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Boardwalk Empire: Season 1 (2010)

Steve Buscemi , Michael Pitt  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (428 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Steve Buscemi, Michael Pitt, William Hill
  • Format: AC-3, Box set, Color, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English, Spanish, French
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: January 10, 2012
  • Run Time: 733 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (428 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003Y5HWJU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,754 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Boardwalk Empire: Season 1" on IMDb

Special Features

Making of Boardwalk Empire
"Atlantic City: The Original Sin City"
Speakeasy Tour
6 Audio Commentaries with cast and crew
"Creating The Boardwalk"
Character Dossier-evolving character guide

Editorial Reviews

In fine (and bloody) style, HBO's Boardwalk Empire returns to 1920 when the ban on booze led to a syndicate of bootleggers and smugglers. Created by Sopranos scribe Terence Winter and coproduced by director Martin Scorsese, the story centers on Atlantic City treasurer Enoch "Nucky" Thompson (Steve Buscemi), who schemes in private while preaching temperance in public (Mark Wahlberg and Tim Van Patten also serve as producers). Jimmy (Michael Pitt, Buscemi's Delirious costar), a war veteran, acts as his right-hand man, while zealous Agent Van Alden (Michael Shannon) and refined mobster Arnold Rothstein (A Serious Man's Michael Stuhlbarg) represent significant threats to his enterprise.

Nucky's other associates include his sheriff brother Eli (Shea Whigham), sexpot girlfriend Lucy (Paz de la Huerta), and distributor Chalky (The Wire's Michael K. Williams). If Nucky has little regard for law and order, his soft side emerges in his dealings with Irish immigrant Margaret (Kelly Macdonald, excellent), who segues from abused wife to kept woman. As Nucky puts it, "I try to be good. I really do." After he sends Jimmy away a spell, his sidekick joins forces with Al Capone (Stephen Graham, Public Enemies) and disfigured vet Richard Harrow (Jack Huston), abandoning his son, common-law wife Angela (Aleksa Palladino), and mother Gillian (Gretchen Mol), who has a fling with Lucky Luciano (Vincent Piazza).

Inspired by Nelson Johnson's book, Boardwalk Empire takes a Deadwood-like approach to history by combining characters both factual and fictional with blue language and ladies without brassieres. Winter, who won an Emmy for The Sopranos episode Pine Barrens, takes liberties with the historical record, but the series never claims to represent the truth and nothing but--which is only fitting when everyone's hiding secrets. If the entire ensemble deserves praise, Buscemi rules the show as thoroughly as Nucky rules the city. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Product Description

From Terence Winter (Emmy®-winning writer on HBO's The Sopranos) and Oscar®-winning director Martin Scorsese, Boardwalk Empire is set in Atlantic City in 1920 at the dawn of Prohibition. The series chronicles the life and times of Enoch Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi), the city treasurer whose double role as politician and bootlegger makes him the city's undisputed czar at a time when illegal alcohol has opened up highly lucrative opportunities for rumrunners and distributors. In a city defined by notorious backroom politics and vicious power struggles, Nucky must contend with ambitious underlings, relentless Feds, rival gangsters -- including Arnold Rothstein, Lucky Luciano and Al Capone -- and his own appetite for women, profits, and power.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
246 of 271 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for your Mobster Video Collection September 20, 2010
When HBO first announced the showing of Boardwalk Empire, my calendar became marked with bright red highlighter. Every time I saw an image of actor Steve Buscemi in his dapper 1920's attire (my favorite decade in American history), my anticipation grew. I began to research, realizing that Martin Scorsese and producer Terry Winter (The Sopranos), and I was nearly breathless with anticipation.

What drew me to Boardwalk Empire? It was a combination of items. I love the 1920s. There was a romance to that particular era, evident in the films, the clothing, and the music. America was blossoming from a gawky teenage girl and into the full flower of beauty during that magical era. Much of the growing process involved film, music, gangsters, and Prohibition.

When HBO's BOARDWALK EMPIRE premiered, I was as giddy as a kid on Christmas morning.

Scoresese and Winter didn't let me down. Boardwalk Empire chronicles the life of Enoch (Nucky) Thompson (Steve Buscemi). Nucky Thompson is slick, smooth, and runs the Boardwalk with a suaveness that rivals the cunning of a fox. I don't think Scoresese could have found anyone better than Buscemi to play Thompson, for he's able to emit the perfect persona with his sly, crooked smile and darting eyes. Yes, Buscemi fits my image of a gangster of the era, more realistic than any Hollywood has ever attempted to portray in the past. Buscemi is not a handsome man, instead he has that down home reality to his features that makes him more believable as a human being with every close-up that is filmed. Human is what Nucky Thompson is, aspiring for more on the boardwalk. Nucky is complex in his greed and maneuvering, and all the while revealing the little bit of a compassionate heart that he still has beating within him.
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81 of 95 people found the following review helpful
The writer of the HBO series, Terence Winter (who also wrote the foreword for this edition of the book), was recently interviewed on public radio and explained how and why the HBO show deviates from many of the facts in the book "Boardwalk Empire." Last names were sometimes changed and certain information had to be imagined or created in order to allow the plot to veer away from the events in the book. Hence, Nucky "Thompson" in the series is actually based on the real life Nucky (Enoch) Johnson

None of this takes away from the entertainment value of the series but potential buyers of the book will get an added perspective and accurate historical detail."Boardwalk Empire" is an excellent way to round out the very entertaining cable television series. If you simply want to watch the show, it recreates Atlantic City in its heyday. Steve Buscemi is riveting in his role as "Nucky" and comes across as a complex person, although when it comes to business he can be harsh and no nonsense. Things go his way or else. Of course, I write this after seeing only the first episodes of the series so it will be interesting to see how his character evolves. There are hints of a romance in the future.

Not surprisingly, Terence Winter (again, writer of the HBO series) also wrote many episodes of The Sopranos and director Martin Scorcese steps to the helm and directs the first and possibly many more episodes of the cable show ( but guest directors aren't uncommon for cable series). In the show, Steve Buscemi plays Nucky but Winter has admitted that James Gandolfini would have fit the actual body type and appearance of Nucky. But because Buscemi captures the essence of Nucky so well it doesn't seem to matter if he looks exactly like the real Nucky.
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58 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Show on TV This Year December 8, 2010
By Pavel
Boardwalk Empire is a great show, the 21st century version of a 19th century novel. It's Dickens, Dostoevsky, Tolstoi. The relationship between Nucky and Margaret is like nothing else on TV. Buscemi was absolutely terrific in the finale. The exploration of criminal culture, and its relationship to political culture, is pretty fascinating. I cannot wait for next season!
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Certainly one of the most eagerly anticipated shows on the 2010 television schedule, HBO's "Boardwalk Empire" boasted the year's most impressive pedigree with Martin Scorsese taking a production credit and even directing the pilot episode. This brain child of Terrence Winter, a primary creative force and writer for "The Sopranos," adapts the Nelson Johnson non-fiction work chronicling the sordid history of Atlantic City into a masterful blend of fact and fantasy. Embraced by mainstream critics and viewers alike, "Boardwalk Empire" recently picked up a Golden Globe for Best Dramatic Program and acting honors for lead Steve Buscemi at both the Globes and the SAG awards. Intended for adult audiences, this is a program whose real pleasures unfold as the season progresses--it has a slow build momentum and a subtlety in plotting and characterizations that might not appeal to more action oriented viewers. But patience is rewarded with a rich and compelling storyline that showcases equal parts politics and mob drama.

Buscemi plays Nucky Thompson, the most pivotal power player of this corrupt political empire. The charming Thompson rules Atlantic City as if he were its king! Set in the prohibition era, Thompson plays both the peacemaker and the enforcer--but in this turbulent time, keeping a tight grip on the city proves to pose some dangerous challenges. Backed by his muscle (Michael Pitt), pursued doggedly by a federal agent (Michael Shannon), and tentatively romancing a recent widow (Kelly Macdonald)--Buscemi does not play Thompson as a one dimensional villain, but instead as a multi-layered businessman. Within this fictional backdrop (yes, I know Thompson was a real person), other notorious real life personages populate the cast such as Al Capone and Lucky Luciano.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!
Not at all what I expected, but totally enjoying it!
My husband & I received this as a Christmas gift ( all three seasons) from a very generous son!!! Read more
Published 14 hours ago by Linda
2.0 out of 5 stars Could not connect to the characters and became bored.
I had heard so much about the series, I was looking forward to watching. However, I found that the main characters were unsympathetic and overly enthusiastic in their portrayal... Read more
Published 2 days ago by anne konczakowski
5.0 out of 5 stars A solid number 2!
After "The Wire," this is by far the best show on television! Non-stop action, interesting characters and an ever evolving storyline. Read more
Published 6 days ago by A. A. FOSTER
4.0 out of 5 stars Atlantic City revisited
New series set in Atlantic City in the days of prohibition and political corruption.
Wonderful costumes, settings and cast.
Steve Buscemi was made to play this role.
Published 12 days ago by Annette Radocaj
5.0 out of 5 stars Boardwalk empire
Gritty, tale of prohibition, personalization of story with Nucky Thompson brings story close. Better told than Untouchable television series all told.
Published 17 days ago by john o. kling
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatness
The greatest tv show I have watched!!! Every episode is great and the way everything looks is so amazing makes me feel like I'm in the 20s!!!
Published 22 days ago by Dakota Cabunac
5.0 out of 5 stars great series!
The plots are worth following and intriguing, and keep you interested throughout. The acting is superb, and it is a good reflection of part of the era.
Published 22 days ago by william young
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Series
I always liked Steve Buscemi as a comedic actor, but his portrayal in this series is noteworthy. Some of the subplots are get a bit annoying since they don't always add much to the... Read more
Published 24 days ago by MFSI
2.0 out of 5 stars Too much sex
Thought this would be good winter entertainment.. But was unnecessary overdone sex scenes. Almost porn. And I'm not a prude.. Just don't like so much full nudity in my home.
Published 24 days ago by grammy
5.0 out of 5 stars Great gift for your husband!
Great extra gift for my husband at Christmas.
Loves to watch movies on his blu ray and dvd player.
Published 27 days ago by ahme
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Doing the same to me. Unless I first explicitly choose through the menus that I do not want any special features to play the disc freezes when I 1) start playing an episode or 2) try to activate a special feature. I have a Sony BDV-E780W with its firmware updated. Don't know what's going on.
Jan 17, 2012 by T. Kavanagh |  See all 14 posts
Boardwalk Empire DVD Availability??
Probably late summer or early fall.
Apr 5, 2011 by KS313 |  See all 18 posts
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