkins, who runs a small cattle ranch and has hired Melquiades Estrada (Julio Cedillo), an illegal immigrant from Mexico, to work with him. When Melquiades is killed and the local sheriff (Dwight Yoakam) refuses to do anything about it, Pete takes care of matters himself. He finds out that a young Border Patrol agent, Mike Norton (Barry Pepper), killed Melquiades, Pete captures him. Norton had buried Melquiades to hide the crime and then the body was buried a second time. Now Pete makes Norton did up the body of the man he killed, and then they head off on horses to Mexico so that Pete's friend can be returned to his family and buried in the town of Jimenez south of the Border.

Essentially, then, you have three burials and a trip as the four key sections of the film. "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada" is not a suspense film, where we wonder if Pete is going to be able to carry off his plans. There are obstacles, but his success is never in doubt. Pete is very much from the worldly school where a man does what a man has to do, and despite what the situation might force him to do we never forget that the corpse is the body of his friend.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Been there, done that on Dec 26 2006
Format: DVD
Three Burials is a movie that should have been seen by more moviegoers in the theaters. The superb cinematography coupled by the great acting makes it worthy of big-screen viewing. Nevertheless, the movie still retains its emotional impact and poignancy even on the small screen, and it deserves to find a following through rentals.

At its heart, the movie is about a friendship between two men, who are from different countries but develop a strong emotional intimacy because of their shared ethos and love of the land. However, the story develops into one that parallels The Odyssey in terms of the journey undertaken (even Tommy Lee Jones alludes to one character as "The Oracle" in the director's commentary), and it evokes biblical themes of grace and redemption.

Motifs that combine both the absurd and the divine permeate this movie. There are moments that make you laugh aloud and cringe at the same time. At center is the corpse of Melquiades Estrada, who plays an ever-present role in providing both serious and comic scenarios.

Tommy Lee Jones is phenomenal in this movie. For the most part, he says very little. He's just a man who wants to do the right thing and whose code of values is very straightforward. Barry Pepper does a great job of playing a man who might eventually understand the meaning of redemption. The relationship between Jones and Pepper is one that is layered and complex. A palpable tension and anxiety exists as they enter into desolate and dangerous landscapes. What exactly will revenge entail? And do things are actually as they appear? More questions than answers actually arise as the journey continues.

This movie is GREAT. I love the Western genre, and this is one of the very best in recent memory.
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By Brian Maitland TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 3 2009
Format: DVD
Is there any better guarantee in Hollywood than putting Tommy Lee Jones in a movie? The guy is solid gold.

Although this movie may have fallen through the cracks with the public, it is a gem. Without giving too much away, within its commentary on how the whole situation along the US-Mexico border is deranged (sorry, but there's no other word for the waste of money and manpower used to hunt down poor people) is a story of honor, redemption and forgiveness.

Barry Pepper is also proving to be an immensely talented actor (go rent "61") and the addition of Betty Draper from "Mad Men" (January Jones) is a bonus.

The cinematography captures the feel of the Texas-Mexico borderlands from the rundown sleepy old towns to the open plains and valleys. Also, the director (a Mr. Jones himself) is smart enough to let the camera do all the legwork and doesn't overload the movie with unnecessary dialogue. These actors actually sound like people from this part of the world where words are only used when necessary and they actually carry meaning (take note, Hollywood, less is more!). Plus you get to hear Tommy Lee Jones speak quite a bit of Spanish in this one and yes, folks, he sounds like a Mexican Tommy Lee Jones with that same laconic way of speaking.

The DVD has nothing extra bar a commentary track with Tommy Lee Jones, Januray Jones and Dwight Jones...I mean, Dwight Yoakum who plays a redneck sheriff in the flick.
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Format: DVD
This movie was probably made because the US border patrol was a popular subject at the time of making this movie. However it is too esoteric to make any point. Too morose to make any connection with the audience. Too disjointed of have any continuity of thought. The cinematography may work if one was blood thirsty.

If you want to see Tommy Lee Jones in a good movie try "The Fugitive" (1993). Or if you really like campy then try "Volcano" (1997).
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 180 reviews
96 of 108 people found the following review helpful
We need not be outsiders May 24 2006
By JackOfMostTrades - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
This is a great film replete with suggestive symbols of grace, redemption, magical thinking, loss and the boundaries that are personal, cultural, and spiritual, not merely geographic. Ironically, when a dreamless, aimless Barry Pepper, who seems already past his prime at 30 becomes a member of the border patrol, he shoots an anonymous Mexican (Jones's blood brother so to speak)--and not even having the sympathy to try to help him--in fact, not having the humanity to even touch him as he lies bleeding to death--is more concerned about his job than another human being. In this case the Mexican to him is merely a type, not really a person. On the other hand Tommy Lee Jones, who sees the person behind the persona, is more concerned about the soul than the outward trappings of language or labels. When he discovers his friend dies at the hands of Pepper, Jomes sits in his friend's modest shack just to feel his presence--to commune with his dead friend, as a means of coming to terms with his grief. Faced with the indifferent locals who would rather save their butts than save their souls, Jones takes it on himself to become the humanizing agent in a mercenary world. Forcing the border guard at gunpoint to accompany his friend to his final burial place, he traverses a bleak land that could be the Eliot's wasteland or the underworld. When he brings his friend home, he finds to his surprise, this beloved Mexican town is not what it is described to be. But as he understands that sometimes the imagination fulfills a purpose that life cannot, dignifies the death of his friend and redeems the humanity of the border guard. This film shows how human relations matter; how the electronic media are mere illusion producing devices; and even an old cowboy's body can find the fountain of youth by sticking to basic principles of human decency and understanding, and even the most direloneliness can be overcome even miles from home.
33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Unique and excellent Western! July 21 2006
By Carol Engan Borrelli (author) - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
I'm a western movie lover. This was a movie that really scratched that itch. Tommy Lee Jones is terrific and shows once again what a fine actor he really is. Julio Cedillo, as Melquiades Estrada, is an excellent actor and also, ladies, very handsome. All in all, it is really an excellent movie.

The tale is one of deep friendship between two people that come from different worlds.....and the border that divides two countries as well as peoples' souls. It is a story of loyalty and dedication in the face of adversity. The scenery is excellent and the content is amazingly accurate, i.e. capturing the area of wilderness that lies in Texas and in Mexico.

It is a bit harsh at times, being that Tommy Lee Jones literally has his buddy dug up, after he is murdered, and then carts him back to his home in Mexico to be buried, all the while dragging with him an obnoxious and disgusting border patrol agent. You get over the harshness rather quickly, though, as you come to understand the principles behind the man and his actions.

Highly recommended, the movie takes you away from present day societal craziness for a while, and plunks you into present day rural craziness for a while. It was great.
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Enigmatic, mysterious, depressingly new while beautifully old June 30 2006
By Thucydides 1 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
The movie may be misunderstood as being some kind of set-piece for the current illegal alien controversy, but I think it was intended to be much more and much deeper than that, if I've understood anything at all about Tommy Lee Jones. My viewpoint is different from most because I lived for years in the Trans-Pecos region of West Texas. I've jeeped in vast, wild areas there with nothing but a companion, food, beer, and our weapons. I loved the Mexican people who lived there, along with the other "gringos" like me, who were often misfits, derelicts, outcasts from the defunct oil fields, and more than a few borderline criminals in a savagely cruel border land.

Enough color.

My wife hated the movie, and I don't think many women will like it. It's a man's movie, as most of Mr. Jones' movies are. The appeal is limited to Westerners, I think, because I doubt that anyone seeing this in, say, Indianapolis, or Boston, will have any idea what the hell it's all about, or that such a thing could even be possible. It can. Actually, I'd say that if I read about such a thing happening in the El Paso Times it wouldn't surprise me overly. Nobody ever went jeeping in the Daylight Draw from the Rio Grande up to Sierra Blanca, Texas, without a revolver and a rifle, but how do you explain why that it is to someone who's never been west of the Pecos River?

Well, it's about a man, his friend, the man's anger, the man's outrage over the death of his friend, and the relentless, untiring pursuit of justice, set in an ancient, hostile, horribly beautiful country, surprisingly little disturbed by "civilized" men since the Spanish blundered over it centures ago. And it's about indifference, shallow stupidity, crude sex, and the infliction of TV on rural Mexicans. I don't know which is worse... but it seasons the flavor of what you, the viewer, come to see as the utter reality of such a place in this time.

Mr. Pepper's performance is surprising, authentic, and probably more like that of some poor interloper from Indianapolis than anything else. He ought to be nominated for an Academy Award, but he won't be. Tommy Lee Jones really appears as himself, by contrast. Honest, loyal, devoted, hard as flint, and very, very West Texas. Mil gracias, Senior Jones!
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Instills hope that movies can still be powerful. June 4 2007
By J. Munyon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Let's face it, 2006-2007 have been two of the worse years in movie-making history. It seems like the well-thought-out drama has become extinct and given way to the slash-up-a-tourist or demon genres. Even the indy circuit seems pressed to deliver agenda-laden films instead of stories that speak to us. Upon viewing The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, however, I now know there is still hope.

It is clear that Jones poured his heart and soul into directing this film and for someone who co-starred in perhaps the western genres greatest story ever - Lonesome Dove - Jones was just the man to direct and star in this movie.

The story (written mastefully by Guillermo Arriaga) settles in on a friendship between two cowboys. One is a Texan (Jones) and the other is a gentle Mexican named Melquiades (Julio Cedillo). We see through flashbacks that the two men develop a quick and dynamic bond. This bond is so strong that it survives the death of Melquiades, who is killed by a trigger-happy and thoughtless border guard named Mike Norton (Barry Pepper). Pete Perkins (played by Jones) is determined to bury his friend in a town Melquiades called home while living in Mexico and makes sure that Norton comes along for the journey, willingly or otherwise.

Seldom have I witnessed a message as pure as the one found in this film, and that message revolves around the boundlessness of true friendship. Friendship does not come lightly to Pete Perkins as he sets out to honor the memory of his friend while at the same time attempting to teach Norton that real redemption comes at a high cost.

As for the last 10 minutes of the film, words cannot suffice. You will simply have to watch it and sit in awe of the power that comes from understanding wholly and completely the dreams of another and making them your own. It is here, at the end of the journey, where we see the world as Perkins sees it, and as Melquiades first saw it.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada July 19 2006
By James O. Hall Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
"The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada" - WOW! This is an excellent film experience. The characters are quirky, yet believable and the desert scenery spectacular. Tommy Lee Jones has "hit the ball out of the park" with this movie! It was awesome to see Dwight Yoakam again in a "super bubbafied" role as the sheriff - reminded me of ole Doyle in "Slingblade" - what a redneck jackass! Barry Pepper (border patrol officer) is stewed in his own juices throughout the film and remains convincing despite the extreme circumstances under which he is placed. Tommy Lee Jones with his deadpan twang (no nonsense) is a natural - you just hate to see him ride off into the sunset at the end. *****FIVE STARS!