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A Cry in the Dark (1988)

Meryl Streep , Sam Neill , Fred Schepisi  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Meryl Streep, Sam Neill, Dale Reeves (II), David Hoflin, Jason Reason
  • Directors: Fred Schepisi
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: December 21, 1999
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00002E22E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,278 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Cry in the Dark" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

An Australian woman stands trial for the murder of her child, which she claims was stolen by a dingo. Based on a true story.
Genre: Feature Film-Drama
Rating: PG13
Release Date: 3-FEB-2004
Media Type: DVD

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Streep at her best July 26, 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Meryl Streep is firing on all cylinders in this brilliant portrayal (and movie) of Lindy Chamberlain. I can't believe she didn't get the Oscar for this one. Stripping away all possible mannerisms (twitchy eyes, flighty hands, dramatic pauses) and adopting a steeled gaze, Streep transforms herself into the most dislikable (and fascinating!) victim she has yet played. It's almost as if the bones of her face have been replaced by iron. People alway remark about her accents, but the accent is always the least of her characterizations. Her ability to adopt the look and simply the BEING of her characters is unparalleled. This is really screen acting at its best. And this is a great film, too, for its observations into how an entire culture can become caught up in the guilt or innocence of one person they don't even know (O.J., anyone?)
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41 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Baby Azaria Saga - The Case that gripped Australia March 31, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
I wish to make a commentry on the Lindy Chamberlain Case in general and in particular what it revealed about Australia as a society - There was not one person in the country who did not have a deeply held opinion on what actually happened to the poor baby on that tragic night in 1980. Rearding the film, I thought it was a work of pure genious. Although I had a deeply held interest in the Case before I saw the film, which makes me biased I suppose, there is no doubt in my mind that Meryl Streep gave her best perfromance to date in this film. She played the part of Lindy Chamberalin so well that attention is soon deflected from Meryl onto Lindy very early on into the film. That was certainly the case for me. Meryl melts so well into her study that you actually forget about Meryl altogether and get totally wrapped up in the plight of this tragic woman who faces the double nightmare of not only losing her baby in horrific circumstances but then facing the trauma of being paraded before an accusing nation for two painful years before finally winding up behind bars for a crome she did not commit, which the blood thirsty, bigoted morbid folk of Australia relished no end. Let me assure people who were not in Australia during this extrordinary period - The Chamberalin Case was not viewed simply as a legal matter to be sorted out in the Courts, rather it was a campaign against those who did not fit the conventional stereotype and who were out of line with mainstream thought. Lindy was merely the symbol of such people It could so easily have been a black person, a gay person etc. As a member of a Religion which most Australians viewed as a dangerous Cult and as a woman who did not act in a way most people viewed as "normal", she did not stand a chance form the very start. Read more ›
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Movie With A Timeless Theme May 14, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
Michael and Lindy Chamberlain (Sam Neill and Meryl Streep) must endure the double horror of having their infant baby carried off by a dingo and then being convicted in a-- forgive me-- kangaroo court of the child's death. This movie, which grips you early on and never lets you go, sad to say, is based on a true incident that occurred in Australia in 1980. The Chamberlains, who are devout Seventh-Day Adventists, are guilty of being different. They are tried by both the public and media. Hysteria and rumor run rampant while reason and justice get lost in a rush to judgment.
With the possible exception of IRON WEED, Meryl Streep has never made a bad movie. She is perfect here as the mother who has hope against hope that the truth will out and she will be found innocent. With an awful haircut-- the old bowl over your head look-- and the additional weight she apparently gained (she is pregnant during her trial) she manages to almost look plain and frumpy. Sam Neill as her fundamentalist minister husband gives an outstranding performance as well. The scenes of the Australian outback are beautiful.
The theme is timeless: too often to be different is to be evil. If you are different, then you are not a person; and I can ignore the evidence and find you guilty of heinous crimes. Unfortunately, the Austalians in 1980 were not unique in this disease. One only has to remember the recent debacle of innocent inmates on death row in Illinois who were found to be innocent with new DNA evidence. Then there's Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in the 1950's. There's still questions about whether they were guilty of the crimes for which they were executed. The list goes on and on.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truth is still stranger than fiction December 7, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Gather three Australians and turn the conversation from footy to the Lindy Chamberlain case. One of you is almost certain to survive the encounter. Although the survivor will almost certainly be only you. Still arousing the highest passions among Australians, the death of baby Azaria Chamberlain and the subsequent jailing of her mother for murder remains the most noted legal and social episode there. Even this film and new evidence has failed to clear the Chamberlain's name, indicative of the bizarre circumstances surrounding Azaria's death. "The dingo took my baby" remains a derisive expression in the Australian lexicon.
Spellbinding isn't a trite phrase in describing this film, even if you already know the story. Schepisi keeps the focus tight on the Chamberlains and their dilemma. A few departures showing Australian public reaction to the case are vivid and pointed. You are in no doubt as to the feelings engendered. Azaria's loss and the media's role in helping condemn the Chamberlains aren't wasted moments. The motivation behind the police desire to make this a murder instead of a dingo attack is strong. The reason for their intensity isn't clear, but it never was since their treatment of the case was incredibly poor. The inept handling of evidence by the Northern Territory police is only mildly presented during the courtroom scenes.
As Lindy, Meryl Streep's abilities soared to new heights in this film, as so many here have noted. Her talent for assuming the role, even that of a living person, is nearly matchless. Her dominant role in the film is only natural, since the case and the notoriety focused on her almost exclusively. Sam Neill, as husband Michael, appears almost distracted and confused.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy to own a copy of this true event
Very interesting! Happy to own a copy of this true event.
Published 11 days ago by Stanley
3.0 out of 5 stars This movie was just ok. Meryl did a fair ...
This movie was just ok. Meryl did a fair job as did Neil but I met this couple on their GRAND SPEAKING tour of the USA, I'm sure they are living with this???
Published 12 days ago by Ray
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great Meryl. On time.
Published 1 month ago by Robert L. Hildom
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best movies I've ever seen
This movie was heartbreaking in it's truth of the story. Meryl Streep and Sam Neill are nothing short of of the best movies I've ever seen.
Published 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Noell K Emerson
4.0 out of 5 stars A Dingo Took Her Baby
Once again, Meryl Streep blends into her role and creates another stellar performance as the mother of a child who is eaten by a dingo. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Nicholas Merlin
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good - Love Meryl Streep.
Published 3 months ago by Judy D. Harvey
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic and timeless "must see" film
This is one of those films which should be mandatory viewing for every individual who desires to help humanity became more just, more rational, more bound by truth and fact instead... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Diane Stranz
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice
Excellent Film. Love Meryl Streep in everything she does, but this is definitely one of her greatest examples of being able to completely transform herself into a character.
Published 5 months ago by Karl H. Botterbrodt
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting Performance
I can't believe Meryl didn't win an Oscar for this performance. Everything about this movie is wonderful except the hair style of Meryl's character. Read more
Published 5 months ago by C. A. Neal
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