Purgatory (Sous-titres franais)
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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
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Top Customer Reviews
This movie is pretty much impossible to categorize. It looks and feels like a western, but it's not. It also feels a bit like sci-fi, but it's not. Its message is deep and profound, but easy to understand instinctively. I've seen hundreds of movies, but I've never seen casting done this well before. All characters come across beautifully. This is not a huge-budget movie, Hollywood style, but you'll never notice the difference. I'm sure a large amount of money was spent, but this movie makes it due to stellar storytelling, great acting and wonderful direction, not big special effects. A powerful movie that can be enjoyed by the whole family. No matter how old you are when you first see it, the story is likely to haunt you for years to come. A highly, highly recommended film.
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
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 morePublished on March 10 2011 by BC_Dude
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
Thank you so much for the movie. It arrived in great shape. Hope to business with you again.
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 morePublished on March 31 2003 by james
Does mighteous make righteous? That's the question in this odd, mystically allegorical made-for-TV western... Read morePublished on Dec 16 2002 by DJ Joe Sixpack
I think this will come to be considered the last mature, truly great western of the century of westerns. Read morePublished on Oct. 27 2002 by OAKSHAMAN