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Fisher King, the

4.5 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Format: NTSC
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: Columbia/Tristar Vid
  • VHS Release Date: Jan. 17 1995
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews
  • ASIN: 0800108051
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #467 in Video (See Top 100 in Video)
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Product Description

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

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Fisher King [Blu-ray]

I was thrilled to see that this flick was available on blu ray. This is probably one of my favourite shows featuring Robin Williams. The combination of he, and Jeff Bridges, works well. The story will run you through several emotions, as a lot of (IIRC) Williams' stuff around that era did - it's neither pure comedy, nor pure drama, but a fine mix of both. Purchasing this movie, either on DVD or blu ray, is a given. It seemed to me that the DVD was hard to come by for several years after its initial printing, so scooping up the blu ray while it is available seemed like the smart choice.
As for the technical quality of the blu ray...I dunno. The pleasure of this movie is really rooted in the story, the acting. I can't say that any one aspect of the blu ray transfer stood out better than the VHS & DVD versions I've watched in the past; if you have hidef equipment, it probably looks better than an upconverted DVD on said equipment. The A/V quality just isn't an element of the flick that registered on me - it was done well enough that it didn't matter.
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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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