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Sam Shepard , Eric Roberts , Uli Edel    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 18.74
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Product Description


Purgatory is a down-and-dirty Western with a twist The Twilight Zone's Rod Serling would have loved. A band of 19th-century desperadoes, led by the monstrous Blackjack Britton (Eric Roberts), takes a wrong turn while fleeing a posse and rides into an otherworldly, off-the-map town called Refuge. Sedate, almost repressed, and guarded by an unarmed sheriff (Sam Shepard), Refuge is a weird haven of hospitality with no jail, a literate shopkeeper (J.D. Souther), an erudite dandy of a doctor (Randy Quaid), a restless deputy (Donnie Wahlberg), and a beautiful young woman (Amelia Heinle) with no apparent family. In short order, Blackjack figures Refuge is his for the plundering. But the youngest of his gang, the innocent Sonny (Brad Rowe), slowly realizes the town's residents are, in fact, dead legends of the American West--Wild Bill Hickok (Shepard), Doc Holliday (Quaid), Jesse James (Souther), among others--spending a violence-free interim before being taken to Heaven (or Hell if they fail). A purely fun if slightly hokey piece of fanciful adventure, Purgatory's colorful cast plays the whole thing straight and gives this made-for-cable film (directed by Uli Edel of Last Exit to Brooklyn) some exciting, six-gun grit and emotional authenticity. --Tom Keogh

Product Description

Between somewhere and nowhere in the untamed West is the small town of Refuge. There, neither the sheriff nor his deputy carry a sidearm. There's no jail either, because shooting, carousing and bad blood are not in the town's character. What peaceful folks live there? Wild Bill Hickok. Doc Holliday. Jesse James. Billy the Kid. All long dead. All mysteriously given a chance to undo their violent pasts in Purgatory. All put to a stern test when Blackjack and his ornery gang ride into town.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Rein In Your Horses, Now... Sept. 22 2003
Format:VHS Tape
Alright, first let me say I enjoyed this for what it was - a Tv movie. I liked the concept and the message enjoyed the overall execution, but a couple things really bothered me...
1. `Doc' John Holliday was a dentist, not a medical doctor.
2. Why did the gunfight at the end take place, when it was already depicted that the Higher Power would protect the town's citizens so long as they didn't resort to violence (remember when Sam Sheppard stands in front of the church door to stop the baddies from tossing their bowie knives?)? And how could the citizens be harmed by the bad guys anyway, considering their true nature?
3. So Purgatory is located just south of Sweetwater, Texas? How could Ric Roberts and his gang ride into this place, and why didn't the posse follow them in? Its hard to believe such a huge gang could give the lawmen the slip and not leave a clear trail for them to follow.
4. Why would such a formidable (and large) gang of bank robbers put all the money they'd just swiped on one horse?
Overall, as I said, I enjoyed this. The actors all do a good job -particularly Eric Roberts, who was the biggest misgiving I had going into this. He came off completely believable and seductively bad (which was good). Donnie Wahlberg does a lot with the little screen time he's given, as does Randy Quaid and the fella who plays `JJ' (the storekeeper). Sam Sheppard doesn't look a whit like who he's supposed to be portraying, but it didn't bother me.
I like the notion that `The marginally good' are given a chance to separated from `the totally wicked,' and I like the supernatural theme of redemption. I thought the passage of the bad guys through the ghostly gates was very Twilight Zonish, and eerie, but I wish they hadn't shown us what was beyond all that smoke.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The last truly great western of the 20th century Oct. 27 2002
Format:VHS Tape
I think this will come to be considered the last mature, truly great western of the century of westerns. I've heard this described both as a "metaphysical" western and as a morality play. Maybe so, the really great westerns have always been about the eternal sruggle between good and evil, right and wrong. This film just carries it to a higher plane.
I like the concept of men who walked the razor edge between Good and Bad being allowed one more chance to toe the line. There's alot about the character of Bill Hickok, Jesse James, Doc Holliday, and Billy the Kid that is not black and white- there's alot of gray.
But, what happens when outside evil comes to Purgatory and you've sworn off violence forever? It must take a special kind of soul to disobey the Creator, even if it for a good cause, even when you know it means being cast into Hell....
I still get chills from that closing line, "The Creator may be hard, but He ain't blind."
By the way, once he gets going, Quaid steals the show as Doc Holliday.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A rivetting story Dec 26 2001
Format:VHS Tape
[...]I simply had to add my name to the growing list of people who found this western to be something quite special. Three things are guaranteed if you watch this film........1) you don't have to like westerns......2) the story will have you rivetted......and lastly, you will want to see it again, or I'll eat my spurs. I won't repeat the overview of the story which everyone has been so careful in outlining, as a careless word could ruin the superb surprises which it has in store. This film is perfect in so many departments with the acting coming top of the list. The wests most notorious gunmen are portrayed brilliantly by a cast who obviously believed in this film's message. The music is truly haunting and memorable, and in the tradition of all great westerns (which is the catagory where this belongs) there is a spectacular gunfight at the end, the build-up to which is truly masterful. So if you want a movie which isn't full of cliche's and has a story that will have you glued to your screen as it unfolds, then they don't come any better than this................I find it hard to believe that I've just been talking about a TV movie!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Surprisingly Good Western Aug. 6 2001
By Kali
Format:VHS Tape
I am not a huge fan of Western movies but I decided to watch Purgatory because there was nothing else on TV and it was better than doing the housework that was for sure! Boy am I glad I gave the housework a miss! What an excellent film! It wasn't just a western but it was a love story, a mystery, a thriller, a bit of horror and lots of good quality acting. The storyline was fairly simple. A group of rowdy cowboys come across a small town called Refuge and they think that their luck is in. It's run by a Sheriff who doesn't tote a gun, and the locals are wary of trouble to the point of paranoia. Enter Sonny portrayed by the delicious young Brad Rowe as an idealistic young cowboy who is the first to realise that the town of Refuge isn't quite what it seems. There are familiar faces in the town, faces that have been dead for many years and they're all pretending to be people that they aren't. Sonny goes looking for the truth and in doing so falls in love with Rose a Refuge local played by newcomer Amelia Heinle. In order to save Rose from the outlaws he has been travelling with Sonny must take on a band of vicious men, and make Wild Bill Hickok, Sam Shepherd at his best, pick up his guns once more even though it means a fate worse than death for him. This is a great film, with a great storyline that is made even better by a strong cast of actors. Look out for Donnie Wahlberg who plays Deputy Glen/Billy The Kid, he's an absolute cutie-pie! It's not too graphic in the horror department so those who are squeamish can watch it without too much hiding behind pillows, and it has enough suspense for those who want a film with a little bit of a bite here and there. All in all a really good film, and a western at that!!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 7 months ago by John B. Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Western
This is not your typical western but kind of reverse western. All these typical BAD GUYS ride into a typical town expecting the usual but finding just the opposite. Read more
Published on March 10 2011 by BC_Dude
5.0 out of 5 stars what VCR
The only reason I came here today, was to purchase this movie. However, all I use is DVDs. I don't understand why a movie of this caliber, made in 1999, was not released on DVD.
Published on Dec 28 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars pugatory vhs
Thank you so much for the movie. It arrived in great shape. Hope to business with you again.
Best Regards
Published on April 19 2003 by Mary P. Armstrong
5.0 out of 5 stars believeable
I have seen this movie a few times, and don`t seem to get tired of it!!It really is believeable;no, I don`t believe in purgatory, but the story line is just soooo good!! Read more
Published on March 31 2003 by james
5.0 out of 5 stars DVD please
Why can't we get this movie on DVD
Published on Feb. 3 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars An unusual, mystical western
Does mighteous make righteous? That's the question in this odd, mystically allegorical made-for-TV western... Read more
Published on Dec 16 2002 by DJ Joe Sixpack
5.0 out of 5 stars great story
I loved this movie. Only one thing really bothered me. Randy Quaid played Doc Holliday and he did a great job, only he played him as a real doctor and he was actually a dentist.
Published on April 26 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for your video library!
Like everyone else, I loved this movie. I just watched it this weekend, and I have been trying to get it on DVD from the moment the credits started rolling. Read more
Published on Dec 23 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars This movie should've been in theaters!
It's hard for me to say anything that hasn't already been said about this movie, but I will say this:
I watched this movie not knowing that this was a TNT original movie. Read more
Published on Dec 2 2001 by William Gersztyn
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