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Days of Heaven (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

Richard Gere , Brooke Adams , Terrence Malick    PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)   Blu-ray
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 42.99
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Days of Heaven (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] + Badlands (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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Product Description


Richard Gere works in a Chicago steel mill at the turn of the century, but must flee the city after accidentally killing a man. Heading for the wheat fields of Texas, he packs up his girlfriend (Brooke Adams) and his younger sister (Linda Manz). Instead of a better life, they head straight into tragedy when a wealthy farmer (Sam Shepard) falls for Adams. Believing him to be dying and expecting to inherit a fortune, she agrees to marry him. Their plans change when Shepard fails to die and Gere takes matters into his own hands. Aesthetically flawless, this film about a romantic love triangle is diminished by the small scope of video. Originally shown in 70mm, it is an eye-catching period piece that won its cinematographer, Néstor Almendros, a 1978 Oscar. Texture and color are the unbilled characters in this tragic tale, and are just as important as the players. The story, sadly, fades somewhat when compared to the glory of the visuals. --Rochelle O'Gorman

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I'm sure many of you have seen 'Road to Perdition.' And I'm sure many of you can conclude that the visuals are important to the film because of a lacking in obvious emotional strength. This led to the film's first weakness in that it relied too heavily on the distractingly brilliant cinematography to make up for the uninteresting, often cliched father-son story director Sam Mendes chose to focus on rather than the more interesting and original version of the father-son tale (between Tom Hanks, Paul Newman and Daniel Craig). But in 'Days of Heaven', the muted emotions are toned down for a reason.
The film surrounds a love triangle between a little girl's brother (Richard Gere), his lover (Brooke Adams) and her terminally ill farmer husband (played by Sam Shepard, who she married for the purpose of inheriting his money after his inevitable death). But this story isn't being told from the perspective of those three adults, but from the perspective of that little girl (played by Linda Manz, who hauntingly provides a voice-over of stunning power) who is, at the time, naive and unaware of the deeper regions of each adult's psyche. She is retelling a part of her life and coming to terms with it.
Many of the emotions and strong story points of the love triangle are, with dialogue, rather succinct. But what expresses the emotion is not their speech, but the landscape and nature itself. For instance, there is an intense moment of furious anger, and the oncoming danger is represented by a swarm of disgusting locusts, while the anger is presented as a thriving, uncontrollable power by an equally uncontained fire sprawling across the Texan prairie.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Terence Malick's "Days of Heaven" is famous for its breathtaking images and beautiful musical score. It is also known as the last film the great director made before his self-imposed 20-year exile from the film industry. Watching "Days of Heaven" makes you wonder what great works Malick would have produced if he decided to continue filmmaking throughout the Eighties and the Nineties. His absence from the industry truly was a loss for all film enthusiasts everywhere.
"Days of Heaven" is set in the year 1916. America is becoming more and more industrialized as time goes on. In one Chicago steelmill, Bill (Richard Gere) attacks a foreman and is forced to go on the run. He takes along his girlfriend, Abby (Brooke Adams) and his younger sister Linda (Linda Manz) with him to Texas. The three of them find employment as laborers with a wealthy farmer (Sam Shepard) with Bill passing off Abby as his sister. Eventually, the farmer and Abby marry after Bill tells her he discovered that the farmer is ill and will soon die. Once the farmer passes away, Bill and Abby will be able to live off his wealth and leave behind their nomadic lifestyle. However, the farmer manages to hold onto his health and tragedy strikes when he eventually discovers the true relationship between Bill and Abby.
All of the praise "Days of Heaven" has received over its visual splendor is well deserved. Malick has always had an eye for filming nature in all its beauty and the way he employs the sky, the streams, the wheat fields, and the animals of the prairies in his narrative essentially establishes nature itself as a character in the film. The musical score of Ennio Morricone is equally compelling and perfectly captures the varying moods the characters go through.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars not just another pretty picture Jan. 29 2000
A pox on all reviewers who cannot break away from the power of Malick and Almendros' breathtaking landscapes. The landscapes are there not to overpower the story. The are merely the underpinnings of Malick's minimalist morality tale.
The central message here is that the overwhelming beauty of life offers a vision of a heaven on earth, a reality which many people trade away for an unseen, apocalyptic and perhaps nonexistant mythology. The happiest characters here are not those obesessed with material gain but rather those who find happiness with the fruits of their honest labors, whatever riches they may or may not bring. The characters who insist on something they have not earned start a chain reaction of events that eventually decide their fate. Bill trades Abby's love for the hopes of inheriting the farm. The Farmer, in his jealousy, foolishly sacrifices his life and Abby's love in defense of something already that is already secure.
Folks, this is the Gospel according to Terrence Malick. This is a story Jesus might have told if Edison had just been a bit quicker with the motion picture camera. It is my favorite movie of all time because, in its scenic spendor and spare and simple plotline, this modern parable is a continuing reminder to me that in the world in which I live we are all in this together.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars As Silent films where. July 10 2003
Elegant, and exuberant images, combine with the right music produces the real cinematograhic result, which is what this film is about. Nestor Almendros does (as always), a lightnig that is both exquisit and smooth,he won the Academi Award for this picture. Terrence Malick directs this piece with a tremendous undertandig of that very simple but very beautiful story (1978 winner Cannes Film festival, best director).
Days of Heaven has the tradition of the very first silent pictures, the music carries the emotional line of the story, with images so beautiful and dream like, that resembles every ones ideal first kiss. This DVD edition captures the beauty of the film with it's fine transfer, but, nevertheless, the studios have the capasity to make better works in transfering such presious materials. Details and sound in this case demands a much profund atention, so they can deliver versions worth of the quality of this kind of pictures, and Days of Heaven is a little jewel that deserves the real treatment.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars That's what I'm talkin 'bout
Holy! This is a good movie. After seeing Badlands and some trailers for Days of Heaven, I was expecting this to be a more artsy and difficult movie to absorb, but it was... Read more
Published on Feb. 20 2011 by Jimbo Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking - the most beautifully shot film of all time
How fitting it is that the best movie Richard Gere has ever done, and will ever do, is the one where he probably talks the least. Read more
Published on July 15 2004 by M. Burns
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Film (RE: the DVD transfer only)
This film should really be given the attention it deserves but it appears that this copy is the best we'll get for some time to come. Read more
Published on April 19 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie/Bad Copy
No care was taken into the transfer to DVD. It looks like a 2nd generation copy to me. A shame that no attention was paid this beautiful film. Read more
Published on March 15 2004 by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars 90 Minutes of Wheat
Although that might sound interesting to all of you Malick and wheat lovers out there, it is not. Yes, there are about 10 or 11 shots in the movie that are beautiful. Read more
Published on Feb. 16 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Maybe she'd meet up with a character...
I keep going back to it. Christ said, "Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?" Wow, does 'Days of Heaven' ever drive that one home. Read more
Published on Jan. 26 2004 by steve geertsen
5.0 out of 5 stars John Steinbeck would be proud!
Many who have read quite a number of John Steinbeck's books (preferably Of Mice and Men)can notice the influence toawrds Malick's metaphysical love story. Read more
Published on Jan. 22 2004 by Jeremy
5.0 out of 5 stars Sanctified Season.
In 1916, Industrial change takes on, man moved by the will to undo their poverty became the hand that moved the machine in exchange for money, their employers became more richer... Read more
Published on Nov. 22 2003 by Adrian Duran Sanchez
***  stars rating for this film. "Days Of Heaven" is a drama set in the early years of the 20th century, starring are a very young Richard Gere, Brooke Adams, Sam Shepard & Linda... Read more
Published on Nov. 21 2003 by Alejandro Cortes
4.0 out of 5 stars The most beautiful film I have ever seen.
The story is not done in a dramatic style, but is viewed from a distance, with an atmosphere of realism, regardless of what real life actually is. Read more
Published on April 24 2003 by "khryindle"
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