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Back to 1942 [Blu-ray] (2012)

Adrien Brody , Tim Robbins , Xiaogang Feng  |  Unrated |  Blu-ray
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

List Price: $29.98
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Product Details

  • Actors: Adrien Brody, Tim Robbins, Daoming Chen, Fan Xu
  • Directors: Xiaogang Feng
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, THX, Widescreen
  • Language: Cantonese, English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Well Go USA
  • DVD Release Date: May 14, 2013
  • Run Time: 145 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00BC1UPI8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,033 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The Henan province disaster was one of the darkest moments in 20th-century Chinese history a humanitarian crisis first sparked by drought, then compounded by a combination of windstorms, government corruption, and a war with Japan. In the midst of the devastation, an American journalist (Adrian Brody) searches for answers, and slowly comes to understand that there may be a greater connection between these tragedies and his political theories than he once thought. Starring Brody, Zhang Guoli, and Tim Robbins, this tragic retelling of events is based on Liu Zhengyun's bestselling novel Remembering 1942. Director Feng Xiaogang follows up his blockbuster real-life disaster movie AFTERSHOCK with this unflinching portrayal of one of the darkest times in China's WWII history, resulting in a loss of at least three million people.


English subtitles


"A spectacular epic" --Hollywood Reporter

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Bought this as a recommended movie because I'm primarily a WWII and history buff. I must say, I was stunned at how truly EPIC this movie is. The cinematography is absolutely spectacular - some of the best work I've ever seen from a foreign film and it rivals anything I've ever seen from any movie for that matter. Unlike most foreign movies, this one doesn't have that "Gee, I'm watching a foreign movie" feel to it.

If you do not like reading subtitles, STAY AWAY FROM THIS MOVIE. THIS IS A MOVIE YOU MUST READ, UNLESS YOU SPEAK CHINESE. It is 2-1/2 hours long, so watching it and reading it at the same time is challenging at times and I did pause the disc and go back a few times just to catch everything - there are many scenes where incredible scenes are unfolding but you're busy reading the text so you can't fully appreciate what's going on. I personally don't mind doing that, but if it bothers you, then that's something to consider.

The story is just what people have said, so I'll not rehash that - it is a horrifying and tragic chapter of WWII history that has been completely glossed over and forgotten, but perhaps thanks to this remarkable film, it will get some long overdue attention. The roles played by Adrien and Tim Robins are bit parts, so their contribution to the movie is minimal, which is also great for me, personally, because I don't particularly care for either of them. Anybody could've played their parts and the movie would've been just as good - the Chinese characters carry this film and they are OUTSTANDING.

The CG work on the aerial attack scenes is slightly sub-par compared to most modern movies and has a bit of a video game look to it, but I've seen much worse - and that is the only thing I can even halfway criticize this film for.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Back to 1942 May 18, 2013
By Emily
I like books and movies that can make me feel the story being portrayed. This movie sure did that for me. The suffering that these people experienced was awful. But their selfless understanding and love for each other made me feel good and hopeful about humanity. In the midst of all that misery many of them were able to put their own needs aside and give of themselves to others. I would like to recommend a similar story - "Behind the Beautiful Forevers" by Katherine Boo

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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Saddest film I have ever watched May 16, 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Before you load this Blu Ray into your player make sure you have a box of tissues next to you for surely you will need them to view this masterpiece for truly it is the saddest film I have ever watched. It is certainly the darkest of times in China's World War 2 history, and a film that will remain with you long after its 151 minutes have ended. The plight of the peasants, the richness of their family history, the unbelievable courage of their lives in this blackest of historical times brought to "spectacular epicness" as only Well Go USA can in this pristine not soon to be forgotten Blu Ray pressing. If you have the stomach for this, and I sincerely hope you do, buy it and sit back and learn about a very tragic time. You will not soon forget any of it, and maybe that is what great films do for this is surely one GREAT film. Thanks for reading.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb epic, but unrelenting misery May 15, 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
This is the story of the Henan province disaster as one of the darkest moments in 20th century Chinese history. It tells the story of the plight of 30 million Chinese affected by the great drought of 1942 and their attempted escape from hunger while being bombed by the Japanese during WW2. Over 3 million people died and this 2 1/2 hour film is a harrowing account of their misery and suffering. It is superbly done in this stunning Blu-Ray disc. This is just another reminder of the horrors of WW2.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a man is worth two crackers June 27, 2013
This horrifying true story about world war 2 china is a very gut wrenching and sad movie. Three million people are starved to death or killed in combat in henan province china in 1942. We follow two families as they try to escape to another province. The realistic bombing scenes are very horrible as people and animals are blown to bits by the merciless Japanese. The whole movie is like one long horror that never ends, and it's a true horror. The Japanese were responsible for 30 million deaths duruing the war, and many were in China. The acting here is superb and the lead actor loses everything and everyone and that is conveyed with a incredible performance from him. Tim Robbins and Adrian brody have small roles in this one and both are excellent as you would expect. The story does jump back to Chang kai sheck as he tries to fight the war and deal with the famine. Corruptoin only makes it worse in the HEnan province for everyone including him. I think we can never understand how bad things can really be on this planet, but the lead character does when he tells his dead wife "in your next life don't come back here' and who could blame him. After watching this movie , one can only be thankful never to have gone through a famine. Although if the carbon levels continue to climb the people of even future America will experience mass famine and crop failure , at least they won't have to be in the middle of a World war though!. I think this flick deserved a best foreign picture Oscar. It that well done and acted. Watch it with your kids when they start complaining about how bad their lives are. They will then learn the truth for sure, that as one starving woman says as she steals food after her husband is murdered 'I lost my husband and a man is worth two crackers at least'. the blu ray looks excellent and it's in widescreen as it was shown. This movie is in Chinese and English. IT's mostly Chinese so they you have to read the English subtitles which is fine.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Published 1 month ago by Everett Vasquez
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully filmed movie about a horrible tragedy
Beautifully filmed movie about a horrible tragedy. This one will haunt you for a while. Absolutely one of the best films ever made, cannot find words to describe it.
Published 1 month ago by Paul C
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 1 month ago by Stoney
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reflect the drought during the invasion of Japan into China, marvelous film.
Published 1 month ago by Cristobal R. Garcia
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
not bad
Published 2 months ago by rocky krebs
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good movie
Published 2 months ago by max s kelly
2.0 out of 5 stars Sad But True.
This was difficult to follow with dubbed English. I would suppose this film would be very interesting for those who speak the dialect.
Published 2 months ago by Randy Tompkins
5.0 out of 5 stars A Stunning Film of Epic Proportion
Adrien Brody and Tim Robbins play minor roles in this film but never the less, their acting is superb. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Dennis Waller
5.0 out of 5 stars A very high-quality production.
When viewing a movie I always look for authenticity....production quality that makes you feel that you are seeing the event as it happened... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Donald Swingle
3.0 out of 5 stars a dark tale
the tragedy, misery and sad, awful sides of human nature prevail in this dark and difficult story. no one watching can subtract themselves from the humanity exhibited here.
Published 5 months ago by will crow
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