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Heat and Dust


Price: CDN$ 171.85
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Heat and Dust + The Europeans - The Merchant Ivory Collection
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Product Details

  • Actors: Julie Christie, Greta Scacchi, Christopher Cazenove, Julian Glover, Susan Fleetwood
  • Directors: James Ivory
  • Writers: Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
  • Producers: Connie Kaiserman, Ismail Merchant, Rita Mangat
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: eOne Films
  • Release Date: June 21 2004
  • Run Time: 189 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000AQS6H
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #43,738 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Amazon.ca

A persistent clash of cultures lies at the heart of Heat and Dust, the Merchant/Ivory team's most acclaimed drama prior to 1985's A Room with a View. The celebrated trio of director James Ivory, producer Ismail Merchant, and screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala were perfectly suited to this time-skipping story of thwarted romance, based on Jhabvala's novel, in which the colonial British find themselves perpetually at odds with the vibrant rhythms of India. In this most sensual of environments, two related British women, separated by six decades, discover that their independent spirits are not entirely welcomed within the confines of colonial etiquette. Olivia (Greta Scacchi) defies her stringent husband in the 1920s, while her great-niece Anne (Julie Christie) discovers, upon getting pregnant by an Indian local in the early '80s, that she and Olivia have more than a little in common. Jhabvala's feminism is subtle but forcefully dramatized, and under Ivory's sensitive direction, this tale of two women is a defiantly resonant tribute to love wherever one may find it. --Jeff Shannon

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ocean Dweller on July 23 2003
Format: DVD
I watched the movie almost twenty years back on Indian TV and was entranced by the romance of British India. I then ordered it on UK Amazon site, bought a code free DVD player, just to watch this movie. This is one of those rare instances when the movie is far better than the book. May be that has to do with the fact that the author was also the script writer. The cinematography is incomparable. The backbone of the story is the beautiful Greta Scachchi and her romance with an Indian prince.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Peggy Moxon on June 22 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The DVD/CD didn't play...It had a large notice saying something like "FOREIGN REGION" . I took it to a friend's who has a very fancy computer setup, same thing , different wording.

I was very disappointed, annoyed, as several of us had read the excellent book and we gathered together to see it and no film, just the message.

Peggy Moxon
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
117 of 118 people found the following review helpful
THE HEAT OF THE ROMANCE...THE DUST OF ITS ASHES... April 21 2002
By Lawyeraau - Published on Amazon.com
Format: VHS Tape
This 1982 Merchant Ivory production is a lush, atmospheric period piece based upon the well written book of the same name by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, who also wrote the screenplay for this film. Set in two distinct eras, colonial India of the nineteen twenties, during the time of the Raj, and the independent, freewheeling India of the early nineteen eighties, during the time when India was a mecca for disenfranchised youth, it explores Anglo-Indian relations through the power of romance. This is subtley done through the story of two women.
One story is that of Olivia (Greta Scacchi), the young and beautiful wife of Douglas Rivers (Christopher Casenove), a minor district official in colonial India. The film tells of her arrival in India, newly wed and in love with her husband, her subsequent boredom with the staid, British Colonial community, and her blossoming infatuation with the Nawab (Shashi Kapoor), a very handsome and charming, local Indian prince. It is her romance with the Nawab that is to result in a life changing action, one that would forever cause a permanent rift with Douglas, changing her life forever.
The second story is that of Anne (Julie Christie), a beautiful and independent woman, a descendant of Olivia's sister. Nearly sixty years after Olivia's transgression, fascinated by the story of the deceased Olivia, Anne goes to India, visiting those locations where Olivia had lived and those which would have been a part of her existence at the time. As did Olivia, she falls under India's spell. As did Olivia, she, too, has an Anglo-Indian love affair. Hers is with her landlord, Inder Lal (Zakir Hussain). Anne's life essentially picks up where the thread of Olivia's life left off, giving the viewer a powerful sense of de-ja vu and a suggestion of reincarnation.
This film is a beguiling story of two women from two different generations who come under the spell of India. It is is evocative of British colonial India, as well as of India of the early nineteen eighties. During both eras, Anglo-Indian relations are pivotal to the budding romances and the film is evocative of the rythyms of Indian life in all its richness and tumultuousness, as well as its lingering poverty and superstitions. Redolent of a time gone by, it is also an interesting dichotomy of the good and bad in both cultures, Anglo and Indian, and the influence that both cultures have on these two women, who are so different, yet so alike.
Julie Christie is perfect as the thoroughly modern, beautiful, free thinking, young woman who retraces her ancestor's footsteps. Greta Scacchi, in her introductory film role, is luminous as the lovely Olivia, a woman who did not let prejudice and narrow mindedness blind her to the charms of India, its people and its culture. Shashi Kapoor is perfectly cast as the handsome Indian Prince, whose veneer of culture and sophistication belies an injured pride, chafing under British colonialism. While the role of Inder Lal is well played by Zakir Hussain, there does not appear to be much chemistry between him and Julie Christie, in contrast to the smoldering chemistry there is between Scacchi and Kapoor. The seeming lack of chmistry btween Hussain and Christie is the one weakness in this film.
The film, one of the earlier Merchant Ivory productions, is beautifully shot. Gorgeous period costumes contribute to the sense of a time gone by. While the story bounces along between the past and the present, it is effectively done, as one sees the transformation of the past to its present. This is a film that will appeal to those who love period dramas, as well as those who simply love a good, entertaining story. Unfortunately, it is no longer available in video. It is, however, deserving of having its print transfered to DVD, as it is a film well worth having in one's collection.
48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
Heat & Dust Oct. 22 2000
By Jeanine Martin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
This beautifully crafted film, largely set in India during two time periods, was referred to as a "sleeper" shortly after its release. In my opinion, it should have won an Oscar. The sets and costuming were beautiful, but most interesting was the story itself. Two women, having similar experiences in India sixty years apart. It ended with the subtle suggestion of reincarnation. Just beautiful. I've been attempting to purchase the video for two years now, to no avail. Why are the producers/studio not reissuing this outstanding film on video? I do hope this changes soon.
51 of 55 people found the following review helpful
Superb July 23 2003
By Ocean Dweller - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
I watched the movie almost twenty years back on Indian TV and was entranced by the romance of British India. I then ordered it on UK Amazon site, bought a code free DVD player, just to watch this movie. This is one of those rare instances when the movie is far better than the book. May be that has to do with the fact that the author was also the script writer. The cinematography is incomparable. The backbone of the story is the beautiful Greta Scachchi and her romance with an Indian prince.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Women in Indian and British Society: Both victims,but both incredibly strong June 3 2007
By KerrLines - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
What Merchant Ivory has always done well is to bring style,panache and social consciousness to tell the stories of those who are subjugated to second class citizenry. HEAT AND DUST is one of their earliest lavish productions that tell the plight of women and their unfortunate precast roles in British and Indian Society. The characters are strong and resourceful in face of the unfairness and inconsequentiality that a patriarchal society has pushed upon them.

Acting greats Greta Scacchi (here an ingenue) and Julie Christie (then a seasoned actress) play two women related by blood whose stories are paralled though sixty years apart. Aunt Olivia (Scacchi),a 1920's British Newlywed and her very Stayed British husband (Christopher Casanove) arrive in India at the sundown of British Colonial Rule. Civil uprising is already brewing. Gandhi is a new force on the scene. Hindi and Muslim are vying for power as British Imperialism is soon to come to an end. With this as the historical backdrop, Olivia is a young woman who finds herself willing to snub all convention and risk a scandalous affair with a Prince (or Nawab, played by Shashi Kapoor).The parallel story takes place in 1982 with grandniece Anne (Christie) fascinated in tracing Olivia's steps based on Olivia's kept correspondence by Anne's grandmother. Anne also dicovers in herself the same "wildness" that her Aunt had, and all of this is fueled by the crazy "heat and dust" that casts it's mystical and magical spell on those it touches(or so all of the men say is the problem affecting these "silly creatures"-women)This film is not without some very tongue-in-cheek wit and humour. The Nawab's mother for instance is a stitch!

The film's subplots also include historically accurate portrayals of the women of both the old and the new India. They are also caught in the web of mysogyny and are forced to survive any way they can.

One expects lush interpretation,gorgeous costumes and great set design from Merchant Ivory. You get it all here and then some. This film is beautiful and first rate in all respects. Unfortunately, some will dismiss this film as a "chick flick" or simply a "period piece" (terms that are demeaning).Those with love of history and social issues will benefit and be enormously instructed and entertained.

Coupled with the films GANDHI and A PASSAGE TO INDIA as well as the Deepa Mehta trilogy EARTH, FIRE and WATER, HEAT AND DUST serves to complete a well balanced and indepth look at British Occupation in India and the plight of women. Another Merchant Ivory Productions that also highlight womens issues is THE BOSTONIANS.
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Heat And Dust Feb. 3 2003
By Parvez Ahmad - Published on Amazon.com
Format: VHS Tape
This film should have an Oscar. Breathtaking and carefully crafted one of the best films I have seen. The film very cleverley shows the end of British as well as the end of Old mughal Nawabs in northern India. Though muslims by faith, the Nawabs or the Princes were far away from their faith and beliefs. It was an eye opener for me as well which explains the fact that such a great Mughal Empire just crumbled within a century.


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