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NEW Sarandon/penn/prosky/barry/erm - Dead Man Walking (1995) (Blu-ray)

4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 12.85
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping March 30 2007
This is both a book and a movie that you need to interact with. Particularly in a day and age when there is a movement here in Canada to try to bring the death penalty back. The book is much more in depth than the movie. The book profiles the first three men that Sr. Prejean goes to the death chamber with as Spiritual Director. It profiles her mistakes as she journeys down this path for the first few times. She witnessed her first execution on April 5th, 1984 and she has been advocating against the death penalty since then.

The book does a great job of showing the disparity in how the death penalty is applied. It goes through the studies on its lack of effectiveness, and how for the most part, it is the poor and the African-American who are on death row. Even if you only read the appendices, the book will challenge you to view the death penalty in a different way.

The movie was the inspiration and starred Susan Sarandon. Sarandon was given the book while on a personal retreat at a monastery; she came home and gave the book to her partner, Tim Robbins, who directed the film. Together they approached Sr. Prejean, who went out and rented Bull Durham. She was a little leery of having them do the film, but after meeting with them went ahead with the project.

The film co-stars Sean Penn as Matthew Poncelet, a compilation of the 3 men in the book. The movie, while slow moving, is incredibly intense and draws you into the drama of waiting for a death when you know the date and time of that approaching death.

As an interesting aside, another good book is Forgiving the Dead Man Walking by Debbie Morris, who was one of the victims of Robert Lee Willie from the book. Debbie always said if they ever made a movie, Penn would have to play Willie because they looked so much alike.

So read the book and watch the movie, and if you want yet another challenging book, give Forgiving the Dead Man Walking a read also.
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By margi21
Tim Robbins presents in his movie "Dead Man Walking" the subject capital punishment. But compared to many other directors who have also dealed with this matter Tim Robbins does not give the audience a didactic message. By using flashbacks and changes of perspectives he presents every side of the crime Poncelet commited. Showing the cruelty of the crime and the grief of the victim's families on the one hand and the development of Matt Poncelet and the sorrow of his family after the execution on the other hand makes the viewer contemplate. Do you have to atone for a murder by another murder?! These are the major aspects which make the viewer think. Think about his own opinion concerning the death penalty.
The main reason why I gave this movie four stars is that Tim Robbins provides changes of perspective and does not try to push the audience in one direction. Consequently every viewer of the film gets the chance to change his opinion about the death penalty. Besides the great performances by Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon the film is worth seeing because it gives you the opportunity to see the matter capital punishment with other eyes.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not only another movie about the death penalty May 9 2004
The death penalty - Dealing with this topic in their movies seems to be very challenging for many directors and actors in Hollywood. During the last years you could watch Gene Hackman in "The Chamber", Clint Eastwood in "True Crime" or Tom Hanks in "The Green Mile" - all these ones are great movies but you can't overcome the feeling that they are not completely honest; they often seem to be tailored to Hollywood-industry.
Dead Man Walking does not spend so much effort on making the story exciting and unpredictable but therefor it does not fail on presenting all the characters and circumstances concerning the execution in a realistic, human and in an emotional way.
This movie is made plain, there isn't much to distract the audience from the question whether they plead for capital punishment or whether they not. And this is what I like most about this movie: It is not interested in forcing one right opinion about the death penalty upon the audience, but wants you to contemplate about this topic and further about death, forgivness, faith and unlimited love.
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By Kerstin
Format:VHS Tape
I watched this movie in my English class (12th grade). It is a very emotional movie - sometimes a little too emotional but in general you can say that it reaches the audience. What I like is that everyone will think about the movie after watching it regardless of his opinion about the death penalty. Dead Man Walking definitely sticks to your memory.
By using flashbacks throughout the movie, Tim Robbins created a movie that is shifting between reality, imagination and the past history of the plot. The flashbacks are very well used to show the thoughts and impressions that Sister Helen has about Matt. Matthew Poncelet is like a puzzle - the more you see of him during the movie the clearer becomes the image of his character. However, it is left to the viewer whether it comes out to a positive or negative image.
This movie is unique because it shows another kind of 'hero' than the usual brutal heroes that are presented in every other Hollywood movie.
However, there are a few points to critisize about it:
First of all the story is a little bit overloaded with religious elements - especially in the end. This is kind of a black-and-white portrayal of the fact that religion or christianity is the only way to receive redemption.
Another point of criticism are the rather heavy accents of the protagonist that made it almost imposible to understand the movie just by listening to the dialogs. However, I don't want to blame the movie for it - at least not entirely since my problems in understanding could also be a result of my personal inability. ;-)
All in all I recommend this movie since it is extremely famous and you must have seen it!!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Marcelle Guay
1.0 out of 5 stars Movie is Fantastic. A 2012 release that's not 16:9 Enhanced?!?!?!
How is it possible that a new release of a movie that was already released on DVD years ago doesn't have 16:9 enhancement. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Marc Collins
2.0 out of 5 stars Dead Man Walking
I had watched this movie on DVD when it came out and found this to be a very difficult movie to watch again. Read more
Published on June 12 2012 by Duchess
5.0 out of 5 stars Dead Men Walking
I swear I had this movie in 2 days. Fast and the movie is in store new contition. Thank you:)
Published on July 12 2011 by Karen
4.0 out of 5 stars sean penn steals the show
ive seen this movie several times,and as he usually does, sean penn walks away with this movie. as the doomed murder he brings an intensely complex character to life. Read more
Published on Oct. 9 2006 by bookworm
Tim Robbins made another "political" film." "Dead Man Walking" stayed on an even keel. Read more
Published on June 7 2004 by Steven R. Travers
4.0 out of 5 stars "dead Man Walking"
What I liked the most about "Dead Man Walking" is the fact that it shows the issue from the death row inmate`s view. Read more
Published on May 10 2004 by BERTRAM
4.0 out of 5 stars Dead Man Walking
In my opinion Tim Robbins succeeded in making a realistic film. The fact that it is based on the book by the real Sister Helen avoids that it seems to be pure invention. Read more
Published on May 9 2004 by Jane Pagel
4.0 out of 5 stars Review by English LK, Otto-Hahn-Gymnasium Göttingen
The movie Death Man Walking is definitely worth to be seen. Overall the movie presents a neutral point of view by dealing with both sides, the victim's and the murderer's one. Read more
Published on May 8 2004 by Jana
3.0 out of 5 stars Religous movie
I think the movie is alright. But I did not watch the whole movie.
I think that the movie was well made. I like that it is a religous movie, because I am religous, too. Read more
Published on May 7 2004 by Eva Zylla
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