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Fisher King, the


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Product Details

  • Actors: Jeff Bridges, Robin Williams, Adam Bryant, Paul Lombardi, David Hyde Pierce
  • Directors: Terry Gilliam
  • Writers: Richard LaGravenese
  • Producers: Debra Hill, Lynda Obst, Stacey Sher, Tony Mark
  • Format: NTSC
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: Columbia/Tristar Vid
  • VHS Release Date: Jan. 17 1995
  • Run Time: 137 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0800108051
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #871 in Video (See Top 100 in Video)

Product Description

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Arthurian mythology and modern day decay seem perfect complements to each other in this Terry Gilliam drama/comedy/fantasy. Shock jock Jack Lucas (Jeff Bridges) makes an off-handed radio remark that causes a man to go on a killing spree, leaving Lucas unhinged with guilt. Lucas's later, chance meeting with Parry (Robin Williams), a homeless man suffering from dementia, gets him involved in the unlikely quest for the Holy Grail. The rickety, and patently unrealistic stand that insanity is just a wonderful place to be, and that the homeless are all errant knights, wears awfully thin, but there are numerous moments of sad grace and violent beauty in this film. The screenplay by Richard LaGravenese launched his successful career and his smart wordplay helped garner Mercedes Ruehl an Oscar as Lucas's girlfriend. --Keith Simanton

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mike Stone on Dec 27 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Terry Gilliam's post-Python oeuvre usually strikes me as rather cold and overly intellectualized. I 'like' his movies very much, but can rarely get close enough to 'love' them. "Brazil" and "Twelve Monkeys" being chief offenders in this complaint. I enjoyed their visions of futuristic dystopias, but never felt involved on an emotional level. Sure, "Baron Munchausen" tickled my whimsy-bone, and "Time Bandits" gave me kid-sized guffaws, but both those films also had a good dose of textbook thinking behind them, enough to keep the audience always an arm's length away.
"The Fisher King", like no other film in Gilliam's catalog, hits me on an emotional level. It is a visceral experience, unlike anything else I've seen from this offbeat director. Layered with tangible romance and pathos, Gilliam has created a film that will stand the test of time, even when its highbrow ideas become irrelevant.
Two scenes in particular illustrate the human beauty that this film is so adept at conveying. The first involves Parry (Robin Williams) and his daily routine: watching and following Lydia (Amanda Plummer), his from-afar crush, on her morning commute to work. Camped out in Grand Central Station, all we see are the throngs of people crowding and pushing their way to their trains. But when Parry sees Lydia, all that stops. Or rather, it changes. The music starts, tasteful glowing light emanates from the ceiling, and all the commuters take partners for a waltz. It's a ridiculously sublime moment, beautiful in all ways. It goes on until Parry suddenly loses Lydia in the crowd, and the dancing abruptly stops.
The other scene also involves Parry and Lydia, who are this time joined by Jack (Jeff Bridges) and Anne (Mercedes Ruehl).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Feb. 24 2004
Format: DVD
Somehow I managed to miss The Fisher King in its first run theatre edition. My wife and I went to see a different film several years ago and it was surprisingly playing as a double-feature, and to this day I was so struck by this film that I can't remember what the other film was we originally went to see. The Fisher King is a remarkable achievement and tremendously uplifting. It expresses one of the universe's great truths: a being is only as valuable as he can help others. The point where a person feels he cannot help or is a detriment to others is where he begins to die. Jeff Bridge's character can only redeem himself and his life when he proves to himself that he can actually help Robbin Williams' character. While it might be argued that the film is too pat or simplistic in dealing with the issues of insanity -- that's not the message of the film. It's not meant to be a documentary statement. It is an artistic statement and delivers a very important message for our modern culture, that the ability and willingness to help those around you is what makes self-respect possible. If you have an excessively cynical nature you will probably have little time for this film. At the same time, this is a film that would be the best thing for you to watch at least 3 or 4 times back to back until you get the message. I rate The Fisher King as one of my top 5 favorite films of all time and recommend it highly.
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Format: DVD
A breathtakingly beautiful film. The Fisher King is one of the most perfectly executed movies of all time, from the stunning and highly imaginative screenplay to the haunting quality of the direction and the sheer genius of Williams and Bridges, who both turned in the performance of a lifetime. Add to that a supporting cast made in heaven and you basically can't go wrong.
While the film succeeds brilliantly even as a basic story of star-crossed individuals working out their joint karma, it is the concept of the soul's journey homeward that drives the deeper levels of The Fisher King.
As Barbara G. Walker and others have pointed out, the Grail is actually a representation of the Womb of the Great Mother, from which we all came, and to which we shall all return. Like Finnegan and Bloom/Ulysses, The Fisher King's two heroes find salvation in the simplicity of surrender and in the almost Faustian embracing of the Sacred Feminine, as embodied by the two female leads. Carrie Moss's Trinity (The Triple Goddess) also provides this transcendent nurturing to Keanu Reeves's character in The Matrix.
If you were to buy The Fisher King, The Matrix, Groundhog Day and Jacob's Ladder, you would have in your possession some of the most profound philosophical insights in the history of the human race.
A true masterpiece. Dang, it even features a cameo by Tom Waits.
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Format: DVD
In my humble opinion, Terry Gilliam is a genius -- without question one of the most talented and imaginative direcors working in film today. All of his work -- BRAZIL, TIME BANDITS, 12 MONKEYS, &c -- stands up head and shoulders above almost everything else the motion picture industry spews out, but THE FISHER KING is, I believe, his greatest achievement.
All of the actors are superbly cast -- and each of them throws themselves completely into their assigned roles, to the point of BECOMING their character, which, unless I miss my guess, is what acting is about. Robin Williams couldn't be more perfect as Perry, the heartsick man with a shattered heart, who has lost his beloved wife in an act of senseless violence. Jeff Bridges, as the radio 'shock-jock' whose flippant comment to a disturbed listener triggered the shooting, is utterly convincing as the guilt-ridden Jack, locked into a downward spiral, despite the love and care vested on him by his girlfriend (Mercedes Reuhl). Then there's Amanda Plummer, portraying the hapless, mousy Lydia -- with whom, as soon as he sees her, Williams falls head over heels in love.
There are four characters here in a great deal of pain, each trying in their own way to deal with it -- with varying degrees of succcess. The way in which their paths cross, and merge, in this story, and the impact they have on each other's lives, makes for one of the most moving tales of love/pain/healing that has ever been brought to the screen. Gilliam's own unique vision guides it along nicely -- you can see his most obvious touch in the visions experience by Williams of the Red Knight, one of the most frightening apparitions you'll ever run across.
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