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Walkabout (The Criterion Collection)

3.9 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jenny Agutter, David Gulpilil, Luc Roeg, John Meillon, Robert McDarra
  • Directors: Nicolas Roeg
  • Writers: Edward Bond, James Vance Marshall
  • Producers: Anthony J. Hope, Max L. Raab, Si Litvinoff
  • Format: Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Studio: Criterion
  • Release Date: May 18 2010
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00393SG42
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #41,808 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

A young sister and brother are abandoned in the harsh Australian outback and must learn to exist in the natural world, without their usual comforts, in this hypnotic masterpiece from Nicolas Roeg (Don't Look Now, The Man Who Fell to Earth). Along the way, they meet a young aborigine on his "walkabout," a rite of passage in which adolescent boys are initiated into manhood by journeying into the wilderness alone. Walkabout is a thrilling adventure as well as a provocative rumination on time and civilization.

Special Edition Features
* New, restored high-definition digital transfer, from a newly manufactured restoration element
* Audio commentary featuring director Nicolas Roeg and actress Jenny Agutter
* Video interviews with Agutter and actor Luc Roeg
* Gulpilil-One Red Blood (2002), an hour-long documentary on the life and career of actor David Gulpilil
* Theatrical trailer
* PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by author Paul Ryan


Very few films achieve a kind of subliminal greatness with cross-cultural impact, but Walkabout is one of those films--a visual tone poem that functions more as an allegory than a conventionally plotted adventure. Considered a cult favorite for years, Nicolas Roeg's 1971 film--about two British children who are rescued in the Australian outback by a young aborigine--was originally released in the U.S. with an R rating, edited from its European length of 100 minutes. In 1997, the film was fully restored to its director's cut, and in its remastered video and DVD release, it's now wisely unrated (as Roeg had always intended) but still suitable for viewers of all ages. For parents this is a rare opportunity to treat well-supervised children (ages 5 and over) to an adventure that won't insult their intelligence, presenting scenes of frontal nudity and the hunting of animals in a context that invites valuable discussion and introspection. Through exquisite cinematography and a story of subtle human complexity, the film continues to resonate on many thematic and artistic levels. Roeg had always intended it to be a cautionary morality tale, in which the limitations and restrictions of civilization become painfully clear when the two children (played by Jenny Agutter and Roeg's young son, Lucien John) cannot survive without the aborigine's assistance. They become primitives themselves, if only temporarily, while the young aborigine proves ultimately and tragically unable to join the "family" of civilization. With its story of two worlds colliding, Walkabout now seems like a film for the ages, hypnotic and open to several compelling levels of interpretation. In addition to presenting the film in its original 1.77:1 aspect ratio, the Criterion Collection DVD of Walkabout includes a variety of bonus features, including a full-length commentary by Nicolas Roeg and Jenny Agutter, original theatrical trailers, and an essay by critic Roger Ebert. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
[Update 2014: After writing this review based on a rental Blu-ray, I bought it from Amazon two years later (when the price went down a bit). Later I discovered that some of the Walkabout Blu-ray discs had a manufacturing defect; see the Criterion website for details. If you buy it, and find that it stops working on your player about halfway through the film, you'll need to get a replacement from either Amazon or Criterion. (This is the only Criterion disc I've ever had any trouble with.) But I haven't changed my mind about the quality of this release.]

The 2010 Criterion edition of this remarkable film includes a commentary track and a couple of new interviews with Jenny Agutter and Luc Roeg (billed as "Lucien John" in the film), and these do contribute to our appreciation of it; but the real bonus here is the hour-long documentary on the life of David Gulpilil, who made his screen debut here and went on to many other films. He is one of those rare people with the ability to cross the cultural barriers which are so realistically presented in Walkabout -- and the "One Red Blood" documentary also shows how much this has cost him, indeed how much the colonial invasion from Europe has cost indigenous people everywhere.

Walkabout is just as unusual and disturbing today as it was in 1971. It shines an almost painfully bright light on European-derived civilization by contrasting it with the aboriginal -- yet does not idealize life in the outback at all. Life is harsh on both sides of the divide, as Roeg shows clearly by intercutting ironic parallels between them, and the tragic/ironic ending follows quite naturally from the lack of communication across that divide between the two adolescents.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The star rating is for the seller, BonnieScotland, not the movie.

I love this movie and have wanted a copy for years. I finally ordered, but am very disappointed. I purchased this DVD on Amazon Canada from BonnieScotland. The DVD will not play in Canada and US. I was in contact with BonnieScotland regarding this and although they claimed that this is mentioned on the Amazon site, it isn't. They offered to refund my money if I returned the item, but the return would be more than my refund. I will take the loss.

Be wary.
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Format: DVD
Walkabout is introduced in the film as an important period in the life of an Aborigine. A time at the age of sixteen or so that the man-child must survive in the bush by himself for six months. If he survives he is a man, if not...well he really isn't anything because he's probably dead. Going into the film my understanding of Walkabout was sort of a break from white society into the traditional Aboriginal lifestyle for a period of time. The other use of Walkabout that I have heard is in reference to a British Monarch or some higher level of person walking around greeting folks in the public. Director Nicholas Roeg seems to understand the various uses of this word as well and ties them in with the maturation of the film's core characters. The parallels make for some very exciting social commentary and the film subtly layers itself and it's characters further and further. For that, Roeg's film in perspective can be seen as two very different kinds of films and split it's audience enormously. One crowd may say that Walkabout is extremely slow and boring while the other crowd will hail the film as a fantastic artistic achievement. Understandably so for both sides I suppose, but I do count myself among the latter group.

Walkabout follows two young English kids, one a fourteen-year-old girl and the other a six-year-old boy (I think) as they are abandoned in the middle of the vast Australian outback. The abandonment itself is quite perplexing and I was fairly confused as to how it was handled, but you'll see that addressing those unanswered questions is not what Roeg's film sets out to do at all.
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Format: DVD
This is an interesting film and one of the more unusual mainstream films I have seen. Despite the full frontal nudity (obviously non-sexual nudity) It is an overall good film.
A young woman and her little brother are abandoned in the Australian outback by their father who has committed suicide. The two encounter an young aborigine man who is on 'walkabout' a ritual where individuals are sent out to see if they can survive on their own. He eventually leads them back to a populated area.
The original music score by John Barry is superb and sounds very similar to the music he did in the earlier James Bond films.
The Criterion collection DVD has an excellent audio commentary by director Nick Roeg and leading actress Jenny Agutter who was in the film. Jenny Agutter is also well known for her role in the film Logan's Run. This movie
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All great works of filmdom are controversial because they demand more than mere attendence. I guess like any great work one gets it or one doesn't. From some reviewers I guess having read the book makes it very diffcult to get into the movie. That's unfortunate because it is worth the viewing again and again. From the cinematography to the acting it is a seemless piece of genius which I will take years to fathom and fully understand. Several people reported serious problems with the dvd itself, either with sound distortion or faulty tracking etc. [....] Someone referred to the movie as a story of Eden lost. I guess that sums it up in a few words. I think it is the roll of the viewer to find Eden revisited. It is a symbolic view of life and the clash of two diverse cultures as experienced by youth, innocence both imprinted by the reality of their respective cutures. Answers are not always there in black and white but they are there. I hope all viewers will give this film a chance. The rewards are enormous if not attained at the first viewing.
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