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Belizaire the Cajun (1986)

Armand Assante , Gail Youngs , Glen Pitre  |  PG |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Armand Assante, Gail Youngs, Michael Schoeffling, Stephen McHattie, Will Patton
  • Directors: Glen Pitre
  • Writers: Glen Pitre
  • Producers: Allan L. Durand, Sandra Schulberg
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Madacy Records
  • DVD Release Date: June 1, 2004
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000244EOW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #325,307 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Belizaire the Cajun" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

On the antebellum Louisiana frontier, a wily herb doctor must save his cousin's life, defeat murderous vigilantes, win a woman's heart, rescue an orphan's inheritance--and, of course, escape the gallows.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All time favorite April 12, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Never in my life have I ever enjoyed a movie as much as this one and I am glad to finally have my own copy. Armand Assante shines as Belizaire and never a sexier man can be found in this role. There could be no other Belizaire. Taught me a lot of history (since I have a Canadian background) and introduced me to some wonderful music in Beausoleil. Wonderful unrequited love story told many times in other genres but never so beautifully as here. I enjoy the film for its story, its actors and the beautiful photography and music. I cannot stress strongly enough for those who haven't seen it to watch it. It will head their top 10 list as it does mine.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Unknown, First-Rate Movie July 16, 2004
I bought the VHS tape of this movie years ago on the recommendation of a person I met in a small Cajun town in Louisiana. It was hard to find then and I'm not sure the VHS version is even available now. But the movie just came out on DVD and the price was right. It's just as interesting as when I saw it the first time. The DVD transfer is better than acceptable and easy to watch.
The movie takes place in Louisiana just before the Civil War. Anglo vigilantes are riding at night to force out the Cajuns, whom they consider undesireable. Belizaire Breaux is a healer and a fast-talker. In the opening we watch him talk the local priest into reducing a penance. He's also honorable, in his way. A Cajun woman he has always loved has married one of the Anglo leaders of the vigilantes. Some people are killed, Belizaire is falsely accused, justice -- through Belizaire's quick thinking and fast talking -- wins out. A great scene is Belizaire on the scaffold with the noose around his neck giving out his charms and potions to the sympathetic crowd, and in the process makes the murderer come forth.
Armande Assante as Belizaire does a great job. In fact, the whole cast does. They look and act like real people, and real Cajuns. A lot of them were. This was Glen Pitre's first full-length movie, as far as I can tell, and was made on a shoestring with help from Robert Redford and Robert Duvall. And it promptly disappeared from sight as soon as it was released.
If you're fond of Cajun life and music, enjoy a good story, and want to get a better glimpse of Cajun history, this is a movie well worth having.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bayou a copy right now, you! December 7, 2004
A genuine sleeper that I never thought would make it to DVD! The story takes place in pre-Civil War Louisiana. Armand Assante ("I The Jury", "The Mambo Kings") delivers a one-of-kind performance as a charismatic Cajun healer/con man who is elected by fate into becoming the pivotal figure in a powderkeg situation involving racist persecution. The film unfolds like a classic myth, or a great lost American folktale. Director Glen Pitre (of Cajun ancestory himself) immerses you in a time and place of American history where few have tread. You could call this a realistic "western" ("southern"?) adventure in the tradition of "McCabe & Mrs Miller", "Zandy's Bride", "The Hired Hand" or "Days Of Heaven". Like the aforementioned films, "Belizaire the Cajun" eschews traditional "action" scenes for engaging character development. While there are the requisite gunfights, "posse" chases and public hanging scenes, it never rings a false note; it all plays very "real". There is actually quite a bit of humor, despite the serious themes, making this film a great all-around entertainment. Memorable gallows scene toward the end is a near-classic all by itself. The 2004 DVD release sports a "less than pristeen" full-screen transfer, but the original print was low-budget to begin with. The audio is decent and the list price more than fair. Well worth your time.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time Travel Feud June 11, 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This film is like a step back in time. The background of a culture lost is a belivable setting for a great adventure and love story. The music is lively cajun style and the terrific camera work puts you right in the middle of things. Robert Redford had his hand in making a film of a tale that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's Good To Touch The Gris-Gris Grass Of Home January 26, 2008
Belizaire The Cajun is a tiny treasure worth tracking down. It's a star vehicle for Armand Assante; he's most likely the only actor you'll know by name, although you will recognize character stalwarts Stephen McHattie - an excellent bad guy, and Will Patton. Don't blink for the appearance of Robert Duvall who, along with Robert Redford, helped greenlight the project.

Assante carries the film almost single-handedly, with some appealing support from Gail Youngs as his on and off girlfriend. He plays Belizaire Breaux, a medicine man in the rural backwoods - not to say bald cypress swamps - of mid-19th century Louisiana, deep in Cajun country. While the Cajun folk have more tenure in the area; their well to do landowner neighbors have more clout, including a Cajun sheriff in their pocket. A highly distasteful "ethnic cleansing" program begins, led by a team of vigilantes reminiscent of the Klan.

In addition to personal charisma, Belizaire's status as medicine man makes him the community's de facto leader, and they look to him for guidance. Rather than rallying the entire community, Belizaire attempts to bring peace through personal sacrifice. By the film's end he has epitomized everything you've ever heard about the sly, ingenious wit of Cajun people who live alongside the general community but are not truly a part of it and consequently must rely on their creativity and cunning.

The plot is spare, the scale is small, there is little evidence of production value to be seen. None of this detracts from Belizaire The Cajun. What this picture does extremely well is take you to another place and time convincingly, it drops you right on the lawn.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A bizarre but fairly accurate movie
Another purchase I made tracking performances by stars of the series Dark Shadows (Nancy Barrett in this case). Read more
Published 1 month ago by Lea Fulmer
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome
great movie just as awesome as it was when it ws released in the 80's.. Still watch it and love .. so true to the Cajun culture!!! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Lynette C. Landry
3.0 out of 5 stars A little swampy
The movie did not prove to be as good as I recalled...but then maybe first time viewers will enjoy it. It was fun to hear the Cajun medical remedies from organic materials. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mary Burrows
5.0 out of 5 stars Belizaire the Cajun VHS
Bought this movie used VHS for because it wasn't available in DVD. Movie in good condition, well worth it the price. I still have a VHS player so all's well. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Linda Eaton
5.0 out of 5 stars Yay!
This is a classic and I have been looking for years to find it. The price was great. The product arrived within days of ordering. No damage at all to cover or disc. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Geraldine Raddell
5.0 out of 5 stars OK, so what is the deal with this being out of print?
I simply do not understand why this fabulous film is out of print. It's a wonderful slice of American (and in my case, family) history and it's a whole lot of fun. Read more
Published on March 11, 2012 by Dion-Isis
5.0 out of 5 stars A favorite
This is one of my favorite movies ever. It is a simple story and a simple production, but the story is inspirational humorous and timeless. Has to be seen to be appreciated. Read more
Published on November 26, 2011 by lkdsign
4.0 out of 5 stars Wry storytelling
Glenn Pitre's film moves well past the stereotypes of Cajun culture. It's available for a reasonable price directly from his New Orleans-based company, Cote Blanche Productions... Read more
Published on December 18, 2010 by Douglas LeBlanc
4.0 out of 5 stars Long time favorite!
This is one movie I watch over and over. I love that it covers a part of American history that most of us do not know, I love the language, the actors, the plot and the music by... Read more
Published on March 23, 2007 by Mary S. Waters
5.0 out of 5 stars Belizaire the Cajun
The movie had a great cast and was well-written. I would definitely recommend it to others.
Published on August 3, 2006 by Donna E. Roberts
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