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Being Human


List Price: $17.99
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Product Details

  • Actors: Robin Williams, John Turturro, Anna Galiena, Vincent D'Onofrio, Hector Elizondo
  • Directors: Bill Forsyth
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: WB
  • DVD Release Date: July 7, 2010
  • Run Time: 122 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003IQBLSI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,553 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

What's better than one Robin Williams? How about five of him? Williams, whose on-screen transformations include the redoubtable Mrs. Doubtfire and the always-young Peter Pan of Hook, turns chameleon again in this fanciful look at human history and longing from writer/director Bill Forsyth (Local Hero, Housekeeping). In five distinct yet cleverly interlocked roles, Williams is a cave dweller, a Roman slave, a medieval wayfarer, a Portuguese nobleman shipwrecked in Africa and a modern Manhattanite whose homelife has hit the rocks. Each character reaches for survival, love, belonging - for all the things that made humankind draw together in the first place. Each is a human being faced with an unforgettable and universal challenge: Being Human.

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Customer Reviews

So a good movie, slow, but interesting.
Lisa Shea
The movie is powerful and is one that leaves the viewer with that profound sense of depth that all universal, surreal movie experiences seem to convey.
Brandi Bullington-Muehlethaler
So if you find that you like thinky movies or movies that aren't generally well-received, you can watch this film.
J. Terry

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 55 people found the following review helpful By James R. Benkard on November 18, 1998
Format: VHS Tape
I think "Being Human" is one of the most underrated pictures of the last ten years. Robin Williams plays five different men through successively more modern time periods - the first segment being in prehistoric times, the second in ancient Rome, the third during the time of the Crusades, the fourth in the Renaissance, and the fifth in modern-day Manhattan. Each man is on a quest which relates to his family, as he first loses them and then, through the individual scenes, must find and develop relationships with them. Along the way, the human condition is analyzed in dramatic and funny ways, such as what are common threads among human existence - fresh food, good shoes, companionship, safety, honesty. Williams is joined by a stellar cast, including Hector Elizando, Lorraine Bracco, John Turturro, Vincent D'Onofrio, and several others. Bill Forsyth, the writer and director of "Local Hero," also made this film. One of my all-time favorite films.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Brandi Bullington-Muehlethaler on October 25, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Being Human is easily the most well crafted and intelligent film that I have ever seen as it truly does capture the unfathomable human experience.
Robin Williams transcends time as he is continuously "reborn" throughout the expanse of human history--beginning with an early European civilization and ending in what is the modern age. In each era, he depicts an average human being experiencing the trials of life particular to that time period. As a proto-neolithic, European man he witnesses the destruction of his way of life and the capture of his family by a marauding band from perhaps another clan or tribe. In this he experiences loss and pain, and likewise he drifts from life to life, immersed in the sorrows and joys of the human condition. From a slave to a shipwrecked noble, he spans time in order to bring us a vignette of humanity.
The movie is powerful and is one that leaves the viewer with that profound sense of depth that all universal, surreal movie experiences seem to convey. It is truly ashame that some critics claim that this movie was a good idea gone bad. I concur that most people more comfortable with exploding buildings and glittery special effects probably just didn't get this one.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By J. Terry on February 5, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
That's what the movie is about. It's very deep, but I agree with another reviewer that it is not for the average movie watcher. I first saw it way back when it was released in the theaters. It changed my life. After watching this movie, I made some major life changes. It helped me to see human life in the context of forever, instead of the way most people see it (very finite). Only some people will get it. So if you find that you like thinky movies or movies that aren't generally well-received, you can watch this film. Whether or not you believe in reincarnation at all or as it's presented here, I think it can still offer one a perspective on life as a time of learning. It can help a person remember not to beat oneself up too badly when mistakes have been made, it's all a learning process. Just try to do better next time (next time you have the same choice or next lifetime, if you believe in reincarnation). If you like Oscar-winning films & directors, better skip this one. It is not for the mainstream audience.

UPDATE: I rewatched this movie today. I stand by what I said earlier: Some people will get it (and some won't). I absolutely love this movie! I wish I could locate and speak to the writer and director Bill Forsyth. There just aren't words to express my adoration.

If you're looking for some guidance as to what the movie is about and whether you'd like to take the gamble, look up Being Human (1994) on wikipedia. It will tell you in plain English what the movie is about. You still have to watch it to experience it though.

The pace is slow and subdued and you must be an insightful person to understand the full meaning of this film. I only wish I could get a hold of the director's cut.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 18, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
This is an engaging and haunting film that lingers with you. Do not believe what the negative critics say about this film. Williams delivers a thoughtful and melancholy performance. The beautiful score by Michael Gibbs is the perfect accompaniment. See this film!
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By TammyJo Eckhart VINE VOICE on February 13, 2004
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
"Being Human" is one of those movies you either hate or you love. For some it is slow and the historical vignettes uninteresting. I, personally, find the storytelling thread does an excellent job of interconnecting the five time periods covered (pre-history, ancient Rome, Middle Ages, Age of Discovery and modern America). Robin Williams is a good actor who brings depth to each man he plays Frankly I would have preferred more time in Ancient Rome and seeing the Middle Ages man return to his family but those aren't a slam on the movie. No, there are no heroic battles or monsters; this is the story of the average guy who is actually what most students in history course would love to learn more about.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Tom From NY on June 13, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
A fine, haunting film that has managed to slip through the cracks. Like most of Forsyth's films, it moves at it's own slow pace, carefully accumulating magical little moments of beauty and power, while steadfastly refusing to raise the volume and propagandize.
If you are looking for a typical Robin Williams film, like Dead Poets Society or Patch Adams or What Dreams May Come, look elsewhere. That is, if you are looking for an easy two-hours of feel-good banality spoon-fed to you, look elsewhere. If you want a quiet, off-beat film that might actually require you to think, go no further.
See also Forsyth's Local Hero, and his masterpiece, Housekeeping.
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