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The Pledge (Widescreen)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Jack Nicholson, Benicio Del Toro, Patricia Clarkson, Beau Daniels, Dale Dickey
  • Directors: Sean Penn
  • Writers: Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Jerzy Kromolowski, Mary Olson-Kromolowski
  • Producers: Andrew Stevens, Brian W. Cook, Don Carmody, Elie Samaha
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • Release Date: June 19 2001
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (169 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005BCKG
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #19,293 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

The Pledge

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: DVD
I watched this purely on a recommendation... it had fallen under the radar so to speak at the time of release.
Nicholson plays the soon to retired police detective (Jerry Black) who becomes obsessed with solving a murder case, so much so he ends up devoting almost all his time even after retirement into finding the killer. You might think this is nothing exceptional story wise here..but hang on this isn't you run of the mill cop hunts murderer film.

Where the Pledge impresses is the slow but careful unwinding of the story, solid direction from Penn., and a story that is far from predictable or contrived. Quite the reverse the Pledge diverts from the usual well worn path most films of this type walk down, into an unusually fresh story that has quite a sad but strong conclusion. (the start of the film hints at the ending)

A very solid supporting cast including Patricia Clarkson, Tom Noonan, Helen Mirren, Robin Wright Penn, even Mickey Rourke and Harry Dean Stanton are in there. Nicholson really gets into the skin of Det. Jerry Black his interest in the case becomes almost an obsession as he hunts for clues and the killer, even to the point where it impacts (destroys) his personal life. To some the ending might lack the usual tidying up some films attempt (I think this would have been a real let down for an ending), but here I think it has a lot more impact for the viewer and makes you think about the film in more depth.

Excellent story, solid plot and directing, great cast and a film well worth investigating
If you like suspense, mystery with an interesting plot the Pledge should be high up your watch list
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By C. P. Gibbs on June 24 2004
Format: DVD
Most movies that I think are "good" stay with me for a few days afterward. Many really good ones stay with me for far longer than that (I am still brooding about 21 Grams...). I think I am canny enough to recognize the flaws in this movie, but, despite any flaw, I am still thinking about this film...
What would lead Jerry Black to do such a monstrous thing as bait a trap with a child he loves? Obsession, maybe. Madness impending. Desperation to stop a monster in its tracks? Whatever: It's killin me.
I have small children. Since starting my family I have steered pretty clear of movies involving child-centered violence or violation, but the lure of Penn and Nicholson got the better of me. I sat folding laundry as I watched this movie late at night, and I wept copiously through at least three scenes (thanks, Vanessa Redgrave and Patricia Clarkson). I could not stop. The premise is monstrous and the actors absolutely and precisely execute grief and pain.
The ending is elliptical, but that's the point. This movie is very good. It'll gnaw at you.
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By L. J Nary on April 25 2004
Format: VHS Tape
Jack Nicholson gives a very even keeled performance, restraining his natural essence to give a somewhat schizod personality to his character. Sean Penn lets the story unfold artistically, not giving away to much so we are surprised at what happens next. It is not a happy upbeat film and seems to be mainly a character study of a retired police cop, who really has not ever had a intimate relationship with anyone and hasn't gotten close enough to make friends with anybody in his force. They know him and respect him, yet there isn't that really cool camaraderie which goes with being really important to someone. The theme revolves around child sexual abuse and homicide, not a pretty picture. Jerry, Nicholson, becomes obsessed with the case and makes a pledge to the mother that he will find the killer. Intuitively, he knows that the wrong person got nabbed. A virtuoso performance by Del Toro and Eckerson. A real creepy confession, another artful turn by the director to take us off the beaten path. Jerry pledges to find the truth out and things seem to be going good, until a turn of fate, causing the cookie to crumble, a matter of speaking, I don' want to divulge to much, the cookie is Jerry. I really liked the film and recommend it.
(...)
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By Elaine Campbell on April 25 2004
Format: DVD
Most of the reviewers of this film have hit the nail on the head. The script simply is not believable. Everything else is there: the usual impeccable performance by Jack Nicholson, the supporting cast up to par, and Penn grows as a director, perhaps not quite relaxed or self-confident enough to let things flow once in a while, instead of holding such tight reins over each moment of the film. One assumes he will eventually become one of our country's great directors.
OK. As the film moves forward, it becomes more and more unbelievable. And at its end, the viewer cannot be sure whether the main character has gone insane or is simply very, very drunk. This great drunkenness, by the way, has never before been revealed in the film. Nicholson's character has been sober throughout. We are informed of this problem by another character near the film's ending.
While truth stretches truth, one only hopes that these wonderful performers will better themselves with more honest, quality scripts in future. The movie is worth it for the performances, I suppose. But five thumbs down on the story!
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Format: DVD
I, like many of the reviewers, really admired the quality of acting and direction in this film. It draws you into the mystery like a Hitchcock film, as it mesmerizes and enchants like Atom Egyoyan's "The Sweet Hereafter". Nicholson is far too often typecast as an abrasive maverick and in this film he is able to show off another side of his acting skills. Also, Penn has come a long way since the days of Sonic Youth's aptly titled "Crucifixion of Sean Penn". However...there were ways of ending this film in a non-mainstream way without resorting to cheap tactics. Just having everything cave in for the hero in the final moment is generally not an effective literary device, not much better than everything suddenly turning out great for the hero, as is often done in Holywood. The main conflict is keeping his pledge without putting the family at risk. It would have been better if he did capture and kill the serial killer, but in the crossfire the girl got injured and the mother dumped him as a result. That way he could have had the satisfaction of being right, but would also have been penalized for putting the girl in danger and not being honest with the mother. The film could then have had a bitter sweet ending that better suited the theme. He would have been forced to sacrifice his love of a family for higher justice and the viewers would have been left with a lot of material for discussion about the moral dilema he faced. It seems like Penn just wanted Nicholson to look like Gene Hackman in "The Conversation" sitting there in his dismantled room playing his sax in a state of dishelvelment and paranoia.
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