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Belizaire the Cajun [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Glen Pitre, Armand Assante, Gail Youngs, Michael Schoeffling, Stephen McHattie
  • Format: Color, Full length, NTSC
  • Language: German
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • VHS Release Date: November 10, 1993
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 097013830X
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #912,771 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 23 customer reviews
The movie had a great cast and was well-written.
Donna E. Roberts
In all of American history you will be hard-pressed to find a culture that is as colorful or as mysterious as that of the Cajun people.
Lee Shelton
Like the aforementioned films, "Belizaire the Cajun" eschews traditional "action" scenes for engaging character development.
D. Hartley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Movie Buff on 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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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By C. O. DeRiemer TOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 16, 2004
Format: DVD
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 By D. Hartley on December 7, 2004
Format: DVD
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 By A Customer on June 11, 2000
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 By Alistair McHarg on January 26, 2008
Format: DVD
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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