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About Schmidt (2003)

Jack Nicholson , Hope Davis , Alexander Payne  |  R |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (422 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jack Nicholson, Hope Davis, Dermot Mulroney, Kathy Bates
  • Directors: Alexander Payne
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 3, 2003
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (422 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JLSK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,969 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "About Schmidt" on IMDb

Special Features

  • 9 deleted scenes
  • Woodmen sequences

Editorial Reviews

Warren Schmidt (Nicholson) is about to taste a not so sweet slice of life. When he retired, he and his wife Helen had big plans, but an unexpected twist changed everything. Now, all of Schmidt's attention is focused his daughter's upcoming wedding to a loser waterbed salesman. From meeting hippie parents to sponsoring a Tanzanian foster child, Schmidt embarks on a search for answers...and discovers that life is full of trick questions.

DVD Features:
DVD ROM Features
Deleted Scenes
Theatrical Trailer:Deleted Scenes - 9 scenes Woodmen Sequences Theatrical Trailer - 16X9 Widescreen More theatrical trailers from New Line: Unconditional Love I Am Sam Link to Original Website Childreach.org link


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A movie for grown ups that packs an emotional wallop December 26, 2002
Jack Nicholson shines in his sensitive, tour de force performance as Warren Schmidt, the vice president of an insurance company who finds retirement anything but fulfilling. In fact, his world starts to crumble in short order, along with his relationships, his priorities and his very sanity. A superficial reading would pigeonhole Schmidt as Willy Loman retread, minus the heart condition, but Alexander Payne plumbs deeper emotional currents with this wonderful film - the sort of film that reminds you why you go to movies in the first place. To the director's credit, the film never crosses the line (so common in today's Hollywood "output") of ridiculing its characters and their sensibilities. Make no mistake: Midwestern middle-class values go under the magnifying glass, but just when the viewer starts to feel superior, zing! Payne pulls you back from the brink, and you find yourself caring deeply about Warren Schmidt and his universal predicament. The editing, the supporting cast (especially Kathy Bates), and the cinematography are well-nigh perfect, which allow Nicholson to soar. The layers of his character, a man who sees the truth but dares not express it to the people closest to him, come to a boil of mixed emotions of anger, fear and despair by the film's last scenes and transcendent finale.
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131 of 153 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE UNEXAMINED LIFE IS NOT WORTH LIVING... June 8, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
This film is about Warren Schmidt, a Nebraskan in his mid sixties, who is newly retired from his job as assistant vice president for an insurance firm. He is clearly a man who is not in touch with his feelings or his life, living it by the book, so to speak. He is disconnected from the reality around him, living as unobtrusively as he can. This is evident right from the beginning of the film.
His life really begins when he retires, as a series of life jarring changes occur. His wife of forty two years, Helen (June Squibb), suddenly dies. She is a domineering woman whom he loved on some level but for whom he was unable to express much feeling while she was still living, even though there were many things about her that irritated him. She, however, managed to have had a secret life of which he had not been a part. It seems that she was not all that satisfied with Schmidt, herself. It is an unwelcome surprise that colors his world when he discovers it but, at the same time, serves to begin to ease the pain of separation for him. There are some funny scenes that segue from this discovery.
Their only child, Jeannie (Hope Davis), lives in Denver, Colorado and is about to get married to Randall Hertzel (Dermot Mulroney), a dimwitted, waterbed salesman whom Schmidt cannot abide. He learns some truths about the real status of his own relationship with his daughter, Jeannie, and it is not the idealized relationship that he thought he had. In fact, he learns just how disconnected he is from his daughter, who is really a veritable stranger to him, as was his wife. Moreover, not even his best friend, Ray (Lou Cariou), was whom Schmidt thought him to be.
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67 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Facing the "golden" years with sorrow. December 24, 2002
"About Schmidt" is a wonderful movie starring the great Jack Nicholson, who plays the hapless retiree, Warren Schmidt. Warren lives in Omaha, Nebraska, and he is put out to pasture after a long career with an insurance company. Warren hates retirement, for which he is ill-prepared. In addition, Helen, Warren's wife of forty-two years, irritates him with her annoying habits and idiosyncrasies. Worst of all, Jeannie, Warren's beloved only child, is engaged to a man whom Warren cannot stand.
When Warren suddenly becomes a widower, he takes stock of his life, and he is appalled at how empty it is. In desperation, Warren starts to write rambling letters to his Tanzanian foster child, Ndugu. (Warren sends the child twenty-two dollars a month in response to a television appeal). Even though Ndugu is six years old and cannot read, Warren pours his heart into these letters as a means of venting his anger and frustration.
Alexander Payne, who directed "About Schmidt" and shares credit for writing the fine screenplay, has done a commendable job of eliciting strong performances from an excellent cast. Kathy Bates is a hoot as Jeannie's future mother-in-law, and both Len Cariou and Howard Hesseman shine in small roles. The film, however, belongs to Jack Nicholson, who appears in practically every frame.
Nicholson acts with his entire body. He does wonders with a raised eyebrow, a half-smile, a gesture or a glance. In one hilarious scene, Nicholson does battle with a waterbed and loses. Nicholson captures the very essence of Warren Schmidt, a man who will never be ready for the first day of the rest of his life. Don't miss "About Schmidt" if you want to see one of the best performances of this or any year.
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nicholson Delivers Another Oscar-Caliber Performance January 11, 2003
Anyone who is a part of Corporate America can sympathize with Warren Schmidt (Jack Nicholson)- He's dedicated his life to his job, and mere days after retiring, he not only finds all of his files in the company's trash, but finds himself obsolete and unwanted by his former co-workers as well....His feelings of purposelessness and isolation are further compounded by the death of his Wife, and the discovery of her long-ago infidelity with his best friend.
Warren decides to hit the road in the mobile home his Wife loved, and head off to help his Daughter with her upcoming wedding. His future In-Laws, headed up by Kathy Bates, are a comedy gold-mine, and Bates provides one of the most jaw-dropping shocks/laughs in recent movie history. At it's heart, About Schmidt is a small film about the human condition, and Nicholson's wonderfully warm and restrained performance is perfect. The narrative device the film uses (Schmidt writing letters to his African Foster-child, Ndugu) allows Nicholson to show both the put-upon outer Schmidt, and the "Mad-as-hell-and-not-gonna-take-it-anymore" inner Warren. It's nice to see Jack in a more restrained role than what he's generally known for. It's a wonderful performance in a film full of wonderful performances.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars About Schmidt
It had it moments but dark and depressing. If this was the goal it worked.
Published 16 days ago by Angel L. Rivera
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Jack's Best
Jack Nicholson always gives a great performance, but after As Good As it Gets and Something's Gotta Give, this one disappointed me. Read more
Published 20 days ago by Richard G. & Deborah Dannels
4.0 out of 5 stars MID-LIFE: AGING ISSUES AMID CONFLICT
ABOUT SCHMIDT is a 'must watch' for understanding mid-life, and the transition years mired in conflict among aging Baby Boomers. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Maizie Lucille James
5.0 out of 5 stars One Of Jack's Best
I saw this movie years ago and loved it . I wanted to add it to my libary. Schmidt is every decent man at retirement ago. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Bob Lowther
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Dark Comedy
For my money, this is Nicholson's best film. Just a classic dark comedy full of great characters and acting. Buy it.
Published 2 months ago by G. Heldt
4.0 out of 5 stars SW Class assignment
Watched it for a Human Behavior Class on the aging. It was interesting to see many theories applied in this movie, especially object relations theory.
Published 3 months ago by MSR
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Nicholson Performance
A somewhat different role for Jack that he does very well with. Nice combination of a serious subject (value given during a lifetime) with some humor.
Published 3 months ago by happy shopper
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Nicholson's best performances
I like this movie more than anything because (A) Nicholson is in it and he is good and (B) because the makers of this film really got it about Nebraska. Oh... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Man o 'tides
2.0 out of 5 stars Not my cup of tea................
It was a gift, and the person liked it.............The acting was good, but didn't like the storyline..........Very unusual and depressing to me........... Read more
Published 3 months ago by JoyceFL50
4.0 out of 5 stars Really good movie.
One of Jack's best acting roles. A good movie for reflection and forgiveness. I would highly recommend this fine flick.
Published 3 months ago by Robert Alvord
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